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Roster Report

The Sports Xchange

G Ondrej Pavelec gets the honor for the most consistent performer of the season. His numbers weren't outstanding compared to other starting goaltenders throughout the NHL, but he won many games for his team. Pavelec is just 24 years old and should only improve next season. He needs better defensive play around him.

RW Eric Fehr was coming off shoulder surgery, but he was coming home to play and could not have been more excited. His season could not have been more disappointing. He returned to action in mid-November, which is when he was expected to, but he scored just two goals in his next 35 games and ended the season on the shelf with what is believed to be another shoulder injury.

The most pressing need for the Jets is offense, and they are badly in need of more top six forwards. Obviously that is easier said than done, but they need to find a way to inject more scoring into the lineup. They need to get bigger and be more physical on defense. It would also be good if D Dustin Byfuglien lost some weight and became even more dominant than he already is.

The Jets have two restricted free agents in LW Evander Kane and G Ondrej Pavelec, who are obviously headed for nice raises since they are key pieces of the squad. It'll be interesting to see if Kane is able to come to an agreement on a deal with the team. Meanwhile, Winnipeg has seven unrestricted free agents, and it's unlikely all of them will be back. D Randy Jones is unlikely to return, and G Chris Mason will be 36 years old next season, so it won't be surprising if the Jets move on. C Jim Slater is a valuable face-off man and checking center, so he should be back, RW Kyle Wellwood had a career year and should be re-signed as a depth forward, and LW Tanner Glass is an energy guy who was a fine pickup from the Canucks last summer and will be wanted. C Tim Stapleton isn't a necessity, and D Mark Flood was used only three times in 33 games down the stretch, but they kept him up because they didn't want to lose him through the waiver process. In that case, they better re-sign him.


--D Dustin Byfuglien tied a career high with 53 points this season, and that was in 15 fewer games than it took him to reach that mark last season. He wasn't in peak physical condition and battled a deep bone bruise over the last 15 games, so a healthy and fit Byfuglien, who goes on trial in the offseason on drunk boating charges, for the 2012-13 season would probably improve the team.

--RW Antti Miettinen was brought in to score some goals, but it took 34 contests for the former 20-goal scorer to finally find the back of the net. The Jets picked him up off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning, but all he ended up being was one of the several players who didn't produce as much as was expected.

--RW Kyle Wellwood ended up being one of the top surprises of the season. The Jets signed him for just $700,000 a couple days before training camp started, and all he did was set a career high with 47 points and tied another one with 18 goals. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff needs to find a couple of free agents like Wellwood who will come in and provide like the Windsor, Ont., native did this season.


--D Ron Hainsey injured his foot on April 3 against Florida, but he is expected to be OK.

--RW Kyle Wellwood broke his left foot on March 31 against Tampa. He will be in a walking boot for three weeks and then need another three weeks before starting his offseason training.

--LW Tanner Glass broke his right foot on March 30 against Carolina. He is expected to need about six to eight weeks of recovery, but it shouldn't affect his offseason training.

--RW Eric Fehr (upper body) got hurt vs. Washington on March 16. The Jets have refused to reveal what was injured, but he has had shoulder problems his entire career. Depending on the severity of the injury, his Jets days could be over.

--D Dustin Byfuglien had a deep bone bruise that severely limited his mobility since early March, but he was able to play on it and time is the likely the only thing that will heal it. Byfuglien will pass on the world championships because of the injury.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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