NHL Free Agency 2013: Forwards the Winnipeg Jets should target

Claus Andersen

Though the Winnipeg Jets have a bounty of restricted free agents to re-sign, here's a list of players heading to the open market that may pique their interest.

The NHL Free Agency period officially begins today at 12:00PM EST as thirty NHL General Manager will vie to make subtle -- or in some cases desperate -- acquisitions in hopes that they can bring their clubs closer to a date with the Stanley Cup next June.

For the Winnipeg Jets, their main focus during the free agency period will be to lock up Alexander Burmistrov, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little and Zach Bogosian to long-term deals as the quartet of young guns will be instrumental building blocks for Kevin Cheveldayoff's roster going forward.


Having said that, the Jets are still a team with its share of deficiencies, namely a glaring lack of scoring depth outside of Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane. With their blue-line more or less set for the start of the 2013-14 season, we decided to take a look at a list of modestly priced players that could fit into a second or third line role with the Jets.

The following forwards would compliment Winnipeg's line-up quite well:


Brad Boyes

#24 / Right Wing / New York Islanders

6-0

195

Apr 17, 1982

2012-2013 Cap Hit: $1 million



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG SOG PCT
2013 - Brad Boyes 48 10 25 35 -6 16 1 0 1 97 10.3

Season GP TOI/60 Pts/60 Corsi Rel On-Ice Sht % On-Ice Sv% PDO Pen Take Pen Drawn OZ Strt%
2013 48 14.75 1.86 +4.9 8.20 881 963 0.4 0.5 60.1
2012 65 10.86 1.27 +1.9 6.55 948 1013 0.3 0.5 53.9
2011 83 14.11 2.05 +4.2 9.48 917 1012 0.5 0.5 54.0
2010 82 13.10 1.68 +1.3 9.30 911 1004 0.4 0.7 51.4

The Skinny: Brad Boyes has carved himself a nice career for a hockey player that's been a part of six franchises over the past decade. Though he reaped the benefits of playing alongside John Tavares for stretches last season, Boyes' body of work shows him to be a reliable contributor who fits in well on Winnipeg's second line and secondary power play unit. With Kyle Wellwood now off the books, Boyes would be a logical replacement.

Odds of signing in Winnipeg: 17.5%


Damien Brunner

#24 / Right Wing / Detroit Red Wings

5-11

184

Mar 09, 1986

2012-2013 Cap Hit: $1.35 miilion



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG SOG PCT
2012 - Damien Brunner 44 12 14 26 -6 12 3 0 1 123 9.8

Season GP TOI/60 Pts/60 Corsi Rel On-Ice Sht % On-Ice Sv% PDO Pen Take Pen Drawn OZ Strt%
2013 44 12.27 1.67 +1.7 8.42 908 993 0.4 0.8 59.3

The Skinny: Damien Brunner came into the NHL last season as a highly touted skill forward out of Sweden. However, unlike Fabian Brunstrom before him, Brunner actually lived up to the hype. In his first season in North America, he posted twenty six points as a member of Detroit's third line. His twelve goals ranked third on the Red Wings, just short of Pavel Datsyuk (15) and Johan Franzen (13). Much like Boyes, Brunner offers a skill upgrade for Winnipeg to slot into their top six if necessary.

Odds of signing in Winnipeg: 8.8%


Clarke MacArthur

#16 / Left Wing / Toronto Maple Leafs

6-0

191

Apr 06, 1985

2012-2013 Cap Hit: $3.25 million



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG SOG PCT
2012 - Clarke MacArthur 40 8 12 20 3 26 2 0 1 62 12.9

Season GP TOI/60 Pts/60 Corsi Rel On-Ice Sht % On-Ice Sv% PDO Pen Take Pen Drawn OZ Strt%
2013 40 12.96 1.50 +16.2 9.2 923 1015 0.8 0.5 45.7
2012 73 13.61 1.99 +7.2 9.5 914 1009 0.8 1.0 52.8
2011 82 13.97 2.25 +19.3 9.6 909 1005 0.5 1.2 49.5
2010 81 12.00 1.54 -1.1 7.3 907 980 0.6 0.9 47.2

The Skinny: Clarke MacArthur brings with him a blend of size, speed and skill which would compliment Claude Noel's coaching philosophy quite well. Despite being benched on-and-off throughout the 2013 regular season and playoffs, MacArthur is another sizeable upgrade to the depleted depth here in Winnipeg as he can play left wing, right wing or centre. Any trepidation toward MacArthur may be caused by his inflated cap hit which, at $3.25MM, is a tad high for the talent he possesses. All things considered, he's still a valuable signing.

