WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets have a second major contract signing in their off-season.
Defenceman Toby Enstrom has re-upped with the team for five more seasons. He could have been an unrestricted free agent next summer.
The Jets inked goalie Ondrej Pavelec to a five-year contract earlier this off-season.
"I’ve been on this team for a long, long time, some of the guys four or five years now," Enstrom said in a conference call with reporters today. "The move to Winnipeg was fun and I like what we have going on there. I really like it up there; playing in front of all the fans in that city made me want to stay.
"I feel that we have something good going on and I want to be a part of it."
NHL teams are only permitted to discuss contract extensions with players when they are in the final year of their current deals. That would have been July 1 for Enstrom.
TSN reported the new deal is worth $28.75 million. Factoring in Enstrom’s 2012-13 salary of $4.5 million, that should make his cap hit for the Jets slightly north of $5.5 million annually.
"I’m happy they approached me this early," Enstrom said. "I wanted to stay and I’m happy we got this agreement this early on.
"I’m really happy that I’m going to be with the Winnipeg Jets for a lot of years in front of me."
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said Enstrom, a five-year NHL veteran, is a great fit with the organization.
"I know from our perspectiv,e when I sat down with him at our year-end meetings, the only thing that Toby conveyed to us was that he wants to win," Cheveldayoff said. "The passion he has to ultimately win is what drives him.
"When we talked about all the different things we have going, our beliefs, our philosophies, that wasn’t so much to convince him but essentially to tell him, ‘This is how we plan for things to unfold and we would like you to be a big part of it.’ "