July 19th, 2024

Jets lose four players, including defenceman Dillon, as free agency opens

By The Canadian Press on July 1, 2024.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Eric Comrie (31) saves ashot from Winnipeg Jets' Alex Iafallo (9) as Mattias Samuelsson (23) defends during second period NHL action in Winnipeg on Friday, November 17, 2023. The Jets have signed Comrie to a two-year contract with an average annual value of US$825,000, the NHL club announced Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets have lost four players to the open market on the opening day of NHL free agency.

Defenceman Brenden Dillon, goaltender Laurent Brossoit and forwards Tyler Toffoli and Sean Monahan – all unrestricted free agents – signed with other teams Monday.

Dillon inked a three-year, US$12-million contract with the New Jersey Devils.

The six-foot-four, 225-pound defenceman spent the last three seasons in Winnipeg. He played 77 games last season and recorded 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) with a plus-20 rating.

A physical presence on the blue line, the 33-year-old led the Jets with 241 hits and 92 penalty minutes last season.

Brossoit signed a two-year, $6.6-million deal with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The 31-year-old from Port Alberni, B.C., posted a 15-2-2 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and .927 save percentage last season backing up star goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. Brossoit was in his second stint with the Jets.

Toffoli and Monahan were both acquired before last season’s trade deadline. Toffoli signed a four-year, $24-million deal with San Jose and Monahan inked a five-year, $27.5 million deal with Columbus.

Toffoli, from Toronto, had seven goals and four assists in 18 regular-season games for Winnipeg and added two goals in five playoff contests.

Monahan, from Brampton, Ont., had 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists) in 34 games with Winnipeg and added an assist in the playoffs as the Jets bowed out in five games to the Colorado Avalanche in the first round.

To shore up the goaltending after Brossoit’s departure, the Jets signed netminder Eric Comrie to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $825,000.

It’s the third stint with the Jets for the 28-year-old from Edmonton.

He played the last two campaigns with the Buffalo Sabres and had a 2-7-0 record with a 3.69 goals-against average and a .874 save percentage in 10 games last season.

Comrie was originally selected by Winnipeg in the second round (59th overall) in the 2013 NHL draft.

He has a 24-26-2 record with a 3.38 GAA and .893 save percentage in 57 NHL games with Winnipeg, Detroit, New Jersey and Buffalo.

Comrie is also the franchise leader in games played (203), wins (86), and saves (5,683) with Winnipeg’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Manitoba Moose.

Hellebuyck, who recently won his second Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender, will likely once again shoulder the bulk of the goaltending load in Winnipeg next season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2024.

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