Winnipeg Jets make qualifying offers to 4 players, 4 others become unrestricted free agents

The Winnipeg Jets extended qualifying offers to four of their eight pending restricted free agents to retain their rights.

Monday was the deadline for NHL teams to make qualifying offers to eligible players, and forward Andrew Copp, along with defencemen Neal Pionk, Logan Stanley, and Johnathan Kovacevic all received offers from the Jets.

The Jets did not make qualifying offers to restricted free agent forwards Marko Dano and Skyler McKenzie, along with defenceman Luke Green, and goalie Cole Kehler, and they all become unrestricted free agents as of Wednesday.

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Dano, 26, had two different stints with the Jets organization, but only played for the AHL’s Manitoba Moose last season. He appeared in just 13 games where he scored one goal with two assists. He was originally acquired in the Andrew Ladd trade during the 2015-2016 season.

McKenzie, 23, played 131 games for the Moose over three seasons after the Jets selected him in the seventh round, 208th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Green, 23, battled injuries for much of his time with the organization. The defenceman didn’t play a single game for the Moose last season and suited up for just 28 AHL games over the past four campaigns. He was the Jets third round pick in 2016.

The 23-year-old Kehler, who hails from Winkler, signed a one-year contract with the Jets back in April, and went 2-1 in three AHL games with the Moose.

All four players are still eligible to re-sign with the Jets as free agents.

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The 27-year-old Copp earned $2.28 million in his sixth season with the Jets and is due for a raise after completing his two-year contract.

Pionk is also coming off a two-year deal that paid him an average of $3 million per season.

Copp, Pionk, and Kovacevic are all eligible to file for salary arbitration if they can’t work out a deal to their liking with the Jets.

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