Ed. note: this post is written in NHL.com lockout style, which means no mentions or photographs of current players.
As it turns out, all the Winnipeg Jets and the forward that wears the above jersey needed was to work to a deadline.
Just moments before the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, the Jets and the aforementioned player finally agreed to a six-year, $31.5 million deal. The deal carries an average annual salary of $5.25 million.
The player, a left winger, led the Jets in goals in their first season in Manitoba with 30, and finished second in points. In three NHL seasons, the player has accrued 126 points, and has established himself as one of the Jets' chief physical presences.
The deal puts to bed a host of rumours that the player was unwilling to sign an extension in Winnipeg because he wanted out. From Arctic Ice Hockey:
With much speculation and rumor mongering over [the player] not wanting to play in Winnipeg and numerous teams allegedly having interest in the budding superstar, this is news that should be much welcomed by Jets fans. This re-signing serves as a stern warning that you should not believe every rumor you read on the internets.
... In reality? It's all crap. Complete genuine crap.
Never once did we hear it from [the player] or his agent Craig Oster that this was the case. Delays in contractual negotiations, especially those with no case of urgency due to the impending lockout just prompted various "unnamed sources" to come forward with their expert opinions. People just read into non-stories and jumped to conclusions far too much -- which is always a bad idea. [The player] obviously wants to be here, and wants to be here long term.
Long-term indeed. The player will be there until 2018.
But the player was not the last player signed to a deal before the CBA expired. That honour goes to the New York Islanders' winger who shares a first and last name with Matt Martin, the son of racecar driver Mark Martin.
The Islanders' forward inked a 4-year deal worth just $4 million, averaging out to $1 million per year. Clearly, the fact that he's the single-season record holder in hits never came up.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney