The Winnipeg Jets have retained restricted free agent defenceman Ben Chiarot by signing him to a two year, $2.8 million contract that carries a cap hit of $1.4 million a year. Chiarot is 26 years old.
Les Jets s'entendent avec Ben Chiarot. 2 ans / 2,8M$ total #tvasports— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 24, 2017
Chiarot broke into the league as Dustin Byfuglien’s partner, but the subsequent seasons have shown just how much Byfuglien carried him that first year. A decent skater, Chiarot has almost become a new breed of bottom pairing defencemen: good at skating, not good at everything else.
The Jets have such bad depth on defence, it makes sense to retain Chiarot and while the price is one that can be buried, the Jets would still take on some of the hit in the NHL if he is sent to the AHL at any point throughout his contract. With two defencemen (Mark Stuart and Toby Enstrom) without contracts in the 2018-2019 season and Paul Postma is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, retaining Chiarot for two years might have more to do with depth than anything else.
This contract is a $800 000/season raise for Chiarot. He will be a UFA at the end of his deal.