Winnipeg Jets Sign Shawn Matthias

The competition in the Winnipeg Jets bottom six just got tougher as they signed centreman Shawn Matthias to a two-year, $4.25 million contract.

Shawn Matthias stands in at 6’4″ and weighs 231 lbs. He is 28 years old with nine NHL seasons under his belt. Though not a great possession driver, he provides solid offensive production for a bottom six centre. He scored 28 points in 71 games last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado AvalancheHe is also an experienced penalty killer.

Shawn Matthias Signs with the Winnipeg Jets

With his $2.125 million per year cap hit, Matthias is a lock to make the opening day lineup. This complicates things for players such as Andrew Copp and Adam Lowry. Both are competing for fourth line centre roles. Lowry can at least move to the wing, but the Matthias signing has increased both of their chances of playing with the Manitoba Moose this season.

The signing seems odd given the deep forward pool the Jets have. Furthermore, TSN’s Gary Lawless reports that the Jets are looking to acquire another forward. Perhaps Kevin Cheveldayoff has plans for the young guns to develop in the minors rather than in the NHL. Among notable young forwards are Kyle Connor, Joel Armia and Marko Dano. Stashing these players in the press box simply isn’t an option. It is crucial for their development that they get time on the ice, either with the Jets or Moose. Playing top minutes with the Moose is likely more beneficial than playing five minutes a game with the Jets. This signing makes at least one more prospect playing with the Moose imminent.

Excited about his opportunity to play with the Jets, Matthias stated: “I truly believe this is a team I could grow with, be a part of and win with. I couldn’t be happier.” Pleasantly surprised, Matthias is currently on the golf course because he didn’t expect to sign on day one of free agency.

Quotes courtesy of Twitter.

 

TORONTO, ON – JANUARY 23:  Shawn Matthias #23 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Montreal Canadiens during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on January 23,2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Canadiens defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in an overtime shoot-out. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)