The Jets are in a bit of a quandry. They are half committing to a youth movement that is not letting them optimize their lineup. Currently, they are deploying players like Mark Stuart and Chris Thorburn to fill 4th line and bottom pairing roles on defence and offence.
Now, the Jets are playing Stuart out of necessity because of injuries, but what would it look like to trade for a cheap and better option to fill out the bottom defence pairing?
As a team with an internal salary cap, it is essential that the Jets use the space they are allowed to spend to as efficiently as possible and have as little dead salary on the books.
Search Jets Nation and you will quickly find many laments about Mark Stuart being played over better options and now he’s being played because of lack of options. This was especially apparent when Toby Enstrom missed some time to go home to Sweden for family matters.
So, who could be the missing piece? Or, at least a better piece for the Jets?
I want to argue that Martin Marincin of the Leafs could be a very attractive trade target to fill out the Jets’ defence with quality depth. Naming a player that the Jets should trade for is bold, but he is the kind of defender the Jets should be looking for and think they have in Mark Stuart.
Lets compare Stuart and Marincin. So far on the 2016-17 season, Stuart has played in 10 games for approximately 120 minutes. Marincin has played in 14 games for 265 minutes. The amount of time for both defenders is in all situations.
Stuart has been abysmal in CF%, bottoming out at 40.65% in 5v5 situations. Marincin sits at 48.47% for CF%.
Offensively, Marincin has a Goals For over 60 minutes of play of 3.11 and a Goals Against over 60 minutes of 3.96. Stuart has a GF over 60 over 60 minutes of 0.66 and a GA over 60 minutes of 0. This is in 5v5 situations.
While Marincin currently has a higher GA over 60 than GF over 60 at the moment, his underlying numbers suggest that this should become more even.
Stuart is dead weight offensively in 5v5 situations, with only 1 goal for scored when he is on the ice while the Leafs have scored 11 goals in 5v5 situations with Marincin on the ice.
Stuart has a negative penalty differential of -1, while Marincin sits with a positive penalty differential at +4.
Finally, Stuart has a high PDO of 102.94, while Marincin sits at a PDO of 99.83.
Here is a HERO chart comparing the two defenders for the 2016-17 season:
And for the sake of getting a bigger sample size, here’s the HERO chart from 2015-16:
Now, I am not saying the Jets need to trade for Martin Marincin as soon as possible. I am saying management needs to provide Paul Maurice with better lineup options. The Jets will benefit by having a cheaper defenceman like Martin Marincin, who is young, trending upward and provides significant better possession numbers than Stuart. As well, he should increase scoring chances for the Jets while reducing scoring chances against.
Marincin is under contract until the 2017-18 season with a cap hit $1.25 million dollars and will be a RFA after the 2017-18 season. Marincin was traded to the Leafs from the Oilers for a 4th round draft pick and a career AHL prospect. If that’s the price to acquire quality depth, then the Jets should make a move to acquire a player who has seen limited playing time as of late for the Leafs.
So, if the Jets want to continue to improve as a team, then acquiring players that are under cheap contracts and are able to control the play to fill out the bottom of the roster needs to be a priority. Martin Marincin fits this criteria well, which is why I see him as a viable trade target for the Jets.
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