The Winnipeg Jets are going to be facing a handful of decisions this summer, almost none of which will be easy for general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. He has key players who are facing free agency, young players who need new contracts, and disgruntled center who may want out.
The latter situation may prove the toughest to deal with. The fact that Alex Burmistrov wants out of Winnipeg should come as nothing new to anyone. Those rumors have been swirling around for quite some time, and have reached the fact where they’re probably true. He’s not the first person to want out of Winnipeg, and he won’t be the last.
Many will point to the situation with Evander Kane last summer to try and draw parallels. Kane reportedly wanted out and signed a long-term contract right before the lockout came into effect. But that doesn’t appear to be the case with Burmistrov. He wants out and may not re-sign with the Jets.
Burmistrov is a restricted free agent this summer. He’s a player that has loads of potential, but that hasn’t always translated to success on the ice. Not that playing with a Winnipeg team that hasn’t looked anything like a playoff contender is the easiest way to realize one’s potential.
He has outstanding hands and strong playmaking skills. He’s not the biggest, but could explode if given an opportunity with competent wingers. He had only 10 points during the shortened season, appearing in 44 of 48 games for the Jets. Both last year and this year at the trade deadline, we heard rumblings about Burmistrov’s unhappiness.
Which could result in him being traded this summer. Playing hardball is one thing, but if Burmistrov truly does not want to be in Winnipeg, the Jets might be forced to trade him. It’s not as if they couldn’t get a nice haul for him. He’s a young center with great speed and terrific hands. Teams will want him.
The Jets should look to trade him when the opportunity presents itself, rather than trying to lock up a player who clearly does not want any part of the future in Winnipeg.