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Jets Free Agent Primer, Morrow and Contract Rumour

June 27, 2018, 10:35 AM ET [79 Comments]
Peter Tessier
Winnipeg Jets Blogger •Winnipeg Jets Writer • RSSArchiveCONTACT
First, have heard from two unconnected sources that a Trouba deal might be done but not announced yet. No idea on term or value.

The world in Winnipeg turns around what Paul Stastny and the Jets can figure out, if they can even figure out anything. The Stastny conundrum is real and it's concerning for many fans because the basic premise is that Stasteny is better than Little.

Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has a few options for signing Stastny but most of those revolve around moving other salary and if you are participating in Twitter discussions then you know that fans of other teams are circling around looking for Mathieu Perreault as the salary cap casualty. Losing Perreault would be a horror for the Jets but never underestimate the desperation and misguided values by some hockey executives.

The problem as I explained yesterday on Twitter is not Paul Stastny or his contract demands it's Bryan Little. While Little's deal was generally seen as palpable when it was announced last fall many had trouble with the term and now, after a successful season, a run to the Wester Conference final, and being second in the league in points the team now has to manage that deal.

There's a lesson learned here for GMs that while having salary certainty is fine and keeping a player who has been loyal and wants to stay, particularly in a market like Winnipeg, is preferable what that cost is in other areas later can be hard to manage, or predict. Basically though hockey GMs and their teams are in the prediction business though, some are good and some are bad at it.

In this case the Jets predicted what Little would be worth to them in the fall of 2017 now the cost of whether that prediction is accurate is coming due. Consider these metrics:

Here is one player that 'could' be a sacrifice to keep Stastny, at least the one that many feel has the best chance of being moved and getting decent return.


Here is the comparison in value between the two Jets in question.

To say there is a difference would be understating it and those number are only for the past year. Below is the past two seasons.

You be the judge but given the age curve that hits players around age 32-33 something is going to give and many would prefer the player who's deal ends in 3 years not the one ending in six.

The Jets dealt with one contract yesterday as they singed RFA Joe Morrow, who they did not qualify, to a one year 1 million dollar contract. It's a smart move as it saves a potential arbitration setting and qualifying offer but gives Morrow some value given he wanted to stay.

Here's some context for what Morrow did last year vs the key UFA signing in 2017 for the left side defense:

Again could there be a deal for Kulikov to leave? That's a pretty big wish given he just had surgery and his contract is rather hefty for what he delivers. While he was a fix over former left side blue liner Mark Stuart, Kulikov still occupies a rather large chunk of salary which again becomes part of the current problem for the Jets.

The biggest issue here is that while last season saw some activity on the UFA front with Mason and Kulikov this year would seem to be the opposite with the Jets managing to keep their roster intact. In fact though it might be more of addition by subtraction, simply because it will be necessary to keep the right pieces here.

Given the predicament with the salary cap and the Jets Kevin Cheveldayoff has a different set of problems than in past years. This is the moment or time we see if he can manage this to ensure his team continues success without taking a huge step back, as that's a possibility.

More as it happens.
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