The Winnipeg Jets have their work cut out for them this summer. As they head into the offseason, they have nine players who are set to become unrestricted free agents, with another nine of them heading into the summer as restricted free agents.
Combine those free agents with the players that the Jets have coming up through the ranks, and it’s really difficult to try and figure out just what they plan to do this summer in terms of their personnel. It’s going to be a busy offseason for them.
One player you can probably count on not coming back is forward Nik Antropov. With cap space likely going to be in short supply, Antropov will likely be a casualty. Not that the Jets really need the veteran pivot in the mix to be successful.
Antropov’s first season with the organization was a successful one. He finished with 67 points in 76 games, including 24 goals, back in 2009-2010, back when the Jets were still the Atlanta Thrashers. Since then, his production has pretty much gone downhill.
In fact, Antropov hasn’t been able to touch that type of production in the seasons that have followed. He had 41 points in his second season with the club, followed by 35 in 2011-2012. In 40 games this season, he had only 18, including only six goals.
Those aren’t exactly figures you want from a guy carrying a cap hit over $4 million. With the Jets now able to cut him loose and get that salary, and that disappointment, away from them, that’s likely going to be just what happens. This team is pretty set in the middle heading into the future, so Antropov shouldn’t prove to be too big of a loss.
He likely won’t stay unemployed for long, though. Teams are starved for center depth, so if they can get him on a shorter, cheaper deal, someone will grab him. But Nik Antropov has likely played his last game for the Winnipeg Jets organization.