It has now been confirmed that Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom has made the move that everyone started hearing about last week... According to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston, Enstrom has signed a one-year deal with Modo, and in the process has been named captain of his former team.
The 33-year-old blue liner was left unsigned by the Jets this offseason after seemingly having a falling out with the team’s coaching and management staff following a frustrating season. After an impressive postseason, the Jets met in May to clean out their dressing room, and Enstrom was shining with his absence.
Enstrom was scratched from the lineup for the must-win Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights and the veteran defender was not happy with the decision, according to Jeff Hamilton and Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press. He was reportedly so upset with the club's decision, that he made one big move to express his anger. Following the elimination loss, Enstrom was nowhere to be found during the team's cleanout, when the rest of his teammates were cleaning out their dressing room. Reporters were even told he was "long gone", according to TSN.
McInytre had also reported that Enstrom was upset by head coach Paul Maurice's decision to sit him for Game 5, which ended up being his last contest in the NHL, claiming that he had made the sacrifice to play hrough the Western Conference Final with broken ribs. Unfortunately for Enstrom, Maurice denied that he had been playing through that injury during his season-ending news conference on Tuesday.
"No, he had dealt with broken bones in his feet during the year. But nothing broken," Maurice stated during his end of season press conference.
In just 43 games in an unfortunate season filled with injuries, Enstrom scored one goal and added five assists over the course of the year. While he did take part in 11 postseason contests this spring, he was unable to put his name on the scoresheet... His reactions to the lineup changes and the cleanout day had raised a lot of questions on his future in Winnipeg - it is now clear that he and the team are parting ways, and his reputation might have prevented him from signing with another NHL club.
While he was selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the eighth round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and has spent his entire 11-year career with the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise, he is now going back to Modo, where he played five seasons for the club before first coming to the NHL.