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Grading the West after one third of the season

Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn lead a potent Stars team that has emerged as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Glenn James/Getty Images

It was suggested to Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff last week that his franchise may be one of the most interesting to follow in the coming months, maybe even the most interesting. He smiled.

“Are we interesting?” he asked.

Well, there’s the contract that still has to be done with captain Andrew Ladd. One that shouldn’t have been this hard, but here we are in mid-December and it’s still on the to-do list. There’s a dynamic defenseman in Dustin Byfuglien who the Jets may have to consider trading if they can’t get him signed to a contract extension before the trade deadline. There’s a future franchise defenseman in Jacob Trouba that the Jets engaged in positive contract talks before the season, but who has put talks on hold until after the season, according to his agent Kurt Overhardt.

That’s if Trouba is a Jet at all. He’s a name who has popped up in trade rumors since the Jets are smack in the middle of the Travis Hamonic trade conversation, although one source said a Trouba trade was a long shot. One report out of Winnipeg on Monday said the total price tag to keep everyone around could total $152 million, although others have disputed that number.

So yeah, interesting.