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Category: Winnipeg-Jets

Afternoon Line- Paul Maurice

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Note The New Tiebreaking Procedure

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And Eight-Year Contract For Josh Morrissey And The Winnipeg Jets

WINNIPEG, Sept. 12, 2019 - The Winnipeg Jets announced today they have agreed to terms with defenceman Josh Morrissey on an eight-year contract with an average annual value of $6,250,000.

Morrissey, 24, played in his third full season with the Jets in 2018-19, setting career highs in assists (25), points (31), and time on ice (22:24). The Calgary, Alta. native added an assist in six playoff games for Winnipeg last season. He made his postseason debut with the Jets in 2017-18, posting two points (1G, 1A) in 16 games as the Jets reached the Western Conference Final. Morrissey made his Jets debut in 2015-16 after playing parts of six seasons in the WHL and he has skated in 223 NHL games and recorded 77 points (19G, 58A).

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Video- Season Preview For The Winnipeg Jets

from Tim Campbell of NHL.com,

The Winnipeg Jets face plenty of questions as they approach this season.

The biggest involves the status of unsigned restricted free agent forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor, two of Winnipeg's most important offensive weapons.

The Jets also have to replace three key veteran defensemen, leading to concerns that their window to win the Stanley Cup is closing.

Winnipeg lost in the Western Conference First Round in six games to the St. Louis Blues last season after reaching the conference final against the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-18.

"If you're looking for any extra motivation, it's great," defenseman Josh Morrissey said. "Being a team that went from the Western Conference Final to not having a great season last year, now all of a sudden I'm not reading too much in the media, but it's hard not to hear about the window -- is it closing? -- and things like that.

"It doesn't come from wanting to prove people outside the team wrong, but we believe in ourselves, and we have a really tight-knit group and it's changed a little bit, but that mindset is still there."

continued

Below, watch the preview on the Jets.

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Pressure Mounting To Sign The RFA’s

from Tim Campbell of NHL.com,

Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and the Winnipeg Jets figure to soon feel a heightened sense of urgency with each unrestricted free agent forward unsigned and the season approaching, coach Paul Maurice said.

"The pressure on both sides kind of comes at the same time, that the closer you get to the season, the more pressure comes on the team and the player to get a contract signed," coach Paul Maurice told NHL.com in a recent interview. "We'll see that mount and we're hopeful (they'll be signed) by the time the puck drops. You want everybody at camp, absolutely, but you really hope everybody's done by the time the season starts."...

Laine and Connor are among the prominent unsigned restricted free agents. They include forwards Mitchell Marner of the Maple Leafs, Mikko Rantanen of the Colorado Avalanche, Brayden Point of the Lightning, Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks and Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames, and defensemen Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers, Charlie McAvoy of the Boston Bruins and Zach Werenski of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"The view from the outside might be that there's something wrong because none of these guys are signed," Maurice said. "The truth of the matter is that it must be completely normal because none of these guys are signed.

"When you look at the block of players, not just our two ... that are all in the same boat, you would say we're no more worried than anybody else in this position. If yours were the last two guys who weren't signed, you'd be concerned because there would at least be contracts out there that would tell you where the lamp post is. Everybody wants these contracts done but we all knew this was going to be late, that it wasn't going to happen early because they're almost moving en masse. I think once one or two go, they'll all line up."

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Patrick Laine Seems A Bit Unsure About His Future With Winnipeg

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Patrik Laine says contract talks with the Winnipeg Jets have been non-existent all summer and he isn’t sure what it means for his future with the team.

As one of several prominent NHL restricted free agents still without a new deal, the sniper is currently entering the late stages of summer training under a cloud of uncertainty. Speaking before the Finnish Alumni All-Star Game about an hour north of Helsinki, Laine told Sportsnet that he’s confident he’ll playing "somewhere" next season.

He just doesn’t know if that somewhere will be Winnipeg.

"Well you never know. It’s still business, you’ve got to be prepared for anything," Laine said Friday. "But yeah, you never know where you’re going to play next year so I’m just prepared for anything."

continued

added 4:37pm, Video of Laine talking with Johnston is below.

