Winnipeg Jets: Latest Signings and Free Agent Rumors

Anthony CapocciContributor IJuly 1, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 24:  General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff (R) of the Winnipeg franchise of the National Hockey League introduces Claude Noel  (L) as their new head coach at the Westin Hotel on June 23, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff told the media he was going to be quite active as soon as the clock struck 12. Thus far, the Jets have made some moves and are rumored to still be quite active on the free agency front.


Signings and Movement

Firstly, the Jets have lost out on Jonas Gustavsson, Tanner Glass and Chris Mason. All of these players have found new homes this afternoon.

What do these losses mean?

Tanner Glass made up one-third of the "GST" line. He was a fan-favorite in Winnipeg and had a solid season last year. Although it would have been nice to reunite the "GST" line, this is by no means a major loss. Expect Patrice Cormier or Spencer Mahacek to get a chance in his place next season.

Losing Mason and Gustavsson mean that the Jets are without a backup goalie. A backup goalie is easy to acquire at this point, so there shouldn't be much worries on this front.

What names are there to keep an eye on? How about Johan Hedberg. The "Moose" was once a part of this franchise, and not too long ago in Atlanta, there was a tandem of Pavelec and Hedberg.

Now, let's take a look at who the Jets acquired.

Defenseman Derek Meech was re-signed early this afternoon when free agency first began. He is most likely going to provide the Jets with the seventh man option and probably see ice time when injuries occur. I'm not sure if the Jets want to roll with him as their sixth defenseman because he may not be good enough.

And maybe the Jets aren't done on defense just yet.

Now on to a more groundbreaking deal (don't get too excited). The Jets acquired forward Alexei Ponikarovsky this afternoon on a one-year, $1.8 million contract. This move should be seen as a short-term fix and nothing more. Ponikarovsky is good friends with Nik Antropov from when they both played together in Toronto, so the possibility that they play together exists.



The Jets have been rumored to be in on a number of forwards. P.A. Parenteau was one of those forwards but signed with the Colorado Avalanche. Olli Jokinen is another that's been rumored to the Jets. He could very well be a Jet before the day is over.

With the Jets needing a backup goalie, expect to see them go after an ideal veteran backup. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hedberg reuinted with Pavelec.

In bigger news, the Jets have been one of the teams making a pitch at Zach Parise. This is a move that would do wonders in boosting confidence of fans. This tells you the Jets are serious about winning.

Even though they probably won't end up with Parise, they are trying hard to get the best. This is what I like to see.