Updates on the Jets, Islanders and Red Wings – April 19, 2017

by | Apr 19, 2017 | Rumors | 50 comments

Could the Winnipeg Jets target Los Angeles Kings goaltender Ben Bishop via free agency?

Another look at the goaltending of the Winnipeg Jets and New York Islanders and a painful rebuild in the works for the Detroit Red Wings in your NHL rumor mill. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe recently reported the Winnipeg Jets could pay a high cost to improve their goaltending. While Eric Comrie has promise, Wiebe feels he needs another season in the AHL. The Jets don’t want to give up on Connor Hellebuyck and don’t wish to risk losing him to waivers.

They could look at bolstering their goalie depth via trade, though that likely won’t happen until before the NHL draft weekend (June 23-24). It wouldn’t make sense for them to swing a deal before the expansion draft as that would mean exposing Hellebuyck instead of Michael Hutchinson. Wiebe wonders if they should pursue an established starter such as Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury or try to find a young goalie on the verge of breaking out. 

Los Angeles Kings netminder Ben Bishop could be on the Jets’ radar via free agency, but they’ll have competition from other clubs and he will seek a lucrative new deal.  Other options could include Chicago’s Scott Darling and Ottawa’s Mike Condon. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Jets will make a move via trade or free agency this summer to bring in an established starter. If the Jets are looking for a breakout goalie they should look at someone like the New York Rangers’ Antti Raanta or the Washington Capitals’ Philipp Grubauer. Both could hit the trade block before the expansion draft, but as Wiebe points out, acquiring one of them before that draft could mean exposing Hellebuyck. Darling or Condon would be more affordable options via free agency, but the Jets will have competition pursuing them. 

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple recently analyzed the New York Islanders’ weird year in goaltending. Inconsistent veteran Jaroslav Halak has a year remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $4.5 million. Staple expects he’ll be unprotected in the expansion draft but doubts the Vegas Golden Knights will select him.

J-F Berube, 25, is a Group 6 free agent and appears ready to move on after being the third wheel for most of the past two seasons. Staple wouldn’t be surprised if Halak and Thomas Greiss are the Isles goalie tandem when training camp opens in September. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the Isles should buy out the final season of Halak’s contract and look for an upgrade between the pipes. Greiss seemed unable to the heavy workload of a starter and they seem to lack confidence in Berube. Remains to be seen what GM Garth Snow does, but the Isles must bolster their goaltending or risk missing the playoffs again next season.

DETROIT FREE PRESS:   Red Wings GM Ken Holland might not believe in a long-term rebuild, but George Sipple believes otherwise. He points out the Wings lack a No.1 defenseman, really don’t have a No. 2, and getting one is an “almost-impossible task.” Sipple also feels the Wings need more from their core of younger players, including Gustav Nyquist, Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser and Petr Mrazek, but it’s possible those players won’t get better. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landing a top defenseman will be a costly undertaking. They could target clubs deep in good young blueliners at risk of losing one via the expansion draft or in need of scoring depth, but that’ll mean parting with one or two promising young players. Of those core players noted by Sipple, none will bring the Wings a good defenseman unless they’re bundled into a larger deal.


  1. Detroit kind of reminds me of Vancouver… unable to accept the fact that a complete rebuild is necessary. A re-tooling won’t get it done and only prolongs the inevitable. They have a long and proud history but the more they deny what’s in front of them they won’t be returning to Cup contending status anytime soon.

    • Another organization that wasted 10 years “re-tooling” – a classic exercise in frustration – was the Leafs until they brought in management and coaching prepared to do it properly. Teams annually drafting in the 15 to 30 slots occasionally get very lucky with picks – but eventually it catches up to them. And if they’re meanwhile stuck with albatross contracts things can get really messy.

      • George, you are right. Another example of the crazy Toronto media. For years they said that fans would not stand for a complete rebuild, everybody I know has embraced it and is enjoying the ride. Fortunately the bad times did not last as long as expected, hopefully they will keep it up next year… The risk is a sophomore slump could hit them harder than any other team since they have so many rookies. I think Matthews will be OK, he seems both confident and relaxed while playing but who knows.

      • Detroit’s playoff history the last 10 years.

        2016-17. Missed the playoffs.
        2015-16. Lost to TB 4-1, 1st round.
        2014-15. Lost to TB 4-3, 1st round.
        2013-14. Lost to Boston 4-1, 1st round.
        2012-13. Lost to Chicago 4-3, semi-finals
        2011-12. Lost to Nashville 4-1, 1st round.
        2010-11. Lost to SJ 4-3 semi-finals.
        2009-10. Lost to SJ 4-1 semi Finals.
        2008-09. Lost to Pit 4-3 Stanley Cup.
        2007-08. Won over Pit 4-2 in Stanley Cup.

