Monday afternoon before the NHL’s deadline that was set at 4 PM CST, the Jets made qualifying offers to 12 of the 16 players who had pending restricted free agent status. The qualifying offers made by the club helped secure negotiating rights to those players.
The list of Jets who have been given qualifying offers is as follows:
Forwards: Adam Lowry, Nic Petan, Joel Armia, Marko Dano, JC Lipon, Chase De Leo & Brandon Tanev
Defensemen: Josh Morrissey, Jacob Trouba & Tucker Poolman
Goaltenders: Eric Comrie & Connor Hellebuyck
The Jets didn’t qualify four players and as such they will be Unrestricted Free Agents as of July 1. Those four are forward Jimmy Lodge, defensemen Jan Kostalek and Joe Morrow as well as goalie Jamie Phillips.
The only real surprise from either list is the that of Joe Morrow who was a trade deadline acquisition by the Jets this past March, and was in fact a player that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff had targeted last summer as a potential free agent addition. Morrow at the time had chose Montreal over Winnipeg due to familiarity with Habs coach Claude Julien which kind of backfired on him.
There is a chance the Jets could still bring Morrow back as they can continue to negotiate with him despite the lack of a qualifying offer.
An offer would have cost the Jets $710 thousand for a one year deal – a raise over the $650 thousand he made this past season – but the catch may have been that it would have been a one way deal, meaning if the Jets couldn’t find ice time for him with the main club, they could give him AHL playing time across the hallway with the Moose.
Morrow will likely explore his options and see what other NHL clubs will have to offer knowing what the Jets would have planned for him going into next season.
As for the other players that were given qualifying offers, they can agree to the qualifying offers – although in cases such as Trouba and Hellebuyck, it would be severely undercutting their real value – or reject them and continue to negotiate with the Jets or any other NHL club. They also have until July 5 to elect for arbitration. In the case of Trouba and Hellebuyck, turning down the qualifying offers also allows the Jets to elect for arbitration as it does for Jacob and Connor, unlike players such as Lowry and Dano who would would have to elect for it themselves which is pretty much standard procedure.
Electing to go the arbitration route also doesn’t prevent both sides from continuing to negotiate.
Josh Morrissey interestingly enough doesn’t have such arbitration rights, so he and the Jets will have to come to a contract agreement the old-fashioned way.
If you have a paid subscription to The Athletic (and really, you should.. it’s worth the money) Murat Ates has a fantastic breakdown of the Jets situation when it comes to arbitration.
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