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Young RFAs In Winnipeg Still Unsigned

from Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press,

I hate to be the proverbial dark cloud, but we're well into the dog days of summer, with the August long weekend in the rear-view mirror, and two of the Winnipeg Jets' biggest offensive weapons are still without contracts.

Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor combined to score 64 regular-season goals last year, which amounts to just under 24 per cent of the 272 times the team lit the lamp. And they did it on the cheap, in the final year of entry-level deals that carried cap hits of just $925,000 each, not including performance bonuses.

There will be no such bargain going forward as the restricted free agents are set to deservedly cash in on their success so far. But when, and at what price, remain burning questions. And with the start of NHL training camps about a month away, you'd think the urgency would be picking up, right?

After all, if the Jets are to make any noise this coming season, they're likely going to need more contributions from the likes of Laine, 21, and Connor, 22, given that internal development and growth appears to be the primary game plan. Having one or both of them unavailable due to a prolonged contract impasse would be very bad for the on-ice business.

read on

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All Mark Scheifele

from Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com,

How difficult has it been to see the likes of Myers, Trouba, Chiarot and Tanev leave this summer especially after being part of the Jets' success the past couple of years?

"Obviously it's tough to see good friends go like that. Jacob is one of my best friends. We started in the League together and have been best friends ever since. Myers is a good friend. So is Chiarot. So is Tanev. It's always tough seeing a friend go and knowing you're not going to be with them next year."

The Jets have been eliminated by the eventual Western Conference champion the past two seasons. First it was the Vegas Golden Knights in 2018, then the St. Louis Blues who went on to win the Stanley Cup in 2019. Is there any consolation in that?

"It takes a lot to get to the Stanley Cup Final, and in the end, you know you've lost to a good team. But at the end of the day you know there was a chance you could have been there. The same goes for [the] Toronto [Maple Leafs]. They went through the exact same thing in losing in the First Round to a Boston Bruins team that also went to the Final. A bounce here, a bounce there, a few lucky breaks and you think about how it might have been you that got there. It's certainly no consolation but you know what to fix and what to work on. That's the good thing about hockey. You know what to think about and go from there. You've just got to keep working hard."

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Winnipeg Jets Still Have Work To Do

from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,

And sure, with July 1 just around the corner and the free agency frenzy about to begin, you can be sure Cheveldayoff and his management team have been doing their due diligence and exploring their options.

But with three key restricted free agents still to sign in forwards Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Andrew Copp, the Jets aren’t going to be overly active in free agency – at least not outside of locking down their own players.

During the courting period, numbers being tossed around for pending unrestricted free agents are high, which is natural for this time of year.

“It’s not July 1 yet, but it’s approaching July 1, so you’re never surprised when you see some of those things,” said Cheveldayoff. “But, again, you’ve got a cap, so essentially you’ve got a pie and there are only so many ways you can divvy it.”

Laine and Connor are part of the high-end crop of restricted free agents that are looking to change the landscape regarding players coming out of entry-level deals.

They’re expected to be seeking long term, big-ticket deals.

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Winnipeg Jets Have Salary Cap Decisions To Make

from Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press,

Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Andrew Copp, Neal Pionk, Nathan Beaulieu and Joe Morrow are all restricted free agents who need new deals. In the case of Laine and Connor, could another NHL club try to take advantage of Winnipeg’s financial woes and sign them to an offer sheet the Jets would either be forced to match or lose the player in exchange for draft pick compensation?

That could happen as early as July 1, so buckle up.

Tyler Myers, Brandon Tanev, Ben Chiarot and Par Lindholm are the key unrestricted free agents who are now able to speak with other possible suitors about signing with them beginning next Monday as well. Myers, for example, met Sunday with the Vancouver Canucks. The clock is ticking, their time in Winnipeg likely coming to an end.

To get all the RFAs signed and have any hope of retaining a UFA, or two, some salary is going to have to be shed. Mathieu Perreault and Dmitry Kulikov are two names being talked about as potential victims of the cash crunch.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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