Odds of signing in Winnipeg: 0.0% signed with the Ottawa Senators 2-years $3.25MM AAV


Viktor Stalberg

#25 / Right Wing / Chicago Blackhawks

6-3

209

Jan 17, 1986

2012-2013 Cap Hit: $875,000



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG SOG PCT
2012 - Viktor Stalberg 47 9 14 23 16 25 0 0 1 113 8.0

Season GP TOI/60 Pts/60 Corsi Rel On-Ice Sht % On-Ice Sv% PDO Pen Take Pen Drawn OZ Strt%
2013 47 11.57 2.10 +3.2 9.3 960 1053 0.8 0.9 63.9
2012 79 13.30 2.34 +11.8 8.1 902 983 0.9 0.9 63.6
2011 77 10.36 1.65 +11.0 7.3 899 972 1.3 1.4 60.3
2010 40 12.02 1.37 -2.8 4.8 900 948 1.0 1.2 62.2

The Skinny: Viktor Stalberg is fresh off his first Stanley Cup Championship and is due for an ample raise on top of the $875K he presently earns. Stalberg is another speedy yet gritty player who fits Winnipeg's system well and would likely be another second or third line tweener. The interesting rub with Stalberg is twofold: Firstly, Stalberg does have history with Kevin Cheveldayoff dating back to the 2010-11 season when both were employed by the Blackhawks. Secondly, the Jets recently acquired the services of Stalberg's former teammate, Michael Frolik, who could help sway the Swede into calling Winnipeg home.

Odds of signing in Winnipeg: 0.0% signed with the Nashville Predators 4-years $3MM AAV


Stephen Weiss

#9 / Center / Florida Panthers

5-11

190

Apr 03, 1983

Cap Hit: $3.1 million



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG SOG PCT
2012 - Stephen Weiss 17 1 3 4 -13 25 1 0 0 19 5.2

Season GP TOI/60 Pts/60 Corsi Rel On-Ice Sht % On-Ice Sv% PDO Pen Take Pen Drawn OZ Strt%
2013 17 13.74 0.51 -15.5 4.4 876 920 0.5 0.3 57.4
2012 80 15.19 1.88 -2.2 10.1 917 1017 0.8 0.7 55.6
2011 76 14.40 1.43 +0.1 7.7 907 984 0.8 0.3 47.6
2010 80 14.52 1.76 +10.6 9.2 915 1007 0.6 0.5 47.0

The Skinny: This may be more of a reach than anything but Stephen Weiss is one of if not the best two-way centres in this summer's free agency class. His face-off winning percentage has been north of 50% each of the last four years and though the numbers aren't overly impressive, Weiss instantly becomes Winnipeg's best centre and would facilitate the possibility of moving Bryan Little back to a more natural wing position. Having said that, Weiss will be a highly coveted commodity around the NHL which will drive up his price-tag on the open market. The odds of him landing in Winnipeg are slim.

Odds of signing in Winnipeg: 0.0% signed with the Detroit Red Wings 5-years $4.9MM AAV


Mikhail Grabovski

#84 / Center / Toronto Maple Leafs

5-11

183

Jan 31, 1984

2012-2013 Cap Hit: $5.5 million



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG SOG PCT
2012 - Mikhail Grabovski 48 9 7 16 -10 24 0 0 1 80 11.3

Season GP TOI/60 Pts/60 Corsi Rel On-Ice Sht % On-Ice Sv% PDO Pen Take Pen Drawn OZ Strt%
2013 48 13.34 1.12 +1.0 8.45 904 988 0.6 0.8 36.7
2012 74 14.78 2.08 +14.9 9.32 906 999 0.7 0.8 53.0
2011 81 14.73 2.06 +21.3 9.83 917 1015 1.1 1.0 50.2
2010 59 13.50 1.96 +13.6 7.65 903 980 0.3 1.4 55.1

BONUS FAN TARGET: We sent out a request via Twitter last night for our followers to vote on one player they wanted to target in this summer's free agency and an overwhelming segment of you voted for Mikhail Grabovski. It's evident that Grabovski is the most skilled player on our target list and he will likely be a coveted commodity for many General Managers looking to infuse skill into their roster. The Russian-born centre has done a remarkable job in carrying the play throughout his career, registering incredible Corsi Rel numbers in three of the past four seasons. Grabovski feasibly fits into a first or second centre role here and, like Weiss, provides more flexibility for Claude Noel. His salary may dip slightly after a sub-par 2013 regular season, but will it be enough for the Jets to make a considerable offer?

Odds of signing in Winnipeg: 0.1%

Below we have listed some of high-priced free agents set to hit the market and potential market bargains heading into the free agency period. If by chance a player you covet was missed, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments section.

High-Priced Free Agent Buys


Player Name Current Team Cap Hit
Jarome Iginla Pittsburgh Penguins $7MM
Mike Ribeiro Washington Capitals $5MM
Jaromir Jagr Boston Bruins $4.5MM
Nathan Horton Boston Bruins $4MM
Derek Roy Vancouver Canucks $4MM
David Clarkson New Jersey Devils $2.66MM

Potential Free Agent Bargains


Player Name Current Team Cap Hit
Pierre-Marc Bouchard Minnesota Wild $4.25MM
Benoit Pouliot Tampa Bay Lightning $1.8MM
Peter Mueller Florida Panthers $1,72MM
Matt D`Agostini New Jersey Devils $1.65MM
Boyd Gordon Phoenix Coyotes $1.32MM
Jochen Hecht Buffalo Sabres $1.25MM


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