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Winnipeg GM has some work left to do

Jul 14, 2013, 9:21 AM EDT

Kevin Cheveldayoff Getty Images

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has some work to get done this summer.

The team hasn’t been overly active in free agency and perhaps that’s because they’ve got five key restricted free agents to get signed. Those five, who all filed for arbitration last week, include Blake Wheeler, Zach Bogosian, Bryan Little, Eric Tangradi, and Paul Postma.

Of that bunch, Little and Wheeler are two-thirds of their first line and Bogosian is a top-pair defenseman. Those are some potentially very costly contracts to get worked out. As Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe says, Cheveldayoff has no choice but open up the wallet to make sure these guys are taken care of.

According to, Winnipeg currently has the second-lowest payroll in the NHL at $45.8 million. Only the Islanders have a lower mark.

Jets owner David Thomson is one of the wealthiest people in North America. These signings will get done but you wonder why things play out like this.

  1. pavelfitzgerald - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Chevyaldayoff’s job is to get deals as cheap as possible while the player’s agents job is to get as much as possible – this is why it takes time.
    Just because Thompson has money doesn’t mean the Jets are just gonna back up a Brinks truck, this isn’t Philly, the Jets try to get value in their signings.

    • upper90cheese - Jul 14, 2013 at 8:03 PM

      That’s a load of crap. The Jets know they will sell out every night no matter what so they don’t go after great players b/c of cost. The ownership group is fine with loosing.

  2. thibbledorfpwent - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Value signings? Have you seen their roster? If so please send me whatever hardcore drugs you’re shooting

  3. ndnut - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Is Thompson running the Jets like a business and therefore is hindered by the size of the arena?

  4. crazemastercraze - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Nor are they the Leafs who feel its necessary to pay a 30 year old glorified grinder what a top four forward should be making

  5. capitals13 - Jul 14, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Its funny because Wheeler and Little should really be playing on the third line and Bogosian is a bottom pair defensemen at best. These contracts shouldn’t cost more than a couple million dollars.

    • nessgojetsgo - Jul 14, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      If you laid off your drugs you’d know Wheeler’s been our leading scorer two years in a row (plus LLW is responsible for around 29% of our goals), and Bogosian is now coming into his own and IMO is our best defenseman.

      But hey, you’re a Caps fan, so I don’t expect much.

      • capitals13 - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:55 PM

        Sure, I may be a Caps fan, but I was a Thrashers fan, I’ve seen this team play. Wheeler is at best a second liner, but even then just a good one. And being the best defensemen on the Jets isn’t exactly saying much. Other than Enstrom, theres not a quality D-men on that team. Neither is being the leading scoring on the Jets. Eventually, someone has to score and for them its Wheeler. Put him on an actual quality team and see how great he is. A good second liner at best. A similar case could be made for Little.

        But hey, I’m a Caps fan now, no reason to like that team when it left. I watch them from time to time and they’re just like my old Thrashers although a bit better. They got close this year, but the season cut off at the point where they always crash, its been that from years. Of course, I could be wrong, you should know more than me after all.

  6. ray2013 - Jul 14, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Bogosian, Wheeler and Little are all key RFAs, and the Jets should have locked them up a long time ago. I understand trying to keep costs reasonable, but these are the heart of the team, and Bogosian in particular would be a player a lot of teams would be interested in. Pay him or trade him.

  7. pavelfitzgerald - Jul 14, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Bogosian’s a bottom pair defencemen? That’s why he’s being discussed to be on Team USA’s Olympic roster .. ..
    Byfuglien’s signing was done before Chevy was involved & Ladd’s looks like a steal. Toby’s was too much in my opinion but he is one of the top offensive d-men in the league (when healthy) & look at what Karlsson & Letang make.
    Chevy’s building things the right way – not trading first round picks (like Forsberg) for mediocre talent (ala GMGM last year)

    • nessgojetsgo - Jul 14, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      Bogosian = one of the most underrated NHL defensemen

  8. frankiesweep - Jul 14, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    This just in… Nobody want’s to get stuck in Winnipeg…. If you have no options and they are going to pay you a “play in winnipeg tax,” then sure, but nobody w/ choices is going there.

  9. mclovinhockey - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Would love to pick up bogaoasians rights in Philly. Only could see it happening in a 3 way trade. Jets would have to get B. Schenn and flyers give up coburn and Mez to a 3rd party in which the Jets get a few more forward pieces back in that deal.

  10. unknowneric - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Seen above: Ted Danson and Adam Oates do their best “elderly Jimmy Stewart” impersonations.

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