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Busy times as free agency looms

Winnipeg Jets Gm Kevin Cheveldayoff and his staff have a busy week ahead.

Tuesday, 26.06.2012 / 4:19 PM / News Articles
By Kristi Hennessy  - Coordinator, Web Content
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Busy times as free agency looms
With free agency looming just around the corner, one could only imagine what Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff\u2019s desk would look like right about now. With a handful of unrestricted and restricted free agents on his roster, he must begin to speed up the process if he hopes to have all of his loose ends tied before July 1st.

Stable building block in place

Kristi Hennessy - winnipegjets.com
The looming question mark about who will mind the crease for the Winnipeg Jets next season has finally been answered. The Winnipeg Jets announced Monday they have agreed to terms with Ondrej Pavelec on a new five-year contract.   READ MORE ›

With free agency looming just around the corner, one could only imagine what Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s desk would look like right about now. With a handful of unrestricted and restricted free agents on his roster, he must begin to speed up the process if he hopes to have all of his loose ends tied before July 1st.

One huge one was settled Monday afternoon as the Winnipeg Jets came to terms with Ondrej Pavelec on a new 5-year contract. Cheveldayoff spoke to media on a conference call from South Carolina where he was taking part in American Hockey League Meetings, and ensured that Pavelec was just the beginning.

“By signing Pavelec for five-years, we’re locking in one of the building blocks and as we progress moving forward, we’re hopeful to do the same in other situations and circumstances.

“I’m not a guy who puts timelines on myself,” Chevy reiterated. “I think the NHL has a lot of different timelines that come into play and they do a good enough job of putting that in place for us. Negotiations are ongoing and they’ll continue.”

Chevy once mentioned that he doesn’t believe in relying on free agency to build a team however, if the right cards are on the table, he won’t shy away from playing them.

“The proper way to approach it is you can’t expect to build this team through free agency and free agency alone,” he said Monday. “I think this past week with the draft and certainly last years draft, we’re taking steps toward acquiring assets and acquiring young building blocks.

“Free agency is a method that you can build with-- but it’s hard to build around. Certainly if the opportunities are there to fill in some areas that we need to address, we’re certainly going to look long and hard and try to make it happen.”

Chevy and his pro scout staff are working around the clock with current players and their agents in the negotiating process but they are also looking beyond the current group to see what doors may open up for new conversations.

“Daily I’m talking to my group of pro-staff obviously waiting and seeing how many guys come off the board before free agency does come into play. My pro-staff were in Pittsburgh this past weekend and I met with them. There’s lots of discussion internally about different opportunities that might be out there depending on who gets signed prior to July 1st.”

Saying that, Chevy was very clear that just because a handful of players could become available on July 1st, doesn’t mean they will talk to just anyone, only those who they feel would fit in with their long term plan.

“We’re not a team who are ‘tire-kickers’,” Chevy explained. “If we are interested in a player at whatever level it is, we’ll make a serious effort to make that happen or try to make it happen.

“Players that do have opportunities in free agency have earned those opportunities. Internally, we’re not a group who just says, “Hey, let’s see if this works.”

So, as we watch the sand drain from the hourglass, how confident did the GM seem about setting the remaining loose ends?

“I’m always optimistic,” said Chevy at last weekends NHL Draft. “Last year at this point in time I never even had the opportunity to meet with any of the RFA’s representatives so certainly we’ve been able to get a jump on that and things turned out pretty well last year.”

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 63 41 15 7 191 151 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 61 29 20 12 164 157 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 COL 62 27 24 11 166 179 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 64
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Little 63 24 26 9 50
A. Ladd 63 20 30 12 50
B. Wheeler 61 16 28 12 44
D. Byfuglien 63 15 26 6 41
M. Perreault 56 18 18 3 36
M. Scheifele 63 10 25 4 35
M. Frolik 63 13 19 3 32
D. Stafford 57 10 17 -18 27
J. Tlusty 53 13 10 -17 23
E. Kane 37 10 12 -1 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Hutchinson 18 7 5 .920 2.29
O. Pavelec 13 13 7 .909 2.60
 
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