Ah, Jason! Come on in, take a seat. Enjoying your offseason so far? (inaudible mumbles) Good, good! So, let's get right into in Jason.
Well, that was one interesting season now wasn't it?
Who knew that when we signed you to a 5-year, 28 million dollar contract before the 2014-15 season we would be sitting here today wondering where all the money went. I mean, you aren't that far removed from a 30-goal season, and I know you're 33 now but nobody expected this kind of decline. Well, almost nobody anyway.
So, what happened kid? Was it Yeo? Well we got rid of him. You managed to notch 22 points this season under Yeo, but just 6 goals during that time. By comparison, after Yeo was fired and including the playoffs you put up 22 points in 33 games and scored 9 goals. Now I'm no mathematician, but that is an amazing increase in productivity. That's why we brought you here, that's what we expect.
We're not looking for a goal per game average or anything. Feel free to surprise us with that, but it's certainly not a requirement. What we're expecting is really just some consistency in your game and leadership on and off the ice. You have had a pretty successful career in the NHL, but last season was about the worst we've seen out of you in your 12-year run.
You've put us in a really tight spot here. On the one hand, I like you. (disclaimer: I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you, this is what we assume Chuck Fletcher is saying and should in no way be misconstrued with the authors opinions of the player in question) Listen, I wouldn't have traded for you and signed you to such a lucrative contract if I didn't believe in you. On the other hand though, You have continually declined in point production since arriving here in Minnesota. You're not giving me much to work with buddy.
The fans, they want you gone. Buyout, trade, whatever. Problem there is, with you contract structure, the length and it looks like you grabbed one of the NMC out of the candy dish here when we signed you. Even if you decided to waive that clause, all that, along with your cap hit, would make a trade nearly impossible. A buyout? Yeah, I'm not to keen on that option either. While it would clear up some space on the books, it keeps you on the payroll for an additional 6 years. The best thing for everyone, is that you just bounce back next season and prove the fans wrong.
Expectations for next season
Well, how about you play all of next season like you finished last season? That would be amazing and would work wonders on your dwindling fan base in Minnesota.
- Emerge from your cocoon. For one reason or another (Mike Yeo) you've been handcuffed for the better part of 2 seasons now. It's time to figure it all out again and get back to the player we know you can be.
- Watch a lot of film. Seems simple enough right? Analyze tape of your play over the seasons. Not just here in Minnesota, but during your time in Buffalo as well. Figure out what was working for you before that has either changed or isn't working anymore.
- Learn to ride a unicycle. Why not, right? Seems like it could be fun. Plus, if you're going to continue to decline next season, you might as well at least be able to provide the rest of the team with a little entertainment on the side.