Machacek gets deal done

- September 11th, 2012

The Winnipeg Jets got another one of their restricted free agents signed on Tuesday afternoon, inking right-winger Spencer Machacek to a one-year, two-way deal.

According to a source, the deal is worth $575,00 in the NHL and $150,000 in the AHL.

The 23-year-old did an excellent job, often in limited duty, during his second call-up late in the 2011-12 season — picking up two goals and nine points in the final 11 games (he appeared in 13 overall).

Machacek, a third round pick (67th overall) of the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, was hoping to turn his late-season promotion into a one-way deal, but that didn’t transpire at this time.

Our take is that Machacek’s sample size (25 NHL games total and 12 prior to last season) was simply too small to warrant one at this time.

However, it was smart for the Lethbridge, Alta. product to not enter into a holdout and finally come to terms after a long summer without a deal.

Besides, if Machacek plays the way he can, he won’t have to worry about what he’ll be making in the minors because he won’t be there.

In case of a lockout, it also looks like Machacek might be able to start the season with the St. John’s IceCaps and stay sharp until an agreement can be reached between the NHL and NHLPA.

Machacek will cross that bridge when he gets there, but told me in a telephone conversation Tuesday afternoon that he would be willing to go down.

For now, his focus is on doing whatever it takes to show head coach Claude Noel that he can be a consistent contributor.

It’s not reasonable to expect Machacek will chip in with close to a point per game pace like he did late last season, but his combination of skill, grit and energy makes him a strong candidate to make the club as a fourth-liner who can move up and provide a spark when one is needed.

Now that Machacek has signed on the dotted line, the only RFA left for the Jets to sign is left-winger Evander Kane.

Kane was in town Monday for an autograph signing with the launch of EA Sports NHL13 and we had a chance to speak with him, along with several other members of the media.

However, Kane didn’t reveal anything about where things stand in terms of the contract negotiations. Nor did he give me a glimpse of what he was expecting to happen or what he might actually be looking for.

The Boston Bruins locked up centre Tyler Seguin on Tuesday morning on a six-year contract extension for $34.5 million, an average of $5.75 million per season.

Kane is believed to be seeking a deal north of $5 million per season and there have been several players who signed deals that could be seen as comparables during the past few weeks/months.

The current CBA expires on Saturday at midnight and it will be interesting to see if Kane and the Jets come to terms before the rules could conceivably change.

I don’t expect a deal to get done before then, but stranger things have happened.

Categories: Hockey

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