James O'Brien

Winnipeg Jets vs Carolina Hurricanes

Report: Byfuglien, Ladd, Trouba asking for combined $152M from Jets


It’s one thing to acknowledge the abstract thought that it would be expensive to re-sign Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd and Jacob Trouba. Getting a more concrete idea of the possible costs is downright jarring.

The Winnipeg Free Press cites “league and player sources” in placing their combined starting asking prices at a whopping $152 million.

(Take a moment to read the full article, it’s absolutely worthwhile …)

Update: For what it’s worth, Trouba’s agent denies this report.

It would break down as such:

Byfuglien: $55 million over eight years ($6.875 million cap hit)

Ladd: $41 million, six years ($6.833M cap hit)

Trouba: $56 million, eight years ($7M cap hit)

Here’s a quick way of looking at the raises that would come from these asking prices.

More on the cap impact

When you break down that $152 million into yearly chunks, it’s all a bit more digestible, yet it’s also clear that the Jets would be forced to make enormous decisions about their long-term future here.

If they were to agree to those terms, it would mean a cap hit of about $20 million for those three players.

Looking at Cap Friendly’s estimate of $43.07 million for the Jets’ current 2016-17 cap hit, that would put Winnipeg to more than $63.07 million for just 19 players.

Risk and reward

Byfuglien is 30 right now and would be 31 before that potential extension kicks in. Andrew Ladd just turned 30 himself. Trouba’s the baby of the bunch at 21, though that means there’s also a little more mystery to his ceiling.

(Winnipeg only needs to look to Tyler Myers‘ troubles to see that not every blue chip blueliner justifies a huge raise.)

For a team that’s currently ranked second-to-last in the Central Division, that can’t be an easy rush of information to digest.

Conversely, for a team that struggles to attract free agents to Winnipeg, it might be tough to stomach the departure of key players who still have some years of quality play in them (or potential for even bigger things in the case of Trouba).

So, what would you do if you were Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff? For an executive who draws criticism for perceived inaction, he has some serious work to do during the next several months.

Oscar Klefbom’s injured, but Oilers don’t think it’s major


Good news for the currently feel-good Edmonton Oilers: it sounds like Oscar Klefbom‘s injury is insignificant.

Head coach Todd McLellan seemed upbeat about the young defenseman’s status, even if he’s not traveling with the Oilers for their four-game road trip. At least not yet.

Klefbom suffered a hand/finger injury, but it sounds like things are better than originally feared.

Ultimately, it appears as if one pricey blueliner will be out, and another one will get back in, as Nikita Nikitin or Andrew Ference may re-enter the Oilers’ mix on Sunday.

As well as things are going on this five-game winning streak, Edmonton’s record sits at 13-15-2, so losing Klefbom for an extended amount of time would be a significant blow. These situations can be fluid, yet this is pleasant news so far.

Ouch: Couture to miss next five games (at least) for slumping Sharks

Alec Martinez, Logan Couture

Well, look on the bright side San Jose Sharks fans; at least the Pacific Division’s really bad.

It’s best to keep muttering that in your head if you root for the Sharks, as this next bit of news isn’t going to improve your outlook for a team that’s currently on a six-game losing streak.

Couture’s latest lower-body injury will sideline him for at least the next five games:

Ouch, times five.

All five of those games are on the road, including challenging contests in Montreal, Chicago and Los Angeles.

But yeah, the Pacific’s really bad, so at least there’s that.

(Laughs nervously.)

Original Fix? Leafs will reportedly use new logo, uniform next season


From the “Seriously?” files, it sounds like the Toronto Maple Leafs might use a new logo and uniform during the 2016-17 season.

(No, it’s probably not a rendering of Steven Stamkos smiling with a bunch of money.)

Sports Logos.net’s Chris Creamer was the first to report the potential change:

TSN’s Frank Seravalli points out that Creamer has broken uniform/logo news before, while Rick Westhead adds more fuel to the fire:

Interesting that Westhead went out of his way to note that some fans might like it, huh?

The Leafs/MLSE didn’t confirm or deny these rumors to Sportsnet, merely saying “We will be announcing centennial plans in the new year.”

Do note that they still didn’t exactly say “Yes, we’re making a change,” either … so you never know.

As unthinkable as this seems at first, the Buds aren’t exactly shooting this down. It’s also important to note that, as iconic as this team’s scheme and logo may be, it’s not exactly as if it’s never gone through changes.

Granted, it’s been a long, long time.

If nothing else, it’s provided some entertainment on the Internet.

Get ready for the Stamkos ‘circus’ in Toronto on Tuesday

Jon Cooper, Steven Stamkos

If you don’t like reading about Steven Stamkos going to the Maple Leafs, this would be a good week to shield your eyes.

The Tampa Bay Lightning head to Toronto on Tuesday a mere week after hockey Twitter exploded over Stamkos’ social media misadventure/deliberate trolling, and yeah, it’s going to be quite the scene.

Just look at this great story from the Tampa Bay Times that forecasts some craziness.

“It’ll be an absolute circus,” TSN’s Jamie McLennan said. “Steven Stamkos gets enough fanfare down (in Tampa), times that by 320 on Tuesday. It’s going to be insane.”

(Aside: interesting number choice by McLennan, right?)

To be fair to those who might make it Stamkos Central, it’s not as if either team is providing much further fodder.

The Leafs are, well, the Leafs. There’s a reason why people are obsessed with the possibility that Stamkos may sign with Toronto as an unrestricted free agent.

Things are rough for the Lightning so far in 2015-16, and it may be a bumpy week. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper believes that Tyler Johnson will miss at least the next three games while Jonathan Drouin and Ondrej Palat are banged up, as well.

In other Lightning news, Andrei Vasilevskiy was recalled.

Related: All about that liked tweet.