The Winnipeg Jets’ roster is shaping up for the 2019-2020 season with two key exceptions: Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine. Both these forwards are still unsigned and as August creeps forward, it is becoming more and more of a concern.
The Jets do not have a lot of cap space. They have two key forwards they need to sign and only seventeen players on the roster period. The roughly $17.6 million they have on the cap should be enough if they are smart about it, but that means keeping both Laine and Connor to lower contracts. That might mean bridging both players to give the Jets a bit longer before long-term, big money contracts kick in.
It would make sense for both players to want a bridge contract: it gives them more time to prove themselves worthy of a big contract and it gives them time to see how high the salary cap will go. On the other hand, the Jets might want to try and get Laine locked up before he bounces back because goal-scoring is always at a premium. They might also want to see Connor on a different line more regularly before signing him to a big contract.
The Jets still have a lot to do to their roster in August. This includes signing both Connor and Laine to reasonable contracts that will not hamper the Winnipeg Jets in the short or long term. The Jets have already shed some salary when they traded Jacob Trouba and following this season, they will lose Dmitry Kulikov’s salary as well. If they can hold on for one year, their salary cap should get a bit better and they can afford to sign younger players to bigger contracts again.