The Winnipeg Jets are having quite the busy day...
Earlier on Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens acquired goalie Steve Mason, forward Joel Armia and a pair of draft picks from the Jets in exchange for defenseman Simon Bourque. The pair of picks are a 2019 seventh round draft pick, and 2020 fourth round draft pick.
This is the move the Jets needed to make a salary dump and get enough money under the cap ceiling to re-sign star forward and pending free agent Paul Statsny. He was acquired from the St. Louis Blues at the February trade deadline in a shocking move and was one of the main reasons the Jets made it so far in the postseason.
However, the Jets made another trade on Saturday, a smaller one yes, but one that has an impact of the free agent market, which officially kick off tomorrow.
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period has revealed that the Jets have traded restricted free agent Chase De Leo to the Anaheim Ducks in return for another restricted free agent, Nic Kerdiles.
It might be just the beginning for the Jets and their busy offseason as they are trying their best to save enough cash for Statsny. A significant portion of their available salary cap room is set to go towards re-signing restricted free agents Connor Hellebuyck, Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey. And a year from now, Winnipeg will be due to pay RFAs Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine, and UFAs Blake Wheeler and Tyler Myers.
But the Jets are surely working hard to make it happen, even with smaller moves like this latest one.
“I should also mention that it does sound like Paul Stastny, there’s a good chance he’s remaining in Winnipeg right now,” NHL insider Chris Johnston told the FAN 960’s Big Show on Thursday. “That some of the other teams that thought they were in the mix on him have been told, for the time being, that he’s going to remain a Jet. That does involve the Jets clearing some room. Perhaps Mathieu Perreault gets moved on, Steve Mason another possibility just cause they have a lot of cap maneuverings to do this summer with their restricted free agents, but it does sound like he’s not going to hit the open market either and that he’s going to stay in Winnipeg after waiving his no-trade to go there at the deadline.”