Winnipeg Jets: Three Offseason Cost-Saving Measures

Winnipeg Jets, Bryan Little #18 (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Winnipeg Jets, Bryan Little #18 (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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Winnipeg Jets
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – APRIL 18: Bryan Little #18 of the Winnipeg Jets gets up from the ice after a check from David Perron #57 of the St. Louis Blues in Game Five of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell MTS Place on April 18, 2019 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Jason Halstead/Getty Images) /

The Jets have acquired an upgrade at the #2 center spot at the trade deadline two years in a row now, and it’s time to stop hoping the incumbent can handle the job.

The Jets need more than just to acquire a better #2 center. Kevin Hayes re-signing would be cool, not that I’m counting on something like that.

Could it happen? Sure. Will it? Who could know? But what I do know, is that Bryan Little just isn’t up for it. After dealing with injuries a few years ago, he seems to be healthy now, but he just doesn’t produce in a manner that is necessary for his spot on a Cup contender.

Little played all 82 games for the second year in a row, and while we thought of his 2017-2018 as a down year (16G, 27A, 43 points), he actually kept that pace remarkably well this past season (15G, 26A, 41 points).

That’s not gonna cut it. He was a high-end faceoff guy, but even that number slipped this season (from 55.6 to 56 to 52% the past three seasons). In 59 games in 2016-2017, Little managed more points (47) than he has in the last two full campaigns.

If he were still sitting at around .75 points a game, that wouldn’t be so bad. But now, his Corsi% has dropped below 50 for the first time since the strike shortened season, and it really makes his 6 yr / $31,746,000 contract look horrible.

The worst part is that it just kicked in this past season. That $5.291 cap hit is just untenable for this team at this point. This is such an important time for this team, that they should really buyout this contract.

It won’t look good, just after one season, but hey, the money is necessary. They can’t be wasting that much on someone with this kind of production. Factor in a no movement clause and the fact that he’s nearly untradeable anyway, and you need a buyout.

Nobody wants to be boughtout and the Jets probably aren’t looking forward to it. But it needs to be done.