        So how were those 10 years wasted? That’s a ton of playoff revenue with 2 cup appearances, 1 win, the other lost in 7 & 3 semi final appearances in the last 10 years & it’s not like they lost to bad teams, most of those teams went deep into the playoffs.

        Detroit is 1 year removed from the playoffs & has started exactly what is being asked for. They have 6 picks in the 1st 3 rounds this season & an extra 2nd in 2018.

        Youth has been added to the NHL roster over the last few years, Larkin, Mantha, Athanasiou, Sheehan, Jensen, Ouellet & Mrazek. The prospect kitty is solid. Svechnikov, Cholowski, Smith, Bertuzzi, etc.

        For me what ails Detroit is bad coaching; Blashill has been brutal, & an in ability to replace the loss of Lidstrom & Rafalski coupled with Kronwall past his best before date. I problem many teams are confronted with in the NHL. Not having a legitimate #1 Dman. Not an easy problem to solve.

      • Who said Detroit “wasted” 10 years? Or Vancouver for that matter? Thirsty Deer merely observed that both have now found themselves in a situation where all signs point to a need for a tear-down. MY comment responded with an example of what could happen if a team ignores the signs and attempts to annually re-tool.

        You do have to read what is actually being said before you embark upon another of your long-winded replies.

      • I thought you did George responding to ThirstyDeer.

        “Another organization that wasted 10 years “re-tooling” – a classic exercise in frustration.”

        Sorry did I misread that?

      • In retrospect, perhaps I should have written it as “Another organization, that wasted 10 years “re-tooling” (a classic exercise in frustration), was the Leafs ….” More grammatically correct with those 2 commas – but don’t get me started on poor grammar as this site is filled with examples of how not to write (and I’m not referring to typos).

      • it was stated up top that they had wasted 10 years retooling. I wish the flames had wasted the last 10 years retooling like that.

      • Look Striker from 2011-12. Lost to Nashville 4-1, 1st round here on the writing was on the wall for Detroit to do something or risk being relegated to a complete rebuild.

        Surely you are not thinking the lockout year result meant anything at all, it just gave false hope which it shouldn’t have with Lidstrom retiring at the end of the year.

        So yes in my humble opinion it was about 6 or so wasted years.

    • Retooling is great, when you can do it on the fly. The problem for some clubs is they just don’t do it around the wrong players and saddle themselves with horrible long term contracts in the process.

      • Oops I meant right players!

      • There is more than 1 way to rebuild. The complete tear down being 1. Boston is rebuilding on the fly, TB did so, as have others. The concept certainly failed in Vancouver, miserably but it was doomed for the reasons stated by NYR4Life above.

        Can Detroit do so? Well it literally just started & 1 year removed from the playoffs isn’t the end of the world. That said making it back next season although not impossible seems highly unlikely to me but it depends if they can secure that Dman. Look what a coaching change & adding Phaneuf did for Ottawa.

        Before the usually suspects jump all over me I’m not saying Phaneuf is a #1 but his addition, solidifying Ottawa’s top 4 is 1 of the biggest factors in Ottawa returning to the playoffs. Not the only 1 but it was significant.

        Teams have to play the hand their dealt. Unwinding the veterans in Detroit is going to take a few years. Had Datsyuk stayed & honored the final year of his contract Detroit may have made the playoffs. Who knows.

      • Striker, not sure what you are referring to with the TB retool comment. If it was 07/08 to 9/10 I consider that a rebuild. 11/12 to 12/13 a retool.
        07/08 drafted Stamkos 1st overall 08/09 Hedman 2nd overall. Still key parts of their core and they are not a true contender without those 2. To me if you are picking in the top 3 you are rebuilding because you are a very bad team, unless you get extremely lucky in the lottery.
        The bottom line is it is extremely rare to win a cup without a at least 1 top 3 pick in your lineup. It has happened once in the last 20 years.
        You get top 3 picks by being lousy, which means rebuild.
        You can make the playoffs with the truly elite players, but history shows you ain’t winning a cup.

      • Without truly great players

      • Yes. I was referring to Toronto – and used “another” to indicate they weren’t the first to embark upon a 10-year tinker that led nowhere. Edmonton did – despite multiple # 1 picks – Calgary has fumbled their way through a decade more or less. Florida. Carolina.

