Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff predicts big things for Patrik Laine in 2021

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WINNIPEG – Kevin Cheveldayoff has most certainly brought his deflection game to the table.
But if you’ve listened carefully enough, the general manager of the Winnipeg Jets also provided a few clues and then made a prediction on the subject that dominated headlines during the offseason as he held a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

With training camp opening Sunday at BellMTS Iceplex, Cheveldayoff still has a restricted free agent to sign forward Jack Roslovic.

And while the quarantine rules in place mean that Roslovic (who remains in training at his home in Columbus, Ohio) will not be on the ice for the start of training camp, it is expected that a new contract ends up being concluded.

“Obviously he’s an RFA and currently unsigned,” Cheveldayoff said. “To my knowledge, he’s also not in Winnipeg right now, so in the future there will be a quarantine situation, whenever we come to an agreement.

Cheveldayoff didn’t say if the Jets came to a deal with Roslovic, the focus was on timing and that was by design.

Pressed further on the pace of negotiations, Cheveldayoff did not take the bait.

“We made our qualifying offers when everyone made their qualifying offers,” Cheveldayoff said. “And when it comes to the pace of a conversation or the content of a meeting, I’ve always had the belief and the way I’ve done business (is) that this has been kept private.”

Roslovic has just completed a year of his career in terms of production, but currently does not have much weight – especially in a world with a fixed salary cap and without the ability to go to arbitration.

It’s no secret that Roslovic would rather see his role enhanced and definitely move into one of the first two lines.

Although there have been a few appearances higher up the roster, Roslovic is expected to open the campaign on the line of control with Adam Lowry and Andrew Copp – provided his contract is signed on time.

It’s natural for a player to want to carve out a bigger slice of the pie, but there is a risk for Roslovic when it comes to digging into his heels.

If he’s running out of time – whether it’s training camp or the regular season – there could be an opportunity for someone like Mason Appleton or Jansen Harkins to pass him on the depths chart.

Roslovic isn’t the only Jets forward whose name has been subjected to the trade winds blowing around him.

He has been on the lower card compared to Patrik Laine, whose representatives have released comments suggesting that it would be in the best interests of both parties to go their separate ways.

Cheveldayoff is reportedly not speculating on how the situation will turn out, although he has made it clear that he expects great things from the Finland forward this season.

“I tried to do my job this summer looking at all the different options to improve our squad and I think we did,” said Cheveldyaoff, highlighting the addition of players like Paul Stastny, Derek Forbort and Nate Thompson. “As far as Patrik goes, again I guess he’s probably going to have one of the best years of his career given the group of players we have and the professionalism that is there. And the level of maturity that all the players gain from year to year, I think, just helps us move forward.

Before you think that the Jets could carry the torch as Team Turmoil over the next few weeks, think about what the team was up against during training camp in September 2019.

The day before camp, the Jets’ most impactful defenseman, Dustin Byfuglien, arranged a meeting with Cheveldayoff and asked for personal leave.

Byfuglien never returned and the two sides mutually ended the last two years of his contact in April.

If trying to find their way without Byfuglien wasn’t tough enough back then, the Jets went through an entire training camp with two of their top scorers in Laine and Kyle Connor.

Both players eventually agreed to the terms and didn’t miss any time during the regular season, although it could easily be argued that they were playing catch-up and needed a bit of time to level up before hitting. fully their stride.

This year, goalkeeper hope Mikhail Berdin could miss a few days as it took a little longer to get him out of Russia due to flight logistics after playing in the KHL center David Gustafsson could potentially jump a few sessions on the ice as he continues to heal after sustaining an injury playing in Sweden and Roslovic remains at a contract stalemate. These are all small potatoes compared to last year.

“I think we’ve moved beyond the outside stuff that distracts our team,” said Jets forward Andrew Copp, who spoke to reporters via Zoom on Tuesday afternoon. “Whether it’s guys in the past who didn’t have a contract at the time, going to camp, there were situations left and right, it’s like. So we are past the point of letting outside distractions worry our team.

“So we’re just trying to get started, get together on the first day of training camp, practice and start developing that team feeling, that camaraderie and getting ready for the regular season. I don’t think any outside news or rumors or anything can impact our team. ”

How do the Jets expect to position themselves in the North Division?

“I guess we’ll find out,” Copp said. “We’ve had some new additions, hopefully some guys will continue to take others not. Having the winner Vezina at the net is always a good starting point, so I mean, it will be a very competitive division. You can kind of look at teams, one through seven, and whatever way it goes you wouldn’t be too surprised.

“Every night it will be a battle. There are great players on every team, players that you are going to have to be aware of. So we’re looking forward to the challenge and obviously we’ll get to know each other well over the next five months.

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