The Winnipeg Jets are facing more than $152 million worth of future contract demands from three key players who are in expiring years of their contracts.
League and player sources have confirmed that Jets captain Andrew Ladd has asked for a six-year deal worth at least $41 million, that defenceman Dustin Byfuglien has requested $55 million over eight years and that defenceman Jacob Trouba wants more than $56 million over the maximum eight years allowed in the league’s CBA with its players.
It’s important to note that these numbers have been basically starting points from each of the player’s camps in their negotiations with the Jets. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has not commented at all on potential progress or stumbling blocks to talks.
Ladd is in the final year of a five-year, $22-million deal paying him $4.5 million this season. Byfuglien is in the final year of a five-year, $26-million deal paying him $6 million this season. Trouba is in the third and final year of his entry-level contract, making $832,500 in salary this year.
The magnitude of the future asks could also be the reason nothing has been agreed to yet.
Talks with Ladd were more frequent earlier than recently. Reports have said there was little dialogue with Byfuglien’s camp until recently.
And Trouba and the Jets have reportedly agreed to deal with the matter after the season is over.
Ladd and Byfuglien could become UFAs on July 1, while Trouba could be an RFA at the end of 2015-16.
If the opening requests for the Ladd, Byfuglien and Trouba were the final numbers — and that seems unlikely — Ladd’s new cap-hit number would be at least $6.8 million, Byfuglien’s $6.875 million and Trouba’s at least $7 million.
That would eat up most of the approximately $10 million cap space the Jets currently have in the NHL’s salary system. Next season’s number is not yet known, though commissioner Gary Bettman has said the cap could rise as much as $3 million.
The team also has forwards Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry in the final years of entry-level deals and goalie Michael Hutchinson, who will also be a restricted free agent next summer.