      • Again sorry George. I didn’t understand your meaning. I thought you were referring to both Detroit & Toronto.

      • Ray Bark.

        I consider the wholesale roster changes made by TB from the 2012-13 roster to the 2014-15 roster & beyond to be rebuilding on the fly. 5 of their top 7 scorers from 2012-13, Bishop played 9 games that season after being acquired for Conacher were moved out in those 2 years & the keys handed to Yzermans draft picks. Significant personal changes were made to the core. Stamkos & Hedman were just kids, Hedman still hadn’t blossomed yet nor had any of the other kids but Stamkos.

        As always we agree on almost everything, semantics really. From my perception it was a rebuild on the fly, the entire core was essentially moved out less Stamkos, Hedman, Killorn, Palat & Bishop but of those 5 only Stamkos had done anything. Hedman was coming but even Sweden passed him over for the 2014 Olympics. I’m still scratching my head on that 1.

        I assume your referring to Boston & Detroit possibly Anaheim; Neidermayer not being drafted by Anaheim but in the top 3 by NJ. Yes drafting high directly relates to acquiring studs & with out a stud C & stud D no 1 wins a cup in today’s NHL. The last team to do so was Carolina 2006.

        In the last 10 cup wins the other 7 teams were Pittsburgh & LA twice & Chicago 3 times. That’s 1st overall picks for Pittsburgh & Chicago, generational players in Crosby & Kane & 2nd overall generational players for Pittsburgh again Malkin & LA Doughty.

        Both rebuild models can work but I agree hard to win a cup with out at least 2 superstar studs & the only way to really acquire 1 is to draft them. Unfortunately only 1 team can win the cup & it is far from a fair & level playing field. especially today with this stupid bracket formula.

      • Yep, the exceptions are rare, and yes I believe it was Carolina in 2006. The article with the data was on Sportsnet like a year ago so can’t remember for sure. Boston’s was Seguin so not an integral part of the 2011 team, and the exception to the rule was Chara as the best free agent signing in the history of the NHL. And Tim Thomas, that guy was gold. Weird dude, but gold for a few years.

  2. I sound like a broken record. Winnipeg took a gamble with an unproven starter in Helleybuck and according to Cheveldayoff he wanted to see what they had in nets. He didn’t disclose on what he saw. But the fans saw a missed opportunity to make the playoffs. It’s fools gold to into next season with the same tandem in nets and hope as Helleybuck stated that he cam mentally handle the work load better. I wouldn’t be bringing in Raanta or Grubauer because they are no more proven then Helleybuck. I do believe Helleybuck and Comrie both have potential to be a number 1. It’s just not a risk that should be made without a solid plan in place. Pitts will trade MAF before expansion if not buy him out, at which point Winnipeg then can approach him. Ben Bishop on a two deal would be the optimal choice and let Helleybuck push him for time. The way Winnipeg plays defense (lack of) their best option would be a goalie with scrambling ability, technically sound might burn in the defensive style this team presently play.

  3. Yesterday I was listening to George Mcphee and he mentioned it will be difficult to get everything done in the three day window they have for picking their team. The interesting comment he made was the likely hood of drafting players for other teams. For fun sake lets say Boston leaves Ryan Spooner unprotected and Ottawa wants their home town boy. Vegas draft Spooner and trades him to Ottawa for a second round pick. Should or could be lots of excitement with lots of assets being moved.

    • I get the concept of what your saying but don’t like the example. Ha-ha! 1 Spooner will be protected & 2 he’s worth far more than a 2nd.

      It should be a very entertaining summer & start as soon as the the Stanley Cup winning hangovers are in effect. There isn’t going to be much time for teams to solve their protected roster issues in trade following the cup being awarded & them having to submit their protected rosters.

  4. Curious, last night Draisaitl spear Tierney in the groin and got kicked out of the game, SJ was up 5 nothing. Will he get more, soon find out but Tierney returning in the third period supposing helps Draisaitl. If I was the coach and we already know players returning lessen the, if any, suspension. If I was Deboer, I would not of let Tierney return to the game to help facilitate a 1 game suspension being up 5-0 it be a gamble I be willing to make.

  5. The caption under the picture of Bishop is a rhetorical question regarding the Jets and Bishop! The answer is yes! Get a goalie and a new coach. Oh and trade Trouba, he does not want to be there. This team should be where the Leafs and Oilers are right now. Case closed!

