When will Machacek sign?

- August 10th, 2012

We understand it’s only August, but the Winnipeg Jets still have a pair of restricted free agents left to sign.

Everyone knows who the high-profile one is (if you don’t, it’s Evander Kane), but did you remember that right-winger Spencer Machacek is the second guy who needs to sign on the dotted line?

We understand why Kane’s deal is taking so long (both sides are in the process of making a lengthy and substantial commitment to one another), but it’s a tad curious that Machacek still hasn’t signed yet.

The Jets, by rule, don’t generally discuss contract negotiations and we haven’t been able to get in touch with Machacek’s agent either, so we can merely offer our two cents here.

However, if you put two and two together, it’s likely that Machacek’s representatives are seeking a one-way contract for the gritty forward, who managed to put up two goals and nine points in 13 games with the Jets last season, many of which saw him used sparingly on the fourth line.

Naturally, the question should be asked, is Machacek worth a one-way contract?

During his final recall, Machacek produced at close to a point-per-game clip. He also brings some grit to the table as well.

However, coming into last season, Machachek had no points in 12 games over two seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers.

His American Hockey League numbers have been really good (eclipsing 20 goals on three occasions with the Chicago Wolves), but he’s yet to play anywhere close to a full season in the NHL.

With the St. John’s IceCaps, Machacek had 18 goals and 50 points in 61 games to lead the team in points and tie for second with Patrice Cormier on the team in goals (former Manitoba Moose sniper Jason King had 22 to top the team).

Our best guess is that Machacek is seeking a one-way deal because centre Aaron Gagnon (who played seven games with the Jets and 63 with the IceCaps) has one for next season as part of a two-year pact he signed as a free agent last summer.

Machacek, 22, probably has his best opportunity to claim a full-time NHL roster spot this season, but he won’t be able to do so without a contract.

You have to think a deal will get done before long, but whether or not Machacek gets a one-way deal will be interesting to monitor.

We don’t expect Machacek to produce at close to a point-per-game clip next season, but he could be a sound contributor with his blend of skill and sandpaper.

With the improvements the Jets have made to the roster, Machacek should still battle for work on the fourth line and could see some time on the third as well, depending on how things shake down.

He’s also shown he can jump up and fill in on a scoring line when the Jets need a spark.

With that in mind, Machacek still needs to prove himself at the NHL-level, which is why he’ll likely have to sign a two-way deal this summer.

 

Categories: Hockey

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1 comment

  1. c. todaro says:

    Teams always talk about catching lightning in a bottle . Machacek should be given a chance to show he is capable of playing at last years pace until he proves otherwise .

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