The Winnipeg Jets have a long list of things they need to focus on this summer. They have several free agents all over the roster, including several players that are key to their future success. Which means that there are going to be some cap casualties. We may have our first one already.
It shouldn’t really come as any sort of surprise that the Jets and Ron Hainsey will likely be parting ways this summer. This has been mentioned as something that has been a possibility for this summer throughout the regular season. What he brings to the table simply doesn’t fit the cost for the Jets.
Hainsey is coming off a deal which paid him over $22 million over five years. He’s not going to get close to that from the Jets this time around. Which means he’s likely headed for an exit. Not that he isn’t capable of being a valuable piece of a team’s blue line. He’ll find a home. Just not in Winnipeg.
The 2013 season saw Hainsey finish right in the mix with the rest of Winnipeg’s d-men as far as his point total was concerned. His 13 assists were tops on the team among blue liners. But Hainsey isn’t there to put points on the stat sheet. His purpose is a little more brutal.
Hainsey’s niche is blocking shots. He blocks a whole lot of them. He stopped 123 in 47 games during the 2013 regular season. Playing in only 56 games in the 2011-2012 season, he blocked 133. That alone makes him valuable. On a thin market, he’ll find a new deal rather easily.
It just won’t be with the Jets. Hainsey is a veteran leader, a guy who helped end the lockout earlier this year, and a player that will block a serious amount of shots. While there won’t e a Ryan Suter-type bidding war, multiple teams will be taking a look at him when free agency rolls around next month.