When will the Jets start competing?

Despite the injury of Mark Scheifele, the NHL trade deadline passed and the Jets stayed pat with the roster they had. On deadline day the Jets were in the thick of the playoff race and they still did not make a move.

The puzzling part about the Jets making no transactions is the fact that if they had no interest in acquiring players, why not trade players to acquire picks?

The Jets had an opportunity to make some moves that would either benefit the team now or later.

Jets fans might not have loved it but the Jets could have been sellers to acquire some future assets.

After the deadline, the Jets lost two straight games and they are now five points out of the last wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Same old story

It seems that this is the same old story with this team.

The Jets have an up and down season that sees the team looking unstoppable followed by stints of the realization this team is not a playoff team. The Jets have not improved significantly over the last three years.

Top prospects Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele have been big contributors to the team in their first years but they aren’t ready to carry the team.

Management’s plan?

Winnipeg Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has made a nice acquisition in Michael Frolik.

Cheveldayoff has been reluctant to make any big moves at the trade deadline.

That’s not that big of a deal. Usually the trade deadline is more significant to the teams that want to contend for the playoffs. It can also be a good time for teams that are starting a rebuild to get rid of pieces.

It’s hard to determine when the Jets will be competitive but if the Jets really wanted to draft and develop, why did they not trade UFA players for picks?

Would that not imply that the team was going to fight to make the playoffs?

If they were going to try to make the playoffs, why not acquire talent to help?

I don’t know exactly what Cheveldayoff’s plan was during the trade deadline. As he said, the Scheifele injury did throw them a curve ball, but they could have still made moves that don’t involve Scheifele.

The future

The Jets might start to become a good team once Scheifele and Trouba develop. Once the two stud rookies develop, the Jets can build around them.

The Jets have also drafted some great prospects including Adam Lowry, JC Lipon and Brenden Kitchton who are currently shining in there first pro year with the St. Johns Icecaps.

Clearly the route the Jets are taking to become successful is to draft and develop. It doesn’t seem the Jets will rebuild because they don’t need too.

A sign that the Jets could be ready to compete could be when they start making a splash this off-season.

Look at what the Minnesota Wild did on July 4, 2012: they signed Ryan Suter and Zach Parise to a lucrative 13 year $98 million dollar contract. That is a bold move that changes a franchise. Two NHL all-stars that become the foundation of an organization is something that every team wants.

Unfortunately it comes at a steep price.

Once TNSE is willing to pay the price, the team will be successful.

Once Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele’s contracts are up, will the Jets be reluctant to lock up the two if it requires spending more money than they would like?  

I don’t doubt that the team has the money to spend. I just question the team’s willingness to spend it.

I do understand that it’s very early in the team’s existence and I don’t expect them to go on a spending spree just because they have the money.

I just wonder when the team will make a splash in free agency and not just base the team’s future off prospects?

When the Jets prospects develop and become NHL players, they can’t just walk in to a club and expect to lead the team to the playoffs.

There needs to be a foundation in place upon their arrival so the players to assist them to ease into the league.

It is hard for the team to make a serious splash in Free Agency; Winnipeg is not the most desirable destination for Free Agents but neither is Minnesota yet Zach Parise and Ryan Suter went there for the money.

And that is the main factor in Free Agent signings: money.

If the team finds success from players developed in the system and they have the full financial support from TSNE they can start gauging interest in some big names.

Converting to Champions

In basketball there are 12 players on a team and to convert a team from good to bad is quite simple.

The Miami Heat changed their teams by signing three all-star players and the next year they won the championship.

That sort of thing rarely happens in hockey.

In hockey, to build a team in one offseason is nearly impossible. Rarely a player comes right from the draft and helps a team. One or two players cannot change a hockey team unless it’s an elite talent like Steven Stamkos, Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby.

In hockey, because there are 23 players on an active roster, it is harder to improve the team immensely in a short amount of time.

It might take the Jets a long time to become an elite team in the league, but the process could be sped up if Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele become stars very soon.

A big thing for this team to become successful will be for the team to have patience and more importantly the fans to have patience.

I understand first hand as a fan that patience is not the best word to hear regarding the Jets but fans will need to trust Kevin Cheveldayoff and Jets management. It’s a slow process to draft and develop but as it has been displayed around the league, it’s a very successful process.

Become an MVP

Become an MVP with Winnipeg Whiteout and never miss a thing.

A High School Student who loves the game of hockey but especially the Winnipeg Jets, you can follow me on twitter at @officialjetfuel.