A pending RFA, Scheifele wants ‘to be with Winnipeg for a long time’

AP
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One of the NHL’s top pending restricted free agents doesn’t know — and says he doesn’t really care — what’s happening with his contract negotiations.

Instead, Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele is focused on representing Canada at the world championships in Russia.

“I don’t even know what’s going on with (the negotiations),” Scheifele told the Winnipeg Sun. “That’s not my job. My job is to play hockey and I’m over here to win a gold medal. My agent can take care of the rest. Obviously my goal is to be with Winnipeg for a long time. We’ll see what all transpires this summer.”

Scheifele, 23, had an outstanding 2015-16, scoring 29 goals with 32 assists in 71 games. His growth is a big reason to be optimistic about the Jets’ future. (Another reason? The second overall pick they won in the draft lottery, with which they’re expected to get Finnish phenom Patrik Laine.)

As for Scheifele’s next contract, it remains to be seen if the Jets will push for a long-term pact, like the Panthers did with Aleksander Barkov, or if they’d prefer a bridge deal, like the Blue Jackets did with Boone Jenner.

The Jets have another notable pending RFA in defenseman Jacob Trouba, so no shortage of things on GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s plate this summer.

Related: Michigan star Kyle Connor turns pro, signs with Jets