Analysis: How should the Winnipeg Jets handle Cole Perfetti's contract situation? - Winnipeg |

The NHL’s first buyout window, draft and free agency will all get underway in the next two to three weeks.

But it's interesting to see how non-time-sensitive items play out on Kevin Cheveldayoff's to-do list.

I could be wrong, but with the busiest period of the NHL business season approaching, completing Cole Perfetti’s second contract doesn’t seem to be high on the list of priorities for the Winnipeg Jets’ general manager.

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But it will be an important negotiation to determine whether it is in the best interest of both parties to work together long-term or to reach a transition agreement before the start of fall training camp.

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While there are arguments for both arrangements, I think the latter is the more likely outcome.

Perfetti did score 19 goals this season, nearly doubling his total from the first two years he was sidelined by injury.

Another positive was that the 22-year-old forward played in all 82 games for the first time, although he missed 11 of them for health reasons.

Winnipeg Jets' Cole Perfetti (91) celebrates a goal as he slides past New Jersey Devils' Ryan Graves (33) during a game in Newark, New Jersey, Feb. 19, 2023.

Canadian Press/AP – Frank Franklin II

But 14 of those 19 goals came in the first 40 games. The second half of the season began with a 23-game scoringless streak, with just two assists during that stretch, which no doubt prompted Cheveldayoff to sign Sean Monahan and Tyler Toffoli.

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So why wouldn't Perfetti and his advisors want to take a deal similar to the two-year, $6.875 million contract Gabe Vilardi agreed to last summer, rather than a long-term deal that looks good now but carries considerable “team interest” risk over the next two, three, or four years?

Use the next two seasons to build out resumes and expand scope so both the team and the player have a clearer vision of how to chart the course for the next eight years.

Because it’s getting closer to the summer of 2026, there should be a lot less gray area than there is now.

Click to play video: John Shannon on the Jets: Year-end review

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