Winnipeg Jets' Signings Positive for Team's Future

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Winnipeg Jets' Signings Positive for Team's Future
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Andrew Ladd staying in Winnipeg may help the case for other players to follow suit, such as FAs Blake Wheeler and Zach Bogosian.

When you peer at the outlook for the "new" Winnipeg Jets of the 2011-12 season, things are starting to look more and more promising.

That may be because the team actually has a GM, head coach, and now have started drafting and signing players, both of their own and free agents.

But with the signing of captain Andrew Ladd to a five-year, $22 million contract on Tuesday, the Jets have signified that they are a team that can keep players in Winnipeg.

When asked why he chose such a length of contract when signing with the Jets, Ladd pointed to the fact the fans were eager to get a team back and he wanted to play in front of a sold out crowd night in and night out.

Good point.

The fans aren't the only ones who are happy to have the team back. Many of the early signings by the Jets include homegrown players, such as Derek Meech and ex-Manitoba Moose Rick Rypien.

Meech, who has only 126 NHL games of experience in Detroit, spent all of last season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, netting 37 points in 74 games and is looking to crack a squad that was his favourite growing up, referring to the "old" Winnipeg Jets.

For Rypien, it's a return to a place where he started his professional hockey career. The Coleman, Alberta native started playing with the Moose in 2004-05 and played parts of seasons, including 11 games last season.

Ruggedness has been the order of the day with the Jets initial signings, including grinder Tanner Glass, defensemen Randy Jones and Mark Flood, and forward Aaron Gagnon.

Now that talks are over with Ladd, the Jets are proceeding with talks with forward Blake Wheeler, hoping to settle on a contract before arbitration takes hold.

As for now, hockey is looking promising in the capital of Manitoba.

 

For up-to-date happenings with the Winnipeg Jets, check out the Jets All Out Blog @ jetsallout.blogspot.com

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