Luca Sbisa has joined Nathan Beaulieu in opting to return to the Winnipeg Jets blue line next season. The Jets announced that they have re-signed Sbisa to a one-year, $800K contract. The veteran defenseman played in 44 games with Winnipeg in 2019-20.
Sbisa, 30, was nearly out of the NHL just two years ago, forced to take a PTO with the New York Islanders in order to land a contract for the 2018-19 season only to play in nine games with the team. Yet, he made somewhat of a comeback last year, skating in more than half of the Jets’ games and showing that he can still be a reliable stay-at-home option. The big, physical defenseman is a difficult match-up and can be a useful player even if he isn’t skating every night.
That very well could be the reality for Sbisa, too. Re-signing their current defensemen isn’t going to help a Winnipeg blue line that needs to improve. The team will almost certainly add at least one defenseman by way of free agency or trade and if that happens to be a left-shot defender, that could leave Sbisa and Beaulieu to either play on their off-side or compete for play time.