If you were waiting for this shoe to drop, you may now stop pacing outside the MTS Centre and relax: the Winnipeg Jets today announced inking RFA Paul Postma to a two-year, one-way contract which will bring him to unrestricted free agency. And since they're a team which exists in the second decade of the 21st century, they also released contract terms (AAV of $887,500). The contract's length and value are trivial, but its roster implications are where there's potential for intrigue.
Having The Postman™ under contract now gives Winnipeg ten defencemen (plus Josh Morrissey, whom I am not going to consider) that could realistically be on the opening day roster: lefties Tobias Enström, Ben Chiarot, Grant Clitsome, Mark Stuart, Jay Harrison and Adam Pardy, as well as four righties in Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers, Jacob Trouba and now Paul Postma. However, a quick process of elimination shows that reports of a troublesome overabundance may be exaggerated.
My first reaction upon hearing the news was to wonder how Grant Clitsome's back is. Might he start the season on IR or even LTIR? At the very least, he is an unknown as Ken Wiebe tweeted:
Health of Grant Clitsome (coming off a second back surgery) remains a question mark. Seems likely #NHLJets will carry 8 D on 23-man roster— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeSunSports) July 10, 2015
If Grant Clitsome remains on the shelf and Winnipeg are looking to carry eight defencemen on their active roster, that leaves only one more defenceman to be pushed out of the picture. I would be very skeptical of the Jets' ability to sneak Postma through waivers, unless they pulled a Jacob Markstrom and made it happen early enough where other teams' training camp situations hadn't yet played out. As has been discussed both here at Arctic Ice Hockey and among our frenemies, Postma is found money on the third pairing and losing him for nothing would be far from ideal.
The team might have an easier time getting Jay Harrison or Adam Pardy through unclaimed, and even in the event said player was plucked from the waiver wire, the Jets would still be left with the one who remained (plus Mark Stuart). It's also worth mentioning that with the resurrected Manitoba Moose, the recalled/reassigned dynamic should be made easier next season.
A tip of the hat to AIH member J-CA, who played the role of Paul Revere on this in the Comments section of an earlier article.