Saturday afternoon the Winnipeg Jets signed forward Matt Hendricks to a one year deal worth $700,000.
Before you go into a massive panic attack over what is essentially a minor league deal, take a breath and realize it’s August 26th.
Matt Hendricks signs 1 year, $700,000 contract with the Winnipeg Jets. Excellent leader.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) August 26, 2017
What you need to know about Hendricks
The NHL journeyman forward joins his fifth organization after spending the previous four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers. He’s also spent time with Nashville, Washington and Colorado.
Last season he played in 42 games, picking up four goals and seven points. He is known more for being a bit of a penalty kill and faceoff specialist and you’re of course going to hear terms like “great leader” and “character guy” being thrown around when talking about him.
In 521 career NHL games, he has 49 goals and 100 total points.
But he is pretty nifty on shootouts…
This is (probably) the Strait deal all over again.
Last summer, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff signed 29 year old Brian Strait to a one-year, one-way deal worth $600,000. Strait had previously played the past four seasons with the New York Islanders were he didn’t see any AHL time.
Strait only played in five total games with the NHL club near the end of January when injuries had decimated the Winnipeg blueline. Beyond that, Strait suited up for 58 Manitoba Moose games.
At this point in time of their development, players like Joel Armia and Nic Petan should not be sat in favor of playing Hendricks, and even knowing what kind of “quality person” Matt is on and off the ice, that shouldn’t – and likely isn’t – a reason he will earn a spot over those players.
There is zero reason to expect that the Jets have signed the 36 year old Hendricks to be anything other than a depth signing for the Manitoba Moose where he would be more useful helping the Jets young centers work on their faceoff skill as well as teaching some finer points of working the penalty kill.
Very happy to be joining the @NHLJets organization. Can't wait to meet the guys and get the season off to a good start!
— Matt Hendricks (@MattHendy26) August 27, 2017