Winnipeg Jets management has dodged the need to attend and present an arbitration filling to an independent salary reviewer this offseason.
With 26-year-old forward Mason Appleton having filed for salary arbitration back on July 5, the club and all members of the league were informed of his choice as a restricted free agent. Given a short window of time to come together and create a contract that would work before what many describe as the unpleasant experience of a salary hearing, the Jets and Appleton did just that.
Winnipeg announced a three-year, $6.25 million contract for the Green Bay, WI. product, featuring an annual average of of $2.167 million. This deal will remove the need for he and the club to attend his hearing, initially scheduled in Toronto for August 11.
The former Michigan State University product suited up parts of three seasons for the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose – including that of a 66-point, rookie of the year award-winning 2017-18 campaign, before transitioning full-time to the Jets in 2020.
Appleton was Winnipeg’s 2021 Expansion Draft casualty, with the newly-formed Seattle Kraken taking him away from the club last summer. However, this past trade deadline saw the Jets swoop back in and reacquire their 2015 sixth round draft pick from the league’s newest team.
He put up eight goals, 21 points and 30 penalty minutes in 68 games split between the Jets and Kraken last season. Appleton has just over $3 million in career earnings thus far. His previous contract carried a $800k annual cap hit, so this new deal will certainly be a welcomed raise.