Heading into August the NHL offseason starts to slow down and teams get ready for training camp to begin. Before you know it, preseason hockey will begin and we can all go back to watching hockey. However, there are still moves being made just not as big as some others. One of the quietest teams this offseason has been the Winnipeg Jets. Quiet isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Winnipeg finished last season at 37-35-10 and only missed the playoffs by seven points. Finishing over .500 in a season that saw a coaching change midway through isn’t that bad. Paul Marice took over after the firing of Claude Noel and led the Jets to a 18-12-5 record in the 35 games he coached. That led to Maurice being rewarded a four year contract extension from General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. In an offseason where the Jets didn’t have a huge roster turnover, the extension of Maurice may have been of the biggest moves for Cheveldayoff and the Jets.
Speaking of there being no huge roster turnover, the Jets were able to keep most of their squad for this upcoming season, unless a huge trade looms which seems unlikely. One player that seemed more than likely to be dealt was forward Evander Kane. Kane’s name swirled around trade rumors more than any other player throughout the beginning of the offseason and NHL Draft. Kane, only 22, still has his name swirling around but a trade shouldn’t be expected. He did regress last season only registering 41 points but did deal with some injury problems as well. Kane has all the talent in the world and with a full, healthy season upcoming, Kane should have a bounce back season. The “lack of maturity” Kane has been condoned with is something that may come with age, just like another Kane in the NHL.
Other moves the Jets made were the resigning off Michael Frolik, Keaton Ellerby, Matt Halischuk, Adam Pardy, and Chris Thorburn. Frolik and Halischuk, who were both resigned this week, seemed to have good chemistry on a line together last year and that may be a line heading into this season with Mark Scheifele centering the line. Another move the Jets made was signing free agent Mathieu Perrault to a three year deal worth nine million dollars. Perrault, 26, registered 43 points in 69 games with the Ducks last season. Perrault has also played in 22 playoff games with Anaheim and Washington and brings a bit of playoff experience with him to a team that was on the outside looking in last season.
Winnipeg didn’t make any big moves this season but added a 26-year-old forward for three years and resigned their head coach, Paul Maurice, to a four year extension. For a team who only missed the playoffs by seven points a rebuild wasn’t necessary, especially a team with a good amount of young talent like Winnipeg does.
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