The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to a two-year bridge deal with restricted free agent defenseman Josh Morrissey, according to Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe. It will be a two-year deal with $6.3MM with an AAV of $3.15MM. That’s impressive value for Winnipeg, who have finally wrapped up their offseason signings.
The team has already signed a host of players this offseason, including goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (six years, $36MM), forwards Adam Lowry (three years, $8.75MM), Brandon Tanev (one year, $1.15MM), Marko Dano (one year, $800K), defensemen Jacob Trouba (one year, $5.5MM), Tucker Poolman (three years, $2.33MM), Joseph Morrow (one year, $1MM). They also extended Blake Wheeler to a five-year, $43.25MM deal.
Morrissey, who has been in the league for two years, posted solid numbers for the Jets as the partner of Trouba on the team’s top line. The 23-year-old has been solid on defense and showed some offensive spark, posting 13 goals and 46 points in two seasons. He was also paired more and more against their opponents’ top line, especially in the playoffs. The two-year deal allows the Jets to look into a long-term option then when he still will be a restricted free agent. That gives both sides more opportunity to see if Morrissey can continue to develop into legitimate No. 1 defender down the road.
The signing could also spark other restricted free agents as both Edmonton Oilers’ Darnell Nurse and Vegas Golden Knights’ Shea Theodore were both waiting to see what Morrissey would do. The deal could affect the negotiating leverage that both have as neither player had better offensive numbers than Morrissey.