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Jets May Trade Veteran Defenseman To Make Blue Line Changes

The Winnipeg Jets may need to trade a veteran defenseman to make room for prospects and change the blue line dynamic.

As per Mark McIntyre of The Winnipeg Free Press, expect the Winnipeg Jets to make an offseason move as they try to fix what he calls a “comically painful to watch” blue line. Citing that the Jets are one of 18 teams averaging at least three goals per game this year, they are also in a small group of teams who can score but aren’t in the playoffs. (Columbus and New Jersey are the other two). To make matters worse, the Jets are the only one of those three teams not currently undergoing a rebuild.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Defense Is Shape-Shifting with Injuries for Sabres’ Game

Noting that the Jets’ priority must be fixing their issues, he doesn’t believe the youngsters they have bubbling up through the system will be enough.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon and Nate Schmidt

McIntyre discussed names like Dylan Samberg (who is showing he belongs in the NHL) and Ville Heinola, Johnathan Kovacevic and Declan Chisholm, but he believes the Jets need to do more. A trade could be made, not only to make room for a youngster but to change the dynamic of how his roster looks and how his team plays. He writes:

Because if you can’t defend in the NHL, you have little to no chance. And a Winnipeg team that is spending to the salary cap ceiling, with Kyle Connor among the game’s elite scorers and Mark Scheifele, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nikolaj Ehlers all potentially joining him in the 30-plus goal club, is going to continue to spin its wheels.

What is the Solution?

McIntyre shoots down the idea that the club should consider moving Josh Morrisey. But, he notes that any one of Brenden Dillon, Nate Schmidt, Dylan DeMelo and Neal Pionk might be on the table. He contends, “Shed a big salary or two. Get a return that helps you in other much-needed areas.”

With the move, the Jets will open up space for a prospect or two.

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