Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Anybody with spare coffee beans, please ship to MTS Centre, c/o Kevin Cheveldayoff. The Winnipeg GM might be the busiest executive in the business this summer as the Jets enter their third season of post-Thrasherdom.
Cheveldayoff will have to figure out what to do with five significant restricted free agents: ex-Bruin Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Zach Bogosian, Paul Postma, and Eric Tangradi. All filed for arbitration on Wednesday. It is the highest number from one team in the NHL.
This is the third time Wheeler has filed for arbitration. The first was with the Bruins, when he was awarded a one-year, $2.2 million contract. Wheeler and the Jets agreed on a two-year, $5.1 million extension prior to his second hearing.
Wheeler and Little, his center, will score big raises via arbitration or negotiation. Wheeler scored 19 goals and had 22 assists last season. Little scored seven goals and had 25 assists. Little is coming off a three-year, $7.15 million contract.
Bogosian is also due a bump. He trailed only Dustin Byfuglien in average ice time on the team last season. The 22-year-old, picked third overall behind Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty in 2008, projects to be a first-pairing defenseman.
The Jets have space to accommodate all their RFAs. They will not be cheap. Cheveldayoff may have no choice but to open up the checkbook. The Jets must build from within or via trade. Players do not have Winnipeg atop their preferred destinations because of the weather and yet-to-develop winning culture. If they’re competing against teams in more temperate locations, the Jets must pay a premium, which is unwise from a cap perspective.
more plus other NHL topics...
via the Jets' website,
Kevin Cheveldayoff, General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, has issued the following statement today in regards to the signing of Alexander Burmistrov by Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL:
“Through our conversations and correspondence with Alex and his agent, it became apparent Alex had a desire to continue his development as a young player in the KHL. He remains a very talented player within the Jets organization and we will continue to monitor his progress and development going forward.”
Details to follow...
This extension will take Noel through the 2014-15 season.
from Gary LawLess of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Dustin Byfuglien is going to be mentioned in trade talks as the NHL draft draws closer and the talking point that will be raised again and again is his weight.
It was evident Byfuglien grew heavier this season as the games moved on and according to accredited Jets blogger Pete Tessier, the player's weight rose to 302 pounds by season's end.
If there's any truth to this number, Byfuglien is virtually untradeable. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff can't engage in trade talks with another GM and keep Byfuglien's weight off the table until the very end -- then hit his colleague with an, "oh, by the way, Buff's a little big right now."
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The Winnipeg Jets cannot and will not move forward as a team with Byfuglien as he is currently constructed. He is a foundation piece and his half-the-time good and half-the-time bad output leaves the team with unsure footing.
The guessing and hoping has to end. It has to be now or never, where Byfuglien is concerned. He's either going to decide to be elite and do what is necessary to reach that level or he's going to continue to depreciate.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff must determine whether Byfuglien is on the verge of a breakthrough. Will Byfuglien transform into a defenceman the Jets can count on every night? Or will it be the status quo?
If it's the latter, it's time to part ways.
Trade him now while there is still value. The perfect deal likely won't be out there but not moving will haunt this franchise.
This segment recently aired on TSN.
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The final score was 4-2 for the visiting Montreal Canadiens and by the time the buzzer arrived, there was no steam left in the players or the fans. The promise of this season had been broken. And hearts in Jets jerseys, both on the ice and in the stands, were stopped.
The Jets, having been dealt one final cruel blow, had nothing left to offer. Their will had been broken. Weeks of tottering on an emotional ledge had taken its toll, and now with their fate determined, the Jets went fetal. No fight, no push-back, no nothing.
Taking its cue from the players, the audience many consider the best in hockey lost its voice.
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.
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