A surprising season came to a disappointing end, at least unofficially, for the Winnipeg Jets earlier this week. few were expecting them to be in playoff contention, so the fact that they were hanging in there until the last couple of days of the regular season makes their elimination very disappointing.
Now this team can turn its attention to the offseason, and this is going to be a squad that many will be keeping an eye on. After dealing with a key restricted free agent last summer, in Evander Kane, the Jets will have a wealth of restricted free agents to deal with this summer.
The Jets have multiple key players, both at forward and on the blue line that are RFAs this summer. Top six forwards Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler are both on the RFA list, along with Alex Burmistrov. On the blue line, Zach Bogosian will be a player worth monitoring as well.
Of course, the likes of Nik Antropov and Ron Hainsey are unrestricted free agents. But the RFA list is surely going to be a larger concern, given that there are several core players for this Winnipeg Jets team with their futures completely up in the air.
Little and Wheeler both had excellent seasons for the Jets. Each of them are top line players for this team. Just ask Andrew Ladd. The captain has already made his pitch for them to be back next season, due to the fact that playing with them was part of the reason that he was one of the league’s best players this season.
It’s hard to imagine that those two won’t be back. The true questions are going to be Burmistrov and Bogosian. Burmistrov has had his issues with the coaching staff and really hasn’t had that breakout season that was expected of him. Looking at the latter, with already two defensemen carrying a cap hit of $5 million, will the Jets pony up the dough?
The Jets are going to be a team to keep an eye on. We don’t really have any sort of indication where they could be going with any of these guys this summer. There could be a major shakeup on the horizon as this organization attempts to reach the postseason for the first time since their return to Winnipeg.