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Jets GM says team will match any offer sheets on Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor

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Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has made it a major priority to bring back not just Patrik Laine, but Kyle Connor back this offseason. And he also has a message for other teams interested in their services: don’t waste your time with offer sheets, because they plan on matching anything thrown at those two players.

“I think you look at all the situations and determine it, but certainly it would be our intention to match, and you’ve got the summer to figure it out,” said Cheveldayoff.

Laine, 21, was initially selected 2nd overall by the Jets in the 2016 NHL Draft. Despite a year of ups-and-downs, he still managed to amass 30 goals and 20 assists in 82 games this past season, and has averaged just under 37 goals and over 61 points per season in his NHL career. He also has an NHL All-Star selection under his belt.

Connor, 22, has amassed 67 goals and 61 assists over a span of 178 games and three seasons in the NHL. The 2015 first round pick is coming off a career season where he posted 34 goals and 66 points in 82 games.

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Senators ink Thomas Chabot to lucrative eight-year extension

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Eugene Melnyk proving to the world that he willing to actually spend big money to keep a player in the nation’s capital.

The Ottawa Senators announced Thursday that they have signed their best defenceman Thomas Chabot to an eight-year, $64 million contract extension that comes into effect next season.

“Thomas is an exceptional talent and an outstanding teammate, who is impactful both on and off the ice. He is the type of player that can develop into a core member of a championship-level team in the National Hockey League…He is an NHL all-star; an elite skater and puck-mover who plays with pace and determination.” said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion.

“We are convinced Thomas will have a significant impact on the Ottawa Senators as we develop and grow into a highly competitive team over the coming seasons and we are extremely proud that Thomas will continue to be a key part of our team’s future success moving forward. Today is a great day for the Ottawa Senators franchise.”

As part of the deal, he will make $7 million in each of the first two seasons, $4 million in 2022/2023, $8 million in 2023/2024, $10 million in each of the following three seasons, and back to $8 million in the final year of the deal in 2027/2028.

The 22-year old, who was selected 15th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft, is coming off a career-best season where he posted 14 goals and 41 assists in 70 games.

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Canadiens, Hurricanes among teams interested in Stars defenceman Julius Honka

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Just a couple days after formally requesting a trade, the market is heating up for Dallas Stars defenceman Julius Honka.

According to reports, the Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes are among the teams interesting in acquiring the 2014 first round pick in a trade, and currently the most aggressive suitors.

The Canadiens would apparently rather do a player-for-player swap than give up a draft pick for a defenceman who hasn’t lived up to expectations. It’s unclear what the Hurricanes are asking for in negotiations.

The 23-year old Finnish native has compiled two goals, 11 assists and 28 penalty minutes over a span of 87 regular season games and three NHL seasons.

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Jets sign defenceman Josh Morrissey to an eight-year, $50 million extension

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The Winnipeg Jets have locked up one of their top defenceman to a long-term deal.

The team announced Thursday that they have inked Josh Morrissey to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension that will pay him an average annual value of $6.25 million.

The deal will break down as follows: He will make $8 million in years 1, 2 and 4, $5.2 million in year 3, $6.4 million in year 5, and $4.8 million in each of the final three years,

The 24-year old, who still has one season left on his current two-year, $6.3-million bridge deal, posted six goals, 25 assists, a career-best 31 points and a plus-9 rating in 59 games last season.

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