The Jets are talking about an extension with a foundational young player but still have progress to make with forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor.
Defenseman Josh Morrissey told the Winnipeg Free Press on Wednesday he is discussing a contract extension with the Jets.
“I’ve always maintained I want to be a Jet and I want to play here in Winnipeg. I’d love to get something done,” Morrissey said. “As a player, you just want to go through the process and handle it the right way. But I’d love to get something done and I’d love to play here throughout my career. We’ll see what happens.”
Morrissey is in the final season of a two-year, $6.3 million deal he signed with Winnipeg last offseason. He was a restricted free agent and appeared to be a lock to miss a good amount of camp as he waited for a deal, but one day after Winnipeg played its first preseason game, Morrissey signed his new contract. He scored six goals and added 25 assists last season.
He would be a restricted free agent again in 2020 if he were not to sign an extension.
Morrissey, 24, understands the position Laine and Connor are in and is hopeful the team can come to agreements with both players.
“Obviously, we want both those guys here; obviously, they’re amazing players,” he said. “I understand it’s just kind of the business of things, until there’s a new rule in place or something like that, it’s probably what’s going to happen each year.”
Morrissey isn’t a fan of the NHL’s current RFA system but acknowledges the players have to deal with it for now.
“It’s just sort of the way things seem to be working right now. I don’t think anyone loves that it is the way it is. I went through it myself. With the CBA and the rules the way they are, it’s just something that seems to happen,” Morrissey said. “It’s part of the game at the moment right now. Until there’s a change that would benefit both sides, it is the way it is.”
The NHL’s RFA system under the current CBA affects many players including stars such as Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen and Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner. The current CBA runs through 2020. The NHL announced it would not void the deal last week. The NHLPA has until Sept. 15 to decide whether it wants to exercise a similar option.
The RFA system would likely be a point of discussion as multiple star players remain unsigned.