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Winnipeg Jets Free Agency Plans in 31 Thoughts

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Winnipeg Jets v St Louis Blues - Game Six Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets are prepping for an off-season of uncertainty come July first nears. The Jets have many pending contracts that they have to fulfill. Besides Jacob Trouba (more on him tomorrow), Kyle Connor, and Patrik Laine there is also Brandon Tanev, Ben Chiarot, and Tyler Myers. First of all, the Jets are going to have to decide who they want to keep and who they want to let go. Elliotte Friedman touched on that issue in this week’s 31 Thoughts.

“I think Winnipeg is going to try and find a way to keep Brandon Tanev. It won’t be easy. He’s an unrestricted free agent who has worked hard to become an important player for them. They will also try to keep Ben Chiarot, another UFA. Then it gets tricky. It sure sounds like a bridge deal is coming for Patrik Laine. They want term for Kyle Connor — and the sense is he prefers that, too, but restricted free agent negotiations are a grind, now.

They’ve dangled Mathieu Perreault to ease their cap issues and are expected to do so again. The question is going to be, do they move someone else with a bigger salary? They really like Nik Ehlers, but he’s never scored in 21 playoff games. They’ll take time and think, because they do like his skill-set. But that could be a conversation. Jack Roslovic wants more of an opportunity, whether there or elsewhere. This may have changed, but up until late in the season, there were no talks with Tyler Myers.”

It’s a little worrying to prioritize Brandon Tanev and Ben Chiarot. I know Chiarot played well when he was a rookie and Dustin Byfuglien’s partner, but it seems like he has gotten way too much mileage from that one season. It is a player like Chiarot that should be allowed to leave because he is a dime a dozen player who can be replaced for cheaper if he even needs to be replaced from outside.

As for Tanev, he is good at his role, but the Jets could fill it fairly easily with a player from the farm or in Europe for cheaper. If that is the case, the Jets should move on. If Tanev is willing to take less to stay with the Jets, then sign him. He is not a make it or break it player for any team.

As for Tyler Myers: he is a third pairing defenceman being paid like a top four guy. It is bad cap management and whenever he plays higher in the lineup, bad things happen. It is time to say goodbye.