Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Copp is one of 17 NHL players who have elected for salary arbitration. Here are three reasons why now is the time to consider trading the 27-year-old forward.
While most NHL media have indicated that an RFA choosing salary arbitration is a normal part of the negotiation process, this will be the second time that Andrew Copp has chosen salary arbitration as he did so previously in 2019. This should concern Jets fans as there is a history of players who have gone to salary arbitration and not staying with their teams long term (according to The Athletic, subscription required).
The Jets have a challenge to sign both Pionk and Copp given that they will only have approximately $7 million in cap space remaining. Pionk will likely get a salary of close to that of teammate Josh Morrissey at $6 million per season, and Copp will likely look at a number higher than linemate Adam Lowry’s salary of $3.2 million per season.
Given that the Jets will be hard pressed to afford both Pionk and Copp, here are three reasons why now is the time to consider trading Andrew Copp.
3. Andrew Copp’s Value is High
Andrew Copp scored 39 points in 55 games this past season, which is a 58-point pace over a regular 82 game season. What was most impressive is that he did so playing everywhere in the Jets’ top nine forwards, and was still was one of their most defensively effective forwards.
In a perfect world, the Jets would be able to sign a player like Copp to a long term deal. However, in the salary cap world, there are times when a team needs to make some difficult choices on which players to extend. If you need to trade a player for cap reasons, it’s always best to do so when their value is highest.
Copp’s point production last season puts him in the same statistical range as players like Kevin Fiala, William Karlsson, Bo Horvat, Conor Garland, and Mike Hoffman. This type of production means that his agent will be using those players as comparable players for salary, and also means that general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff can compare Copp’s trade value to those players.
There are many NHL teams who could more easily absorb Copp’s new contract if it falls in the $5 million AAV range, and would welcome a two-way player who is peaking in terms of point production.