The Winnipeg Jets have brought back two familiar faces. They’ve signed goaltender Laurent Brossoit back from the Vegas Golden Knights on a one-year $1.75MM deal, per TSN’s Chris Johnston. They’ve also signed forward Vladislav Namestnikov to a two-year, $2MM AAV deal per TSN’s Darren Dreger. Dreger reports they’ve also added former San Jose Sharks forward Jeffrey Viel to a one-year, one-way $775k deal.
Brossoit returns to Winnipeg after a two-year stint with Vegas. He originally signed with the Golden Knights to be their backup goalie and while he held that role in 2021-22, that wasn’t the case in 2022-23. He underwent hip surgery last summer which kept him out of the lineup at the start of the year. Upon returning, Brossoit cleared waivers and was assigned to AHL Henderson. He played in 23 games with the Silver Knights, compiling a 2.72 GAA with a .909 SV% before being recalled in February when injuries struck.
Brossoit himself couldn’t avoid the injury bug the rest of the way as he spent a month on IR soon after but he still made ten starts for Vegas, posting a 2.17 GAA with a .927 SV%; the Golden Knights picked up at least a point in each of those starts. That, coupled with injuries to Adin Hill and Logan Thompson, resulted in Brossoit being the starter for Vegas in their first-round victory over the Jets. Unfortunately, Brossoit was injured partway through the second round against Edmonton, paving the way for Hill to run with the starting job from there. Nevertheless, Brossoit did well enough to earn himself a second chance with the Jets.
As for Namestnikov, he was brought in from San Jose at the trade deadline, a day after the Sharks picked him up from Tampa Bay. The 30-year-old provided Winnipeg with some much-needed secondary scoring down the stretch, picking up 10 points in 20 games with his new team while seeing his playing time jump up by more than three minutes a night to just under 15 minutes per game.
To say that Namestnikov has bounced around in recent years would be putting it lightly. Since the 2019-20 season, the veteran has played for seven different teams (which doesn’t include his brief stint as a Shark). It’s likely that putting a second year on the table helped to secure the commitment from Namestnikov who now has a chance to get a bit of stability while remaining an important part of Winnipeg’s secondary offensive group.
Viel, meanwhile, comes to Winnipeg after a five-year stint in San Jose. The 26-year-old spent most of last season with the AHL Barracuda, picking up 15 goals and 16 assists along with 150 penalty minutes, good for third in the AHL in that department. Viel is best known for being a physical presence on the fourth line in his previous NHL duty, collecting 112 hits and 139 penalty minutes (to go along with five points) in 49 career appearances with the Sharks. As things stand, he’s a candidate to break camp with the Jets on either the fourth line or in a reserve role.