by Brandt Corbin
As July 1 started off, the Winnipeg Jets as a whole said they would not be overly involved in the free agent frenzy. Their mission was “too build within the organization”. They promised some minor adjustments, more so in adding role and depth players.
Now it’s July 2, they held true to their word. On the first day of free agency they inked two free agents, one a fourth line grinder, the second a depth defenseman likely to play in the AHL.
Formally of the Vancouver Canucks, the left winger played two seasons with the Western Conference Champs. In 181 NHL games, he has 8 goals, 23 points and 226 PIM’s. He won’t see much action on the third line or above. His main role will be to kill penalties and be a momentum changer when need be.
Glass will likely see allot of action with Jim Slater and Chris Thornburn, a solid fourth line with players that are more than one dimensional. If anything, the drive to the Stanley Cup Finals will help Glass in his development, as he now knows what it takes to get far into the playoffs.
Winnipeg’s own Derek Meech fell victim in 2010-11 to the numbers game. He might not be a top six defenseman on all night, but he deserved better then to play in the AHL last season. In parts of 4 seasons with the Detroit Wings, Meech has played 126 games with four goals and 16 points. Now that he’s free of the Wings, and back home with the Jets he will fight tooth and nail for the 7th defenseman job. It could be a 4-man fight, between Meech, Brett Festerling, Arturs Kulda and Paul Postma for the last job on the back-end.
Expect more minor signings
Likely the next signing will be a depth centerman, preferably one that can play on the third line. Candidates are Brian Sutherby, John Madden, Rob Niedermayer or Kyle Chipcura. Everyone in Winnipeg would not object to the signing of Brendan Morrison. The veteran would be a perfect third line center, can without question fill in on the second line some night. To ink the former Flame and Canuck, it would likely take 1.5 million for 1 year, or two years at 1.2 million p/y.
Let the waiting game begin.