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JN AirMail: Honka If You Want More RFA Talk!

We had some fantastic questions come in this week and couldn’t get to them all – we’ll carry over some for next week – but today the questions we answer revolve around a topic that won’t go away until it’s dealt with once and for all: The RFA status of Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor.

We also get into the status of Julius Honka, the Dallas Stars defenseman that has been rumored to have been shopped around a bit this summer and if he’s someone the Jets should look into getting.

JetsNation AirMail is where we ask for your questions, you either @ them to us on Twitter, send them to us on Facebook or even old school electronic mail them to us and then we answer them here!

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Eric M: Until we see how the current D corps play out, I’m not interested in any big overhaul attempts, but I appreciate the gumption in trying to truly assemble Finnipeg.

Sean S: Gotta wait to see what our blueline looks like first. We have some new faces and some young guys looking to make their mark. If by November it looks shaky, probably pull the trigger on trying to get someone like Honka, but trading in division will cost a premium.

Zee: Trading in the division will cost more than he may be worth to us. In some cases that’s fine but I don’t think Honka isn’t the magic bean for the defensive gap left behind by Trouba, so why sell the farm for him?

Sean O: Though an interesting option I wonder how Winnipeg feels about their current defensive roster and if there is any real interest. If we get to that point I think a big factor will be a cap space. I don’t think the Jets want to give up more prospects so a roster player will be in play.

Art M: Julius Honka is a former Swift Current Bronco and if you know me, you know I am all about that action so on a personal level I’d love to see the Jets go out and get him. Honka’s metrics over the last couple of seasons in Dallas haven’t been bad and depending who you talk to in Dallas he’s either been underutilized by coaches, or he hasn’t played well enough to cement a spot on the roster. I do think the Jets should wait until closer to camp if not the start of the the season to see what they have on their own roster, but if possible, Chevy should try to be first in line to get Honka if he can.

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Eric M: Possibly? The RFA contract signing logjam is an extreme of a trend we’ve seen in recent years, but I don’t actually know for sure if Chevy is waiting for anyone else to dictate the market or if he’s pulling his usual, quiet, behind the scenes magic. I’m going to err in favour of Chevy, because he hasn’t really let us down yet.

Sean S: It’s a classic Mexican Standoff. All the big RFA’s are waiting on one person to cave. Once the first deal is signed, I see every other one falling like dominoes. It’s not necessarily Marner, whoever signs first will set the market. I’m just sad the Aho contract didn’t set it already.

Zee: Marner may have been a thing in July, but August is when everyone is on vacation. All this freaking out about Laine not signing is just media being bored and looking to make something to write about. Give it about two weeks, people will be getting back from vacation and everything will start to shake out.

Sean O: To a point I think all the RFA’s are holding up each other, waiting for the first domino to fall. In Laine’s case however I believe there is a real difference in opinion between the team and the player. Laine is coming off a down year and probably wants a Bridge deal to really maximize earnings. For the same reason Winnipeg wants to lock him up long term.

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Art M: It’s a little bit of the entire RFA market waiting on each other to set prices and deals both in terms of long term contracts and bridge deals, but part of me also wonders if the Jets aren’t just waiting until they can get an agreement with both Laine and Connor at the same time. The Jets have just enough cap room to fit them both in, but if they sign one to a bigger than expected deal, then I feel like they might think they are leaving themselves open to be offer sheet’ed on the other player… At least that’s my conspiracy theory behind why the jets haven’t been more active in trying to lock them up.


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Sean S: I constantly see online some absolutely ridiculous numbers for both these players. Logically, Laine will be looking for short term, while I believe, if recent rumors are true, Connor is looking for long term. Most likely with them both around the same dollar amount in the 7-8 million dollar range. I’d like to see Laine at 3Yx8M and Connor at 8Yx7M. On the reverse side I’d imagine a long term Laine deal would be around the 10-11 million dollar mark, and a short term Connor deal around 6 million.

Zee: This could get interesting because Laine apparently won’t sign for less than 8 and is ideally looking for $10 million over 7 years. It would be interesting to see Laine in a bridge deal, though not ideal for the Jets it would give him the opportunity to prove himself after last year’s season.  What I think will probably happen with Laine/Connor is they’re going to have to split about $15 million, and if Laine takes $8 million, then that leaves 7 for Connor and I suspect term for him would be somewhere along the same. 

Sean O: Let’s start with Laine in this discussion. Laine is likely seeking a short term bridge deal while the team will be looking to lock him up long term given this past seasons stats. Either way, in the NHL you pay for goals and despite the half season slump, Laine can score. To lock him up long term right now you may be looking as high as 10 million AAV, short term I think the Jets will be happy between 7 and 8. I suspect Connor will sign long term around 7 million, though I am not convinced he has earned that contract yet.

  • The Jets shouldn’t trade or sign anymore 6/7 d-men until Niku, Poolman, Nogier and Stanley are given a fair chance to show what they can do. What’s the use in having a draft and develop philosophy if the head coach doesn’t give the kids a chance when they’re ready?