A Deeper Look into the Josh Morrissey Eight Year Extension for Winnipeg Jets

Josh Morrissey enjoyed a nice season for the Winnipeg Jets. With the departure of Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers, Morrissey became the de facto number one defenseman for Winnipeg.

As a result, the Jets signed the defender to an eight-year, $6.25 million AAV pact. Let’s take a deeper look

What Josh Morrissey means to the Winnipeg Jets

Morrissey’s ice time rose to over 22 minutes a night as the defenseman finally saw some power-play time of substance at last. The result was ten power-play points overall and many think the tip of the iceberg.

The defenseman experienced an overall rise in points to 31 in 2018-19. Expectations indicate further increases in 2019-20 as Morrissey could project to play 24-25 minutes a night at times.

Now, the contract is signed and sealed. The first question asked has to be, will Winnipeg pair Morrissey with Dustin Byfuglien or someone else? Byfuglien is not getting any younger and having a physical presence on that top pair arguably cannot hurt.

Morrissey has improved every single season from an offensive and defensive point of view. The 24-year-old gains the chance to be the focal point on the blueline for the Winnipeg Jets.

Here is a PuckPedia snapshot on Josh Morrissey.

Next, there is the numerology.

The numerology of Josh Morrissey

Fortunately, Morrissey benefits from a player like Byfuglien but after that, the depth drops off a good bit for Winnipeg.

Possession metrics look slightly positive relative to the team for Josh Morrissey. The defenseman maintained a +1% relative last year and that was up from the previous years. One of the main reasons was the first half where Werenski was +3% then almost even over the second half and playoffs.

Consequently, many point to that his expected goals for that were 1.3% up from the team average relative. Also, his points per 60 are solid right around 1.

Here is a standardized RAPM chart from Evolving Hockey.

Josh Morrissey RAPM Chart
Josh Morrissey looks to take the next steps in becoming a top defenseman in the NHL.

Alas, some tougher minutes will likely greet the rearguard in 2019-20 along with a bump up on the power play. Unfortunately, training camp comes quickly and the defenseman will have to improve a little bit defensively. There will be a bit of a void with what left Winnipeg during free agency — especially Jacob Trouba.

This move keeps Morrissey in Winnipeg and buys several years of unrestricted free agency at a reasonable AAV as well.

The details of the Josh Morrissey deal

The Morrissey re-signing shows an eight-year contract extension for $6.25 million AAV which is unexpectedly lower than most speculated he could receive. Salary breakdown was shown above but the interesting part is the last three years at just $4.8 million. The kickers in this deal are early on and not late. However, a few wrinkles benefit the defender.

Morrissey’s eight-year, $50 million contract breaks down as the following with an AAV of $6.25 million:
2020-21: $8 million
2021-22: $8 million
2022-23: $5.2 million
2023-24: $8 million
2024-25: $6.4 million
2025-26: $4.8 million
2026-27: $4.8 million
2027-28: $4.8 million https://t.co/IMQtNAljRu

— Winnipeg Jets PR (@WpgJetsPR) September 12, 2019

That third year starts the unrestricted free agency so yes, Winnipeg bought six UFA seasons for Josh Morrissey.

According to Ken Wiebