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Pionk signs avoids arbitration, but Copp?

July 22, 2019, 12:21 AM ET [49 Comments]
Peter Tessier
Winnipeg Jets Blogger •Winnipeg Jets Writer • RSSArchiveCONTACT
So I'm on vacation for a bit so updates and thoughts will be a bit off for the next two weeks. Pro tip- if you drive Highway 3 west from Medicine Hat to Vancouver great scenery but a lot of slow sections.

That being said I arrived in Osoyoos, the hottest place in Canada by summer temp, to the news that the Jets and Neal Pionk had reached a deal and avoided arbitration. The deal is for 2 years and with an AAV of 3 million per year. Pionk had 6 goals and 20 assists with the Rangers last season. By comparison the depth defender the Jets lost in free agency, Ben Chiarot, had 5 goal and 15 assists last year and earned 3 years at 3.5 million.

The general thought is that this is overpayment and there's a few reasons why that thought is becoming consensus. If you look at who he was traded for, the 8 million dollar man Jacob Trouba, that salary works out to 37.5% of Trouba's new deals. He had 52% of Trouba's points last season so perhaps there's a discount but Pionk's greatest deficiency is his defence skills.

Yes, contracts are points driven but with defenders there are other elements to consider and Pionk comes up short compared to Trouba. That being said they are not comparable players, but will be because they were both parts in the same deal. There is a definite chance both players are overpaid.

The problem that has been pointed out with Pionk's deal is how do the Jets offer Copp 1.5 million for a player who has demonstrated his worth to the team with a total of 293 NHL games and then pay Pionk 3 million for 101 NHL games of experience?

Well the interesting point is that in almost 1/3 of NHL games Pionk has almost half as many points as Copp. The NHL is a funny place because it's player like Copp that teams need and his ask of 2.9 million seems fair and perhaps more so given what Pionk is now paid, but points. Points gather a lot of attention and that should make Jets fans nervous as attention will soon shift to Laine and Connor after Copp's decision is likely made public in the next day or two.
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