The Winnipeg Jets could re-sign Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien and Jacob Trouba for what those players are asking for. But if they do, there won’t be much salary cap space left over for Mark Scheifele, Adam Lowry, Michael Hutchinson, or anybody else they need to fill out a 2016-17 roster.
According to a Winnipeg Free Press report, which cites “league and player sources,” the opening contract demands for Ladd, Byfuglien and Trouba total more than $152 million. All three core players are in the final year of their current deals.
Captain Ladd has asked for a six-year deal worth at least $41 million, Byfuglien is looking for an eight-year, $55-million extension, and RFA-to-be Trouba has requested upwards of $56 million over eight years.
Ladd’s request would give him a $6.8-million cap hit, up from his current $4.4-million tag. Byfuglien’s request translates to a $6.875-million cap hit, up from $5.2 million. And Trouba would be a $7-million cap hit, if he gets his wish after his entry-level deal expires.
The Jets have more cap space this season than any other NHL team — $12.4 million, according to General Fanager. But even with the cap projected to increase by $3 million next season, Winnipeg will be hard-pressed to keep all of its pending free agents in the fold.
Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff spoke to Hockey Central at Noon last month and did not sound concerned that extensions for Byfuglien and Ladd had not been signed.
“We continue to work on it," Cheveldayoff said. "We’ve got good dialogue with their group, and we’ll continue to work on things.”