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Winnipeg Jets sign Neal Pionk, go to arbitration with Andrew Copp

One down, many more to go.

New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets have avoided going to a second arbitration hearing this summer and signed Neal Pionk to a new contract worth $6 million over two years or $3 million/season. This is not a great value for what Pionk brings to the team which is not a lot unless we count his excellent last name.

On the other hand, Andrew Copp and the Winnipeg Jets have gone to arbitration. This means that they both submitted a number and then yesterday they had to defend their cases. The arbitrator usually picks a middle number which is why the player ask is so high and the team ask is so low. It reflects very little on how they actually value themselves and more on how the entire arbitration system works. The decision should come down sometime tomorrow, most likely when I am at work.

Outside of that, teams try to avoid arbitration because the hearings can get really tough. They have to call a decent player terrible to “win” the ruling. It is a truly not great experience so it makes sense that the Jets did not go to arbitration with Pionk. I am not certain what the dollar value is for the Jets to be allowed to walk away from Copp’s award, but I believe it is quite high.