Coming into this offseason, the Winnipeg Jets had many areas of their team that needed to be addressed, which included locating a backup goaltender for next season. That said, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff didn’t waste any time checking off one of his goals for this winter.
Even though free agency doesn’t open until Oct. 9, Cheveldayoff decided to prevent goalie Laurent Brossoit from reaching the open market, announcing the team has re-signed the 27-year old to a one-year $1.5 million contract for the 2020-21 campaign.
#NHLJets have agreed to terms with goaltender Laurent Brossoit on a one-year contract with an average annual value of $1,500,000.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) October 2, 2020
While the Jets could’ve upgraded their backup netminder position, they decided to retain someone who’s spent the last two seasons inside their organization rather than acquiring an external player through free agency or via the trading market. Despite entering his seventh season in the league, Cheveldayoff admitted he doesn’t believe the 6-foot-3 goaltender has reached his ceiling just yet and is confident he can still take his game to another level.
“Obviously, LB [Laurent Brossoit] is a great person and we think he’s a goalie that still has not hit his ceiling with respect to getting better,” Cheveldayoff explained. “He works extremely hard, he’s a great teammate and again for us the cap and the cost-effectiveness of that tandem for us we felt was good, and we’re excited that LB decided to stick with us as opposed to exploring what other options are out there.
“So, again we do believe it’s a good fit and we do believe that LB has a higher ceiling yet and look forward to him achieving that with us.”
Following a promising inaugural season in Winnipeg – posting a 2.52 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage over 21 games played – Brossoit struggled to replicate his impressive results this past season, which led to his disappointing performance.
Through 19 games in 2019-20, the former sixth-round pick performed to a troubling 6-7-1 record, recording a 3.28 GAA along with a .895 save percentage. To make matters worse, the British Columbia native also allowed four goals or more in six of his 19 appearances.
Despite this poor performance, the Jets are still willing to provide Brossoit with another opportunity to prove himself and are hopeful he’ll find a way to bounce back next season, however long it lasts. As for the remainder of the team’s unrestricted free agents (13), Cheveldayoff explained how he’s spoken to each of their agents and is hopeful they’ll be able to re-sign a handful of them over the next few months.
“We would like to bring some, ultimately you’d love to have the ability to bring everybody that you wanted in, but we’ve had conversations with all our UFAs’ agents at various different degrees and levels and we’ll continue to have those discussions with them as we move forward here,” Cheveldayoff discussed. “But we’re hopeful that we’ve got an opportunity to bring some of them back.”