The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to a three-year, $6.2 million contract with defenseman Grant Clitsome, according to the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe. That means he will avoid the unrestricted free agent market.
The 28-year-old had four goals, 16 points, and tied for the team high with a plus-10 rating in 44 games last season. He’s a physical defender that blocks shots while chipping in a bit shorthanded and with the man advantage.
This deal represents a meaningful increase over his previous cap hit of $1.25 million and gives the Jets four defenseman locked in to one-way deals, including Tobias Enstrom, Dustin Byfuglien, and Mark Stuart.
The Jets last noteworthy defenseman that can become an unrestricted free agent is Ron Hainsey. He averaged 22:51 minutes in 47 games last season. Hainsey, 32, was also by far the team’s leader in shorthanded minutes.
With Clitsome off the market, the projected group of unrestricted free agent defenseman is even thinner. It might end up being headlined by Carlo Colaiacovo, Marek Zidlicky, Joe Corvo, Hainsey, and Rob Scuderi.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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