Will Jets Holdouts Open A Door For Seth Griffith?
The Winnipeg Jets training camp definitely looks different than it could.
Absent are budding young star forward Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine. Both players are top 6 forwards for the Jets, and both, are restricted free agents.
And it seems, there is no end in sight to their contract stalemates, and in fact, not enough money in the Jet’s salary cap (just over $15.4 million) to re-sign both players.
Enter Seth Griffith.
Griffith has had an almost impossible time cracking and sticking on an NHL roster, despite the face most would assert he’s too good for the AHL.
His skill set lends itself to a top 6 role, but he has found himself consistently buried behind home grown prospects.
With no Connor, and no Laine, both wingers, this could be the unique opportunity Griffith has been waiting for to seize a scoring line spot.
That however, is not a given, as there are younger Jets prospects, players such as Jack Roslovic or Kristian Vesalainen who have been waiting for the same opportunity, and who might, in the Jets’ eyes, have a higher ceiling.
But let’s not write off Griffith. Last season, he was a standout for the Jets in preseason. In fact, had it not been for the big names who are now absent, and the entitlement of a few first round draft picks to first right to fail, Griffith had in most eyes earned a roster spot.
All he did afterward, was go to AHL Manitoba and lead the team in scoring.
The sticking point? Any call up or demotion at this point in Griffith’s career means he’d need to clear waivers, and some teams would jump at the chance to add a prominent AHL scorer to their stable to help the kids along.
Either way, pros and cons, if there is a year to steal a spot, and prove he can score at the NHL level, it’s now.