    • Trouba might not want to be there but he doesn’t let it affect his play. he was Winnipeg best dman.

      • That’s why you trade him. If he doesn’t want to be there it does affect the team somehow. He is not going to resign after this bridge deal. He will net you a great return. The scenario that occurred with him and the Jets will resurface once this shorter deal is done. Chevy needs to take action and get a goalie as well. The Jets in my opinion are very close to being a playoff perennial. They also have to address team discipline.

      • Steven, who could you trade him to and for? Winnipeg needs a dman in his place if he was being traded. The Jets don’t need a forward. What team has the defenseman that Winnipeg wants and are willing to give up for Trouba? Would Columbus trade Werenski or Jones? Edmonton Nurse or Kelfboom? Boston Carlo or McAvoy? These are the type of names that I believe the Jets would be looking for in return. Carlo alone wouldn’t get the deal done. Just saying its going to be tough to get a deal done and Winnipeg should not be in a rush to move him this year.

      • Caper.

        How does Winnipeg address it’s expansion draft roster issues? What format do they use, 7, 3 & 1 or 8 & 1 & who are their protectors?

  6. I thought Winnipeg would change coaches right after the season but I guess Cheveldayoff feels that a good goalie makes a coach look good. Winnipeg should be a playoff team – I’d say the pressure is squarely on the GM to change things there.

    • Which team does Winnipeg beat out to make the playoffs next year? Are Dallas & LA not going to be more competitive next season & right there with Winnipeg?

      • What evidence suggests Dallas and LA are going to be any better?

      • For LA the emergence & continued development of Pearson, Toffoli, Ladue, Gravel, Forbert the return to health of Quick & I can’t see Kopitar being that bad again.

        For Dallas. The return of Janmark, his continued development along with Faksa, Shore, Ritchie, Johns, Nememth, Oleksiak, Lindell, Klinberg & what I assume will be a new goalie.

      • I do assume Dallas will lose 1 of Nemeth, Johns or Oleksiak in expansion if they don’t make a trade or work out a deal with Vegas.

        The battle for the final 2 spots in both conferences will be hotly contested by numerous teams. Tanking it today in a 31 team league gives you less than a 20% chance of securing the 1st pick overall. No real point losing on purpose with the way the lottery is now set up.

      • Based on pure talent Winnipeg should be in.
        Striker you are naming development of players on LA and Dallas but what about ‘further’ development of players like Sheifele, ehlers, Laine, connor, morrisey, trouba, dano, armia plus the return of Myers
        Other guys knocking on the door like Petan and Lemieux.
        They need a coaching change, too much talent on the back end.

        Goal tending is an obvious issue, I don’t believe Darling, Raanta or Gurbauer are the answer anyway. They need to target an established starter whether that be high end target like Bishop or Fleury (yes I know I said high end) or someone like Howard or Cam Ward who are experienced starters and stanley cup winners. In two years Helley should be ready and they’ll have a better understanding of Comrie

      • Taz.

        I agree fully. Winnipeg is a great young team with some solid veteran & core pieces but who are they beating out to get into the top 8? Their young pool of players is as good as anyone’s & the future looks very bright.

        I just don’t have them as a shoe in top 6. They need to battle 4 other teams for 2 playoff spots. No easy feat. Can they? Maybe they have as good a chance as any of those teams & curious to see how & what Winnipeg does both for the expansion draft, with Trouba, Enstrom, do they buy him out to solve their protection problem? possibly trade him? & if so what happens if they can’t get Trouba resigned he opts for arbitration takes a 2 year award & becomes a UFA following?

        These concern me. Potentially losing 2 top 4 Dman in 3 years can be devastating. Just ask Detroit.

      • I agree Dallas will be back to form next season with a change at goal. No way any of you thought they wouldn’t make the playoffs this season at the beginning of the year. Tons of injuries and bad goaltending kept them out this year.

        Winnipeg just missed it this season with crap goaltending. fix that and they will be there. Minnesota played beyond their means. They’ll drop down to the fight with the other teams fighting for a spot.

        Are Thornton and Marleau gonna be in San Jose next season at 38 years old. Not as big a factor this season as they were last season.

        I think you’ll see 5 Canadian teams once again in the playoffs next season 3 in the west and 2 in the east.

  7. I don’t see Winnipeg doing anything in net for next season. Possibly they bring in a veteran back up, no 1 of consequence but for me Hellebuyck is the guy. He is the young developing stud goalie.

