This week on AirMail, we take some of the leftover questions you asked last week and carry them over to this week. We talk about just who needs to provide the leadership in the locker room, how much Tyler Myers departure affects the Jets, and what the toughest challenge will be over the first half of the season.
JetsNation AirMail is where we ask for your questions, you either @ them to us on Twitter, send them to us on Facebook or even old school electronic mail them to us and then we answer them here!
How do you think Wheeler, Sheif and Buff will handle their team responsibilities this year with the rumored issues? Do you think Paul will take more of a role instead of letting player leadership handle things?
— VanS (@AdamSchijndel) August 18, 2019
Eric M: I’m not so in tune with this side of the discussion, so I will pull a Buff here: If we stick together as a team, we’ll be alright.
Sean S: Rumors are just that, rumors. No one knows for sure what goes on in that room besides the players and coaches. I have all the trust in the teams leadership team to right the ship going into next season. As long as we stick together as a team, we’ll be alright.
Zee: Maybe some of the hurt feelings have faded over time, but I don’t think anything will have changed simply because I don’t think the vets are suddenly going to change their ways. Call me a downer but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw hints of this late in the season all over again.
Sean O: I’m with Zee here, though none of us really know the issue, I think it is clear there were some. Unless somebody folds I don’t see these issues just disappearing, especially when tough times hit.
Art M: I think it was pretty obvious things had gone sour at the end of the season, but how much of that is personalities clashing, and how much of that is a bunch of ultra-competitive men pissed off that the season isn’t going as well as they had hoped? I do think it’s ultimately on Paul Maurice to take charge of the situation though and I don’t know that he has it in him. Players can’t be making their own lines or deciding what style they play. Maurice needs to be the final say on all of that.
how devastated are the jets by losing top 4 dman Myers
— RD (@BuckFoston_) August 18, 2019
Eric M: I can’t tell if this question is supposed to be serious or not. Myers has long been felt, especially in the Jets Discord community, to be a strong liability. While he had a frame comparable to Byfuglien, his on ice impact was not and his contract was also not great. I think there could be an early impact (see next question) but long term this is pretty net positive for Winnipeg.
Sean S: I’ve been saying it all summer, but the only real, big loss the Jets suffered was Trouba and I’d come to terms with not keeping Trouba long term for awhile now… Every other loss is an easily replaceable piece. Myers is no exception to that. Especially with the contract he signed with Vancouver.
Zee: Let’s be real, Myers had some great plays that made you happy he was on the team but we saw them less and less as seasons went on. He was a great trade at the time, but it was time to move on. I hope the move to Vancouver will be a good one for him because he genuinely seems like a good dude, but I don’t think this is a devastating loss at all.
Sean O: I like Tyler Myers more than most. I say that while at the same time saying it’s not a big loss for the Jets. Take that for what it’s worth.
Art M: “Devastated” isn’t even close to the right word, but when combined with the loss of Trouba, I think it’s ok to admit that it does sting a bit for the Jets. On it’s own though it’s not a huge loss and truth be told I actually am looking forward to seeing Maurice now have to get a bit more creative since it sure seemed like Myers was his go-to crutch any time there was an injury to the front four. Myers – as we have laid out to many times on here – is best suited for a third pairing role with some spot duty on the second pair if he’s playing well. Maurice would just overuse him constantly.
What’s going to be the biggest challenge for the first 40 games?
— jeff tipping (@tipping_jeff) August 18, 2019
Eric M: Strong defense while the young core learns to play together. I think the big turnover on the top two blue line pairings is going to be a factor, and either that working out anyway or simply outscoring the blue line woes early is going to be critical for the early part of the season to be successful. Though as seen last season with the Blues, maybe a basement run out of the central could be the play…
Sean S: Same challenge we seem to have every year. Defense. There are uncertainties on the blueline that need to be settled. Once those are squared away I think we’ll have much more time to turn our gaze elsewhere and fix any other possible problems.
Zee: Yup, defense.
Sean O: Defense is the answer, but for the sake of our readers I’ll throw you a change up. I have real questions about whether the Jets will be able to sign Laine and Connor before the season starts. If one or either hold out the Jets will open their season with huge holes on both of their top two lines. The biggest challenge will be filling those holes with guys capable of playing big minutes.
Art M: I’m also on the “defense” being the biggest challenge, but a very close second to me that the Jets have a tough schedule in the first two months of the season. Officially they have 15 road games and just 12 home games but when you look a bit closer it’s a little deceiving because one of those “home” games is in Regina and is the start of a west coast road trip, and then in the second half of November they have four game road swing through Southeastern US, one game back in Winnipeg and then back on the road for three more on the west coast yet again. I know some people hate the idea that road travel shouldn’t be as big a factor as many with the Jets claim it is, but it is still tough. The Jets will have to manage their roster through that smartly. Share the work between the two goalies, maybe give a player or two a game off here or there.