By Carter Brooks
Photo by Jonathan Kozub
The Winnipeg Jets will ice a very different looking team for the 2019-20 NHL season.
After days, weeks and months of speculation, former Jets Tyler Myers and Brandon Tanev have signed lucrative long-term deals with the Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins, respectively. At noon on Monday, July 1st, the NHL's free agency period officially opened up, and within minutes both Myers and Tanev had found their new homes.
Myers, 29, is a five-year Jet, who originally found his way to Winnipeg as a part of the return in the Evander Kane/Buffalo Sabres deal in the 2014-15 NHL season. The Canucks acquire a large, puck-moving defenceman who amassed 15 goals and 67 points the last two seasons for Winnipeg. He has 74 goals, 265 points and 468 penalty minutes in 635 NHL contests. Myers enters a six-year deal in 2019-20 that will pay him an annual average value of $6 million.
Tanev, a 27-year-old spark-plug, who spent three seasons playing for Winnipeg has moved on to the Pittsburgh Penguins on a six-year deal that will pay him $3.5 annually. The hard-nosed checking forward had himself a tremendous season in 2018-19, racking up 14 goals and 29 points in a depth role on a strong Jets team. Tanev finished third in the league in hits behind just Ryan Reaves and Lawson Crouse with 278 hits in 80 games.
The Jets also lost late-season acquisition Par Lindholm to the Boston Bruins, as the 27-year-old NHL import forward has signed a two-year deal, featuring an $850K annual average value. Lindholm joined Winnipeg late in the season in a swap with Toronto for forward Nic Petan. Lindholm dressed in just four regular season games for the Jets, picking up a lone assist.
After dealing for defenceman Nate Beaulieu at the 2019 Trade Deadline, the Jets made headlines earlier this past week as it was announced that the team did not tender a qualifying offer to the 26-year-old blueliner. Despite choosing to put off negotiations, Jets' GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and Beaulieu agreed to terms on a one-year deal that will pay the defender an even $1 million for the 2019-20 season. In 18 games following the late-season trade, Beaulieu picked up five assists for Winnipeg.
With 94 days until the Jets' 2019-20 regular season is set to open, look for many more significant moves by Winnipeg's front office, preparing the roster for the coming season.