According to the last NHL trade rumors from Elliotte Friedman, the Winnipeg Jets are expected to try to and trade forward Mathieu Perreault.
The salary cap is tough on NHL teams. It makes it difficult to keep around your best players. After a first-round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Winnipeg Jets face an offseason that could be full of changes. According to the latest NHL trade rumors, one of them could be trading Mathieu Perreault.
This report comes from Elliotte Friedman’s latest 31 Thoughts column. According to him, the Jets tried to trade Perreault earlier and will most likely pursue doing it this summer.
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Winnipeg has a lot of players to worry about this summer. Both Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor are primed for significant raises as restricted free agents. There’s also valuable top-nine forward Andrew Copp, who put up 25 points in 69 games. On top of that, Brandon Tanev is an unrestricted free agent after a career season with 29 points.
There’s also defenseman Jacob Trouba, who needs a new deal. However, the Jets don’t seem to have any desire to commit to him long-term. But even if Winnipeg trades him (he’s one year from being an unrestricted free agent), they will still have to cut some salary.
Perreault would make the most sense for the Jets. He’s more of a luxury than a need at this point. Perreault is a fine player, but his $4.125 million cap hit is a bit pricey for someone whose playing time and production has declined.
After average over 16 minutes per game during the 2016-17 season, he has seen his average time on ice per game cut by nearly two minutes each season.
- 2016-17: 16:17 (45 points)
- 2017-18: 14:28 (39 points)
- 2018-19: 12:16 (30 points)
Perreault still has value because he can add production from the bottom six. Additionally, in a limited sample size, he has shown he can play well with more skilled players. However, Perreault’s simply too expensive for the Jets at this point.
The Carolina Hurricanes have the cap space to take on his deal. Also, keep in mind they did extraordinarily well in the Nino Niederreiter trade. This shows the Hurricanes are a smart team who know to target. If the Jets are selling low on Perreault, expect Carolina to at least kick the tires and see how much it would cost to get him. The Hurricanes play a possession game and that’s one of Perreault’s strengths.
New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils are another team with a ton of cap space. They are lacking in skill, so even though they’re going to draft Jack Hughes and probably add a left wing, they should be all over Perreault.
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If the Ottawa Senators are smart, they’d use their significant cap space as an asset by taking on bad deals. There would be far worse players for the Sens to take on than Perreault. They could probably even take on his whole contract and proceed to flip him with retained salary. But this, of course, assumes the Senators know what they’re doing.