It’s no doubt to be a touchy subject but there is only one Unrestricted Free Agent still available on the market that Winnipeg should take interest in and no his name is not Teemu Selanne.
The man the Jets should target is a guy who will give this team some short term help in a position that we have talked about before and will likely be discussing for the majority of this season. The centre spot is by far the weakest area on this team and with a talented top six set of wingers and no top six centres available on the FA market that need may have to be addressed via trade or forcing Brian Little to slide into the middle.
Regardless of who ends up where on the depth chart it’s a safe bet that five of the top six forwards are locked up with Antropov, Kane, Ladd, Little and Wheeler. While Burmistrov and Fehr will both likely get their chances to be the sixth man. After that the picture gets a lot murkier with all the depth and role players that are signed and the handful of guys on two way deals that could crack the line up.
While there are a lot of options the role of a true checking centreman seems to be missing, which brings us to the point of this article. He may be 38 years old but we believe that C John Madden has still got enough gas in the tank for another year or two, and this former cup winner with Chicago could do a lot of things to help out the Jets both short and long term.
He is a tough player to play against, one that wins a high percentage of draws and can kill penalties. He was on the Blackhawks with Ladd and Byfuglien when they won the cup two years ago and played a crucial role for that team.
In the short term the Jets would benefit from his abilities to anchor their checking line and give them a better chance at winning face offs then any of the centres they have under contract. In the long term the younger players on this team could certainly learn a thing or two about defensive responsibilities which might just help move this team away from the bottom five in goals against.
As awesome as it would be to see Teemu wear a Jets jersey again, signing him does not make sense at it would take top 6 minutes away from a young core group of wingers that need it to continue their development. Derailing or delaying their development for a player that is going to retire before most of these Jets reach there prime doesn’t make sense. If Selanne was a centre it would but this team does not need an aging winger, it needs a solid two way centre that can help this team improve on its horrible GA total from last year and Madden is the best option still available to them via the Free Agent Market