    I don’t see them bring in MAF or Bishop & should they, I don’t see them being significantly better than Hellebuyck. Winnipeg will be better, all that youth will be a year more developed but that youth is still years away from being fully developed & young players make mistakes.

    I would like to see a coaching change as well but if that was happening I assume Maurice would have been shown the door already.

    • I agree Striker, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t.

      • Agreed but with expansion looming to start the season that wasn’t even a consideration.

        I like Hellebuyck. I think youth, team make up & style are significant factors but that full year of development will bare fruit moving forward for Hellebuyck.

        Few teams operate on a tighter budget & there are some big contracts coming as early as this summer potentially. Little & Ehlers can be resigned on July 1st as can Trouba but don’t see him staying.

        Winnipeg also has some tough expansion issues to address which may mean dipping into the UFA pool.

    • Striker-you are still preaching that Hellebuyck is a stud. That ship has sailed. They can not rely on him to be solid tender to back stop an inexperienced (but talented) team

  8. I assumed Travis Green would be promoted to the new coach in Vancouver but Krueger is an interesting option.

    I just want whoever is brought in to let the kids play important roles & everyone I talk to could careless if they win but at least show us an entertaining product.

    This team wasn’t fun to watch under Desjardins & few wanted to attend even if the tickets were free! I’m a year removed as a long time season ticket holder & have already been bombarded with calls & emails for cheap season tickets next year with all kinds of incentives. Not happening.

    • Kruger did well with a young team in Edmonton. They improved significantly. Players loved him, played hard for him. Their record immediately before and after him speaks volumes.

      • Agreed. MacTavish made a bad decision & terminating him by Skype was classless.

  9. Caper,

    Who you trade Trouba for is up to Winnipeg’s management not me. I am just stating the obvious. Winnipeg will face the same situation with Trouba once his deal is done. They need a goalie and they need a coach. Your question certainly makes sense however as trading Trouba does pose questions regarding the return. You would most likely be looking at picks, prospects and a player who might not fill the whole you created on defense. That’s what free agency can address. Every team faces similar situations like this at some time or another. Managers have proven they can be very creative when needed.

    • I was wondering what if the jets go for a bigger trades. So something like Trouba + Helley for a stud goalie. Something like those two for Schneider, Severson or Santini.

      • & what does NJ then do for a goalie? NJ’s entire system going back decades is built around solid goaltending & playing a dedicated defensive system. NJ is a mess & you can easily see how that effects a great goalie. Schneiders #’s were brutal this year playing behind that D & team. With out him they would have given Colorado a run for last overall.

        Anything is possible but NJ moving Schneider with in the next 5 years would shock me.

        I like Winnipeg moving Trouba to numerous teams but my favorite currently is Carolina. Fleury, a prospect not named Gauthier, possibly not Roy either & their 1st & best 2nd round pick, maybe even their best 3rd. They have 7 picks in the 1st 3 rounds. 1 1st, 3 2nds & 3rds. Then post expansion potentially trade Faulk in some package for Landeskog or other solid young forward on a good long term contract & trade for Grubauer buying out Lack.

        Faulk is currently the only protector Carolina has at D unless you see Murphy as a keeper & at a minimum they have to protect 3. Slavin, Hanafin & Pesce are all expansion draft exempt!

      • Ya Striker, Carolina makes sense. They have what WPG wants. I still think Boston does too. This just be me as a Bruins fan dreaming of Trouba and McAvoy for the next 7-10 years anchoring our blueline, but there is some logic to it.
        The Bruins are trying to win now, and build for the future. Trouba is young and is Wpg’s best D man right now.
        Boston does not want to waste the any of the remaining prime years of their core; Bergeron, Krecji, Marchand and Rask.
        They have one of the key assets needed in Carlo and other decent prospects to sweeten the deal. It is a market that gives Trouba what he wants away from the ice. Go Sweeney go!

      • Striker, what do you mean what does NJ do for a goalie, you just finished saying you think Helly will be a stud. They don’t do nothing they got their new stud in Helly.

    • Lol Steven, it’s all up to Winnipeg management including whether to deal Trouba or not; asking who you would trade him for is no different then asking “will he be dealt”, it’s what we do here, play keyboard GM. Chevy is a patient and smart man, he signed Scheifele to a team friendly contract and did a great job getting Trouba signed. I don’t see picks and prospects as the answer.

    • why trade Truba now, resign him for 2 more years then trade Buff, that settles the issues hes the number 1 dman and he plays the right side and by that time Maurice is a memory the reasons Truba sited as not wanting to be a jet

  10. Where’s Chrisms today ?