Report: Jets extend Drew Stafford with 2-year, $8.7 million contract

Thomas Drance
June 30 2015 01:25PM

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Photo Credit: J. Carey Lauder/USA TODAY Sports

It looks as if the Winnipeg Jets will retain Drew Stafford, the NHL-level piece that they received as part of the return in the Evander Kane trade, after all. ESPN's Craig Custance is reporting that the deal is done and that it's a two-year pact. Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman is reporting that the deal will pay Stafford $8.7 million in total, so it will carry a $4.35 million annual average value.

The news isn't a big surprise, as the Jets were reportedly working hard to retain the American-born middle-six winger prior to the opening of the market on Wednesday. Stafford, 29, is a reliable secondary scoring forward and managed nine goals and 19 points in 26 games with the Jets last season.

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #1 Justin Williams

Kent Wilson
June 30 2015 01:00PM

It's an indication of the strength of this particular UFA crop that Justin Williams comes in number 1 on our list. That's not to take anything away from the 33 year old, who has been a high-end winger for years. But his age and the fact that he's only scored in the 40-point range the last two seasons goes to show there isn't a lot of franchise changing players available to sign this summer. 

Despite those concerns, Williams remains a very useful player, in part because his value doesn't merely come from his offense. As one of the few wingers who has proven he can push possession over the years, Williams is a guy who can play up and down the line-up and provide quality minutes to whoever inks him.

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Why Mike Richards makes sense for the Jets, but like, as a Jim Slater upgrade

Garret Hohl
June 29 2015 12:26PM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Kings are buying out Mike Richards, which means he's now available to anyone as an unrestricted free agent.

Almost exactly a year ago, when there was discussion on the Kings using their compliance buyout on Richards, there were many discussing whether or not the Winnipeg Jets should sign Richards if he shook loose . He is from Kenora, On. after all and has both friends and family in Winnipeg. At the right price, Richards may be a plausible addition.

I responded with a resounding no, when there were others saying Richards would likely cost about 4 million in AAV.

Has anything changed? Read on past the jump.

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WIll You Play Hockey For Food?

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
June 29 2015 08:00AM

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The summer has quietly arrived. The weather is nice, people are looking for things to do, and unfortunately, watching hockey isn't one of their options. We've got lots of offseason stuff to talk about, but no games to watch. Of course, that's a first world problem; there are much more unfortunate things out there - such as the thousands of Canadian families who aren't able to afford to eat, especially in the months after holiday donations dry up.

Enter Five Hole For Food; an organization that aims to solve the latter via a solution for the former.

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TOP-10 UFA COUNTDOWN #2—MIKE GREEN

Lowetide
June 29 2015 06:00AM

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Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

The free-agent pool for 2015 lacks a complete defenseman but does offer a substantial offensive player in Mike Green. The Washington Capitals blue liner has majestic career stats that tower over most of the free agents available and he is one of the 10 best offensive producers from the 2004 entry draft. He turns 30 in October, is close to 600 NHL games in his career, and posted 45 points in 2014-15 for the Caps. What is Mike Green's actual value, and how far is that number from what he'll get? The mind boggles.

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