The soon to be Winnipeg Jets have surprised the hockey world selling 13,000 season tickets in just 4 days, which has to be close to a league record. Each season ticket package comes with a 3-5 year commitment, and gives the franchise a solid foundation as they begin the journey of building the lowly Atlanta Thrashers into champions. It is an exciting day for Manitoba hockey fans, as the franchise must now set its attention to hiring a new General Manager, re-signing free agents, and preparing for the draft. Canada is on track to add a franchise and win a Stanley Cup within a month, making it a great time to be a Canadian hockey fan.
There are some quality building blocks coming to Manitoba in that Thrashers roster.
Under Contract (and worth being excited about)
-Dustin Byfuglien: $5.2 million per year for 5 more seasons isn't cheap, but 26 year old 6'5 260 lb defensemen who score 20 goals and 50 points don't grow on trees.
-Tobias Enstrom: Great value contract at $3.75 million for two more years, 27 years old and 50 PTS from the blue line.
-Evander Kane: 140 NHL games played before his 20th birthday and played for Team Canada at the world championships this year. The future of the franchise.
-Bryan Little: Having a 24 year old 50 point scorer under contract for 2 more years at under $3 million per season is a good contract.
-Alex Burmistrov: 8th overall pick in 2010 draft, 20 PTS as a rookie. Worth watching.
Restricted Free Agents (team must re-sign, allowed to match contract offers)
-Andrew Ladd: Team's leading scorer. Market value $4-5 million per year.
-Anthoney Stewart: 25 year old power forward due for a raise. Market value $2-3 million per year.
-Blake Wheeler: 25 year old already has 140 career PTS. Market value $3-4 million per year.
-Zach Bogosian: 21 years old already with 200 career GPs. Was in line for a big contract but regressed last season. Market value $2-4 million per year.
Nik Antropov and Ron Hainsey not worth what they are being paid, each under contract for 2 more years over $4 million per season.
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