Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Chevy's priorities clear in Glass case

He won't pay above player's market value

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With each move Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff makes, we're learning more and more about his management style.

He's building a template that signals what might happen in most player negotiations.

In the case of Tanner Glass, unless the player decides to drop his asking price, it's beginning to look like he'll be going to market July 1.

Glass says he doesn't want to leave Winnipeg, but quickly adds he'll need the right deal to stay. What he believes is the right deal and what the Jets think it is appear very different right now.

Agent Ross Gurney told the Free Press Wednesday negotiations with the Jets had just begun.

"We've had preliminary discussions only," Gurney said via email. "We're a long prairie mile apart."

That can mean only one thing: Cheveldayoff has offered much less than Glass wants to be paid.

The GM recently told me: "We're not about leverage. We're about negotiating from a position of what's fair."

Glass made $750,000 last season, up from the $625,000 the Vancouver Canucks paid him the year before.

He'll want a raise. He had his best season as a pro last year, scoring five goals and 11 assists while being used in an expanded role on the team's third line with centre Jim Slater and Chris Thorburn.

Slater signed a new deal Wednesday that will pay him $1.6 million per season for the next three years. Thorburn has two years left on his contract and is slated to make $866,667 a season.

Somewhere in the middle of those two salaries is where Glass will land. No one will dispute that Slater is more valuable, being a centre and a player with more offensive upside. Slater is a third-line player on many teams.

Glass fits in much closer to Thorburn than he does to Slater. Both were slightly over-jobbed in third-line roles last season and are viewed as classic fourth-liners.

They're not going to score very often, as their numbers indicate, but they will hit and fight and show up with consistent efforts every night. They're valuable to a team and important, but GMs don't overpay for their services because of the glut of players capable of filling these jobs.

Try finding a consistent 30-goal scorer in today's game. It's not very easy, so there is a premium on such talents. The same can't be said of a five-goal man.

Cheveldayoff can't overspend on the bottom six and hamper his ability to pay for goals, so he'll make an offer, albeit one within his personal view of the player's market value.

The Jets won't chase the market. They'll establish their budget for a player or position and act off that platform.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @garylawless

more jets coverage C4

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 15, 2012 C1

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About Gary Lawless

Gary Lawless is the Free Press sports columnist and co-host of the Hustler and Lawless show on TSN 1290 Winnipeg and www.winnipegfreepress.com
Lawless began covering sports as a rookie reporter at The Chronicle-Journal in Thunder Bay after graduating from journalism school at Durham College in Ontario.
After a Grey Cup winning stint with the Toronto Argonauts in the communications department, Lawless returned to Thunder Bay as sports editor.
In 1999 he joined the Free Press and after working on the night sports desk moved back into the field where he covered pro hockey, baseball and football beats prior to being named columnist.

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