Signings, Signings and more Signings

Trin Potratz
August 01 2014 06:21PM

On Tuesday the Winnipeg Jets signed budding winger Michael Frolik to a 1-year $3.3m deal, narrowly avoiding Frolik's arbitration date which was set for July 31.

The deal is a slight raise for Frolik who put $1.9m in his bank account last year and is an extra million over his 13-14 cap hit of $2.3m.

After news broke, it was mentioned that Frolik and his agent were discussing deal as long as five years in term with Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, so that's something that has to have the fan base excited.

(Sorry for the delay on these articles, as my internet went down and I couldn't post anything. I'm back now, locked and loaded!)

FOR NOW, THIS IS A BARGAIN

Last summer, The Jets swapped out a 3rd round and a 5th round pick to the cap-strapped defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks to acquire the useful forward. Frolik had only produced 10 points during the lockout shortened season, but was mainly utilized as a penalty killer and defensive specialist.

Frolik had been a scorer in Florida prior to his Chicago days, and he even scored 21 goals in his first two NHL seasons. After the swap to Winnipeg, Frolik saw his offense increase, and even found himself on the top line under Paul Maurice.

Still at only 26 years old, Frolik is entering his prime and may be set free to produce more and more offense on a team that needs it. It's not out of the question to suggest Frolik can eclipse his career highs of 21 goals and 45 points, especially if he sees more time in the top six.

The fact that Frolik is responsible at both ends of the ice makes him an intriguing player to watch and one that obviously has the approval from head coach Paul Maurice. Frolik's Corsi numbers are incredible especially considering he was used in a defensive role under Joel Quenville, and if he is set free, his production could reach 60 points.

LONG TERM DEAL?

"We talked about a two-year deal, a three-year deal, a four-year deal, and a five-year deal. We spent most of our time talking about a one-year deal and a five-year deal. That's what the last week of our discussions focused on. All of our discussions were professional and never were there any harsh words or animosity in any way." -Frolik's Agent Allan Walsh.

It's nice to hear that both sides were mutually excited during negotiations and that there was likely very little difference in the price. Knowing they discussed various scenarios and deals for the short and long term is comforting knowing there's a quality player and an eager organization that don't see divorce ahead. If that's not enough, maybe the next quote from Walsh to the Winnipeg Free Press will be more assuring.

"I want to make it very clear, Michael loves Winnipeg. He loves playing in Winnipeg. Michael told (The Jets) that he would love to sign long term and be part of what is getting built in Winnipeg..."

For an undesirable destination in the NHL, it's always good news to hear a player loves playing there, and a quality player at that. I'm not sure what he's referring to about what is getting built in the franchise, but maybe he knows something I don't. I think that Cheveldayoff is building through the draft and not much else. However, it must be enough to entice Frolik.

"Clearly, it's been mutually expressed that there is a strong desire to get something done. We expect to begin talking again and get something done well before the end of the season. That's our hope and our intention..."

That's good news once again. Even if Frolik hits the ground running next season, the Jets could have him signed long-term at a reasonable price. I tweeted that it's likely Frolik gets a deal reminiscent of the deal the Oilers gave Benoit Pouliot. How does 5 years sound at $4 million per???

HALISCHUK RETURNS

Not long after it was announced that Frolik had signed a new deal, the Jets also brought back Matt Halischuk on a 2-way deal worth $725K. Halischuk produced 5 goals and 5 assists in 46 games with the big club, and he is a much better option on the 3rd and 4th line wingers than the likes of Tangradi, O'Dell, Thorburn and Peluso.


Many remember Matt Halischuk scoring the "Golden Goal" for team Canada at the 2008 world juniors, and ever since then i've kept a close eye on him. He's only 26 years old and has been a marginally productive NHL forward, scoring a career high of 28 points with the Nashville Predators during the 2011-12 NHL season.

The fact that Halischuk is signed to a 2-way deal means there's a high chance of him spending some time with the St.John's IceCaps if he loses a spot to the likes of Eric O'Dell, Carl Klingberg or Scott Kosmachuk, but I think he starts the season with the Jets.

I CALLED ONE!!!!

Today, it was announced that the Winnipeg Jets had signed TJ Galiardi to a 1-year, 2-way deal, and if you click the link here, you'll see that I called it!

Yay for me.

Anyways, Galiardi is a player who at one time was a prized prospect of the Colorado Avalanche, and in his rookie season it looked like Galiardi was a future top six forward. Galiardi scored 39 points in the 2009-10 season, but he has yet to come close to those kind of numbers.

He was eventually traded to the San Jose Sharks in a deal that saw Jamie McGinn go the other way. Galiardi struggled to produce even when playing with Joe Thornton for extended periods of time. He was then flipped to his hometown Calgary Flames last summer, and was not given a contract by the club.

Galiardi will come in to Jets camp motivated to earn a spot on the bottom six wing, and he has a really good chance considering the weak competition. It's a nice, low-risk signing for Cheveldayoff that could see Galiardi resurrect his NHL career. If he doesn't, I hope he enjoys the East Coast.

CONCLUSIONS

The signings of Galiardi and Halischuk do make the Jets better than they were, but this still isn't a group that is going to scare opponents, and likely won't make the Jets a playoff team. 

Hey, at least it's nice to have something new to talk about. Come on Chevy!!!! 

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Potratz is SAIT Journalism graduate and has worked as a reporter for the Grande Prairie Daily-Herald Tribune and Strathmore Standard. After keeping his own personal blog at www.potratzhockey.com he aspired to join the Nation Network. Follow him on Twitter @PotratzHockey
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#1 Kenta
August 02 2014, 07:58AM
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TJ will fit in well with the Jets. He has allot of skill but needs some stability and confidence to put it all together. The Flakes let him go because they have an abundance of bottom 6 players and prospects.

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#2 Karlos
August 10 2014, 04:03PM
Trash it!
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I like the Galiardi signing,I think they could've and still could do better but he's still young and has some upside maybe. It's not a huge amount so if it doesnt pan out it's no big loss. They shouldn't have signed Halischuk, too small and doesn't bring enough to fill a roster spot. I'd rather have seen Setoguchi signed on a one year $1.5 type deal, he was a decent scorer in the past, maybe a full year under Maurice and he might of proved his worth, not only to the Jets but the whole league. The best case scenario for this squad is one of the prospects makes the team out of camp and contributes at least 30+ points.

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