July 6, 2015


Record: 43 – 26 – 13

Winnipeg Jets Logo

Winnipeg Jets

Special air quality statement in effect

Money they can afford

Jets expected the big deals, Chipman says

It seems like a lot of money -- no, it IS a lot of money, but it's well within what the Winnipeg Jets were expecting and can afford.

So said Jets co-owner and governor Mark Chipman Thursday night when asked about the state of the team's budget after it committed to contracts for Zach Bogosian, Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little (seven, six and five years, respectively) for a total of $93.1 million in the future.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS archives
Jets co-owner Mark Chipman offers price assurances to season-ticket holders.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS archives Jets co-owner Mark Chipman offers price assurances to season-ticket holders.

John Woods / The Winnipeg Free Press
The Big Three � forwards Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little and defenceman Zach Bogosian (from left) � now have lucrative long-term contracts with the Jets.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

John Woods / The Winnipeg Free Press The Big Three � forwards Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little and defenceman Zach Bogosian (from left) � now have lucrative long-term contracts with the Jets. Photo Store

Also of note: The Jets are now among the NHL's top three teams in long-term commitments, with 11 players under contract through 2015-16.

There's no need to panic if you're a season-ticket customer.

"Our season-ticket-holder commitments have built-in maximum price increases," Chipman said Thursday, referring to the maximum three per cent increase the team may impose. It is bumping prices two per cent for this fall.

"It's something we'll look at each year as to whether to go to the maximum. This year, we judged we didn't need to do that. As you know, many of those agreements have several years yet to run. So no, I don't expect that the contracts we've committed ourselves to will have a direct impact on season-ticket prices."

The spending spree takes the Jets to a $63.2-million payroll for the fall, according to www.capgeek.com. Can the Jets afford it?

"Yes, we can," Chipman said. "As you probably know, we've got one of the largest number of multi-year agreements in the league. We've had plenty of time to consider this and we've had a plan established for some time and we're merely following it.

"We knew what the cost of doing business in this league was going to be, and as you've seen, it's come down, actually, in terms of the salary range.

"I expect it will be growing again, but we think it will grow at a manageable pace and we'll be able to manage within it."

It's worth noting that the franchise, with its future ticket commitments and its $100 million in revenue in its first season back in Winnipeg, is profitable and has been open that it plans to reinvest the profit in the roster and improvements to the MTS Centre.

Today, the Jets are just under the $64.3-million salary cap for the coming season. When the team entered the league after the 2011 relocation, Chipman was clear that budgets were important and the mid-range was where his franchise belonged.

"I think I said those things when we first got started... We were slightly above that (range) point last year ($58.4 million under a $70.2-million cap, pro-rated) but nobody knew when we started exactly where the cap was going to come in at.

"Now we do, so you're seeing an increase in our payroll. We're closer to the cap this year, but mostly because the cap has come down by a greater amount than our salary has gone up."

The team has decided to commit to several core players over multiple years and try to set the table for some of its own developing prospects for the future. This was an easy sell to ownership by GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, Chipman said.

"I think that we've been very consistent in saying that it was always our expectation to build this team around our core and through the draft and through the development of our young players," Chipman said. "It wasn't that difficult to estimate where these deals were going to land and where we were going to be this year.

"There's a process you go through, as we're learning, to wait and see where the market sets itself every summer, and sometimes it's different than you expect, but this summer we expected those players and knew of their value and knew that other teams and their agents would know their value as well.

"In the end, I can tell you where we came in was very, very close to where we expected to be with those players."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 2, 2013 C2

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 January 2015.

NHL

Scroll down to load more

Top