Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jets make play for free agents

Ladd and Wheeler receive qualifying offers from team

  • Print

It's not quite the green light for Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler to plunk down cash for digs in Winnipeg, but they do have some hard evidence now they are held in high regard by their new bosses.

The two restricted free agents received qualifying offers from the Jets on Monday, meaning the club has retained their negotiating rights. Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, both would receive offers for the same salaries they earned last year -- Ladd at $2.35 million; Wheeler at $2.2 million.

A player has the right to reject a qualifying offer and, if so, would remain a restricted free agent. But by making a qualifying offer the Jets have protected themselves should another team express interest. They can now match offer sheets from rival clubs or get compensation in terms of draft picks -- in both the cases of Ladd and Wheeler, it would be second-round choices.

It's uncertain whether Ben Maxwell and Zach Bogosian, also restricted free agents, received qualifying offers before Monday's 4 p.m. CT deadline. There are several rumours of other NHL teams interested in acquiring Bogosian, a 20-year-old defenceman already with 199 NHL games under his belt. A number of organizations, including the Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames, make their qualifying offers public, but the Jets did not.

The qualifying offer for Ladd gives the Jets negotiating rights until July 15, said his agent Mark Mackay, as the club continues to work on locking up their captain and leading scorer to a long-term deal. He has already made a trip to Winnipeg after the announcement of the sale of the team and Mackay and fellow agent J.P. Barry met with Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and assistant GM Craig Heisinger Saturday in St. Paul after the NHL entry draft in the hopes of hammering out an agreement.

"We had a great discussion. Things are moving well," Mackay said Monday. "They've had their plate full and we understand that, but things are positive on both ends. This isn't normal because of the sale of the team and everything.

"We're going forward doing our due diligence, just as they are. We're negotiating in good will and our goal on both sides is to come to a contract."

Wheeler had 18 goals and 26 assists in 81 games last year between Boston and Atlanta. The 24-year-old right-winger was traded by the Bruins to the Thrashers along with Mark Stuart for Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik.

While Ladd and Wheeler received qualifying offers, two other players -- Rob Schrempf and Anthony Stewart -- did not and become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Stewart, in fact, announced the news via Twitter with the letters 'U.F.A'

Winnipeg has 15 players under contract totalling $35,941,666 -- leaving them over $28 million in cap space if they were to max out at $64.3 million. Jets management has already indicated it will be a mid-cap team, meaning they will spend in the $55-57 million range and inking Ladd, Wheeler and, possibly Bogosian, to new deals would chew up a lot of the available cap space.

The Jets have two notable players who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 -- veteran wingers Radek Dvorak and Eric Boulton, both 34 -- while defenceman Freddy Meyer, also a UFA, has signed with MoDo of the Swedish Elite League.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 28, 2011 C3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart - The Floodway Connection

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JJOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-Postcard  Day-Horror frost and fog created a most beautiful setting at Assiniboine Park Thursday morning in WInnipeg- Enviroent Canada says the fog will lifet this morning and will see a high of -7C-  JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Feb 18, 2010
  • A Canada goose protects her nest full of eggs Monday on campus at the University of Manitoba- Standup photo- Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who are the real Bombers?

View Results

Ads by Google