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WWYDW: RFA Madness

With other teams locking up young talent a year early it’s not a bad time to look at the cap situation for the next year or two.

As it stands, the Jets have everyone signed they need to sign for this year with $8.27 million in space to spare. Looking forward to next offseason, there are handful of RFAs that will need to be signed. The notable ones in that list are Trouba, Ehlers, and Morrissey. It’s safe to assume that those three are going to take up most of the space available and in the case of Ehlers and Trouba, it would be good to lock them up now. Hellebuyck will also need a contract, but we know that his qualifying offer is at least $2 million so it’s easy to plan for his contract compared to the others.

Looking on the back end, Trouba has a qualifying offer of $3.5 but he’s rightfully due for a raise. Ideally, he would sign for his qualifying offer and save everyone a headache, but contracts don’t work like that and it’s possible that he’ll get a bit over $5 million AAV. With Enstrom coming off the books there will be room for that type of deal. Seeing that he’s arbitration eligible, we might not see an extension this summer and it could drag on through next summer, causing that aforementioned headache.

Another defenseman that becomes an RFA next summer is Morrissey but I don’t think he’ll get too much higher than his qualifying offer and there is no reason to rush out and sign him this summer. He’s only a rookie and the team most likely wants to see how he plays next year before throwing money at him. He might be a player that gets a bridge deal next summer until the front office knows for sure what he can do.

For forwards, Ehlers has his RFA status lurking and like Trouba, he’s one that should be done this summer. His qualifying offer is a little bit over $800k and we’re all delusional if we think he’s signing for that little. If the team believes he’s part of the long term future, it’s possible we could see him sign a deal similar to Palat or Johnson, at around $3.3 million. On the low end, a good comparable is Niederreiter who signed for a hair above $2.6 million. I think a safe bet will be a shorter contract between those two numbers. With Laine’s extension able to be signed next summer I could see the team wanting to go conservative on the extensions handed out.

Since there is only $8 million space as of now and a slow rising cap, it’s impossible to know what other RFAs will get signed next summer or who will get moved before then. As it stands, it’s possible that we’re looking at the loss of Little to make it all work for everyone.

What Would You Do JetsNation?

How would you handle the cap space for the next crop of RFAs? How much do you think Trouba and Ehlers should get?  Do you think throwing money at Morrissey right now is the better option?

Let us know what you think in the comments below, @ reply us on our Twitter page or leave us reply on our Facebook page.

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  • Arctic_Attorney

    They have $8.27mil in cap space this year according to this article (though Cap Geek says . Next year Sean Mathias comes off the books, saving $2.15mil, minus the salary of whoever they replace him with on the fourth line. Stuart’s buyout cap hit is $850 lower. Enstrom’s $5.75mil, minus whatever his replacement costs, comes off the books. If they sign Trouba long term they’ll almost certainly trade Meyers away (otherwise the RD alone is around a $20mil hit).

    All of which is to say that we do have space. If everything is properly managed we’ll be fine.

    • Travis

      Other players which will probably not return:

      Tanev @ $700K
      Sgarbossa @ $650K
      Hutchinson @ $1.15M

      True, we’d need to replace Tanev and Sgarbossa, but there should be enough kids on cheap contracts to do that. After replacements, that’s another $1M or so in savings. It can be done, provided we stop with the signing players like Kulkiov to contracts like that.

      We can probably safely assume that the savings from Matthias would cover Little’s contract, give or take. Enstrom could save us anywhere from $2-4M, depending on what he is replaced with (or what new contract we offer the aging vet), so assume $3M. Plus the above $1M, and Stuart’s reduction, it looks like we have about $13M to deal with next year’s contracts.

      Also remember: Trouba and Ehlers are already getting paid ~$3.7M combined, so even if we end up paying them $6-7M/year each, there is still some money left over for the other RFAs. Lowry, Armia, etc; at least $2.7M.

      The year AFTER that is when things really get interesting. Laine, Wheeler, Hellebyuck, Myers, Copp and Mason all looking for new contracts. Some of those may not return, but some will want BIG raises…

      • Mijets

        That argument is dead and old, only used by those from Deadmonton to make themselves feel better about missing the playoffs for 10 years. Why are you so negative? You resent living in your parents basement?

        • Chuck4

          LAKID is just a tool to create response , and that is sort of a good thing as this board and team needs more views and involvement to make this site grow. I will still trash his responses but try to get another to view the site.

          • LAKID

            Did you hear that Nation, where’s my cheque? Chuck you have a good point and please don’t trash the facts. All in fun Chuck ,but I have no ties to Edmonton.