Much has been made of the Winnipeg Jets pending roster freedom. The general feeling seems to be that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will have a ton of roster space and money to burn. The Jets only have $35,675,000 on the books for next year. Not only will there be room to spend in free agency, but the Jets can also take on some of the bloated salaries that other greedy GMs gave out in the pre-lockout NHL. That is the word, but is it fact or is it fiction?
Based on the numbers a lot of this talk is fiction - or at least fantasy. While it is true that Kyle Wellwood, Antti Miettinen, Nik Antropov, Ron Hainsey and Grant Clitsome are UFAs the Jets still have a pretty full roster. Restricted Free Agents like Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Alex Burmistrov and Zach Bogosian are assets that HAVE TO BE signed and the foursome will likely account for about $15MM. Of course any member of that group could be traded, but for roster purposes they may as well be under contract.
How quickly $36MM turns into 51 and the Jets arenít done yet.