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Jets Sign Final RFA Andrew Copp to One-Year Deal

Photo by Rusty Barton

Jets Sign Final RFA Andrew Copp to One-Year Deal

The Winnipeg Jets and restricted free agent forward Andrew Copp have come together on a one-year contract for the coming 2021-22 season. The deal helps the two sides avoid arbitration this summer, but significantly reduces the chance that the 27-year-old forward sticks around in Winnipeg long term.

Agreeing to a one-year, $3.64 million deal, Copp will see a significant raise from the $2.28 million that he earned in each of the past two seasons. His improved play over the course of that deal proved his worth to both the Jets and fellow NHL execs league-wide.

“I guess I could have pushed and tried to get a longer term deal out of this,” Copp said following his signing. “And I guess I could have pushed, if the Jets weren’t the ones to do that, someone else would have. But I didn’t really think that was the right thing to do. I’ve obviously enjoyed my time in Winnipeg and want to see these changes and see how good we can be next year.”

Producing at a career-high pace, Copp put up 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points, while adding 20 penalty minutes (all career-highs) in just 55 games last season (a career low). He also added two assists in eight postseason games last year.

Copp’s pay in 2021-22 will be a 60 percent increase from his previous contract, which is roughly the same percentage of increase in his points from last season to that of the three seasons prior.

Having recently put the finishing touches on contracts to fellow RFAs Logan Stanley (two years by $900K) and Neal Pionk (four years by $5.875M), Jets’ general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff dodged a bullet on having to go to an arbitration hearing against that of his highly-productive middle-six centreman/winger.

However, in signing just a one-year deal, Copp will see his status shift to that of an unrestricted free agent come the 2022 offseason, to which he will be free to sign with whichever team he so pleases. While helping the Jets stay cap compliant for 2021-22, the choice to go ahead with a one-year deal does muddy the waters for the potential to keep Copp around past the coming season.

“I guess at this point I’m kind of comfortable being uncomfortable,” he said of the uncertainty surrounding his short-term contracts. “I guess I kind of knew early on I was going to be protected so that wasn’t really something that I was worrying too much into the summer about. Two expansion drafts and contracts in the years in between so it’s been always something in the summer, it feels like. Obviously being on a one-year deal next summer will be kind of the sort of the same thing and we’ll see what happens after that. I basically am betting on myself and have done that the last 10 years so why stop now?”

In order to get back under the league’s salary cap, the Jets will likely need to Waive or trade defenceman Sami Niku or Nathan Beaulieu and then place injured forward Bryan Little’s contract on the team’s long term injured reserve, in order to benefit from the money spent on the injured player. Luckily, Chevy and Co. have significant time on their hands to do so, rather than waiting around until Copp’s August 26 hearing, as they were set to do prior to this agreement.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at

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