Stafford finished with nine goals and 10 assists in 26 games for the Jets, an 82-game pace of 28 goals and 32 assists. Even in a limited sample, it reminded everyone that Stafford once scored 31 goals in 62 games for the Sabres.
Still, there are those who think the Jets should move on, perhaps in favor of top prospect Nikolaj Ehlers. Winnipeg also has to be mindful of its spending, considering Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd can become unrestricted free agents next summer.
Which takes us nicely into these tweets, from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said he will meet with the agents for his pending UFAs in Florida. Also said he's reached out to…
Much like in 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks are celebrating a triumphant Stanley Cup win. The unfortunate similarity seems to be that, with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane getting raises, key supporting cast members are likely out.
With the salary cap ceiling officially set at $71.4 million, that reality is even setting in for Toews, who shared this sobering comment during media availability heading into the 2015 NHL Awards.
“All of a sudden, it does feel a lot like 2010, where it’s imminent,” Toews said, according to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times.
In a way, it’s a metaphorical hangover from a Stanley Cup celebration … although Toews & Co. might still be recovering from (and creating new) literal ones.
I asked Jonathan Toews if the Cup party had finally quieted down a bit. "Well, we’re in Vegas. So you do the math on that one." #Blackhawks
As of this moment, General Fanager pegs Chicago’s cap space at about $7.35 million. That figure includes eight forwards, three defensemen and three goalies (Chicago has some breathing room with Scott Darling’s 2015-16 season being two-way). It also doesn’t include free agent concerns, which is certainly relevant with UFAs such as Johnny Oduya and RFAs including standout Brandon Saad.
Indeed, looking at this situation, it’s easy to see parallels from that first Toews-Kane-era Cup win, when the Blackhawks let Antti Niemi go following arbitration while being forced to trade away the likes of Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd.
Those losses hurt as the Blackhawks limped into the 2011 postseason, yet they obviously bounced back.
LeBrun notes that Chicago would be willing to take salary back in potential moves, though only to a certain extent. Getting something done fast would grease the wheels, too:
What is preferable for the Blackhawks, however, is to make the deal happen before the draft, in a perfect world. That way they could recoup a draft pick, which is key given what they gave up from this year’s draft for Antoine Vermette (a first-round pick, 30th overall) and Kimmo Timonen (second-round pick, 61st overall). Mind you, the Blackhawks do have the 54th-overall selection, a compensatory pick for not signing 2010 pick Kevin Hayes.
In other words, it’s wise for Toews to realize that times are changing … because some big moves could be coming as soon as this week.
Carl Klingberg announced today that he will begin “a great adventure” with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the Kontinental Hockey League.
The move, which confirms an earlier report by Igor Eronko, means that the Rangers have lost the only asset they acquired in the Lee Stempniak trade with the Winnipeg Jets back in March. Klingberg was a restricted free agent this summer after completing his one-year, two-way contract that came with a $650K cap hit at the NHL level.
The 24-year-old forward had 17 goals, 41 points, and 45 penalty minutes in 64 AHL games in 2014-15. He also has a goal in 12 career NHL contests.
The then Atlanta Thrashers selected him with the 34th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
His younger brother is defenseman John Klingberg, who enjoyed a breakout 40-point campaign in 2014-15.
Bernier, 26, just wrapped a two-year, $5.8 million deal with an average annual cap hit of $2.9M. In case you’re wondering about the differences between team- and player-elected arbitration — aside from the obvious — a few things to pass along:
• A player can only be subjected to team-elected arbitration once in his career. A player can elect arbitration himself as many times as possible, so long as a qualifying offer has been made.
• Players can still receive offer sheets after being subjected to team-elected arbitration (deadline is July 5).
• Team-elected arbitration must be filed within 48 hours of the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final.
For historical context, three players were subjected to team-elected arbitration last summer:
• Michael Frolik, Winnipeg. The two sides agreed to a one-year, $3.3 million deal before the hearing.
• Ryan O’Reilly, Colorado. The two sides agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal before the hearing.
• Vladimir Sobotka, St. Louis. Arbitrator awarded Sobotka a one-year, $2.725 million deal. Sobotka then proceeded to sign in the KHL.
Bernier went 21-28-7 for the Leafs last year, posting a .912 save percentage and 2.87 GAA. His counterpart in goal, James Reimer, is heading into the last of a two-year deal worth $2.3 million annually.
Jets ink d-man Chiarot to two-year, $1.7M extension
After a solid rookie campaign, Ben Chiarot has re-upped in Winnipeg.
On Thursday, Chiarot agreed to a two-year, $1.7 million extension with the Jets, the club announced. The deal carries an average annual cap hit of $850K, up from the $600K he made annually on his last contract.
The 24-year-old scored eight points in 40 games this year, missing a fairly significant chunk of time to a broken hand. Recalled in December with the Jets facing a rash of injuries on defense, Chiarot impressed enough to become a regular in the rotation, averaging over 17 minutes a night while playing in a pair of playoff games during Winnipeg’s opening-round sweep at the hands of Anaheim.
At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Chiarot’s extension means Winnipeg’s blueline will continue to boast a physical presence, as he’s locked in alongside Dustin Byfuglien (6-foot-5, 260 pounds), Tyler Myers (6-8, 219). Jacob Trouba (6-2, 200) and Mark Stuart (6-2, 213).