While the urge of many fans is to scream at the Jets for not making a splash in Free Agency so far this year but I for one will stand up an applaud them. There was no way the Jets would have been able to sign Brad Richards and to do so may have drastically limited the ability to resign Ladd, Wheeler and Bogosian. After Richards look what has happened. Player after player has signed a contract worth arguably more then they are because this is a weak diluted UFA group with not great long term investments available.
Chevy and company have done the right thing by filling out their roster with tough gritty players because when top end talent is not available to round our your team you want to stock the cupboard for a year or two with players that will make your team tough to play against. These guys will not take ice time away from the young talent on the Jets that needs it to grow and develop but they will take pressure off of them because the opposing players will start to shy away after getting punished.
There’s an old adage in sports and that is if your team is talented it better be hard working, clearly the Jets have talent but it needs time to develop and if you want talent to develop faster surround them with players that work their butts off and that work ethic will transfer over and make them better faster.
From day one True North has stated they will build and develop and that is exactly what they have done. I for one feel very confident because they are not abandoning the fan for a quick fix or a splash to stir up more excitement. They drafted a player that needs more development then a few that many anticipated to go before him in the draft because they believe he’s the got the work ethic to fit in on this team. Lazy players need not apply have patience and trust in the plan. This will be a high energy team on the ice that will out work more talented teams and only get better.
They have also shown their commitment to St. John’s as a player like Meech may appear in a few games with the Jets this year, he was the captain on the Grand Rapids Griffins last year and we saw how important having a role model player like that on your farm team can be when we saw what happened with the Moose the few years we didn’t have Baumgartner playing on the team.
Bottom line is you can’t develop prospects if you don’t set up your farm team to do it and that’s why so many of the signings Winnipeg has made so far have been directed to the AHL. You build from the ground floor up and that is what True North, Chevy and Heis are all doing and for me that earns a big two thumbs up for their free agent approach this year.
The future is bright just sit back and enjoy the road to the Stanley cup.