Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Five Jets RFAs file for salary arbitration

Bogosian, Wheeler, Little still unsigned

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THERE will be no lazy, hazy summer days for Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

Five of the club's restricted free agents, including three of their big guns in Zach Bogosian, Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little along with Paul Postma and Eric Tangradi, filed for salary arbitration before Wednesday's deadline.

The deadline for club-elected salary arbitration notification is today at 4 p.m. with the hearings to be held in Toronto from July 22-Aug. 6.

Breakdown

Now, all of this by no means represents a breakdown or stalling in negotiations whatsoever and is simply a formality in contract talks. But it does spell out how much work Jets brass has to do in advance of the hearings later this month if they want to lock up some of their core long-term.

Should a player's deal be decided by an arbitrator, the maximum length of a deal is two years.

"Filing is simply the start of the arbitration process," said Anton Thun, Little's agent in an email to the Free Press. "It is simply a notice to the other side to elect arbitration and has nothing to do with the actual negotiations. No dollar figures are attached to a notice."

Here are some of the key numbers to consider when analyzing the five Jets who filed for arbitration: -- Zach Bogosian, D: Age: 22; 2013 salary: $2.5 million. 2013 numbers: 33 GP; 5G 14A

Synopsis: Possible future star turns 23 Monday. Club and player said to be seeking long-term deal.

-- Blake Wheeler, RW: Age: 26; 2013 salary: $2.55 million. 2013 numbers: 48 GP; 19G 22A

Synopsis: Big, speedy winger with still room to grow his game on the team's No. 1 line.

-- Bryan Little, C: Age: 25; 2013 salary: $2.38 million; 2013 numbers: 48 GP; 7G 25A

Synopsis: Centres the Jets' top trio. Not prolific, but solid.

-- Eric Tangradi, LW, Age: 24; 2013 salary: $726,000; 2013 numbers: 36 GP; 1G 3A

Synopsis: Jets are his third NHL organization (drafted by Anaheim, traded to Pittsburgh then Winnipeg). Good size, but it hasn't resulted in any kind of offensive punch.

-- Paul Postma, D, Age: 24; 2013 salary: $550,000; 2013 numbers: 34GP; 4G 5A

Synopsis: Lots of offensive skill, team still pushing for consistency in his defence.

The five Jets are part of a group of 21 players from across the NHL who elected to go the abitration route. The other 16 NHLers are: Brendan Smith (Detroit), Sam Gagner (Edmonton), Trevor Lewis, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin and Jordan Nolan (Los Angeles), Ryan White (Montreal), Nick Spaling (Nashville), Josh Bailey (New York Islanders), Mats Zuccarello (New York Rangers), Eric Condra (Ottawa), Robert Bortuzzo (Pittsburgh); Chris Stewart (St. Louis), Mark Fraser, Carl Gunnarsson (Toronto) and Dale Weise (Vancouver).

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 11, 2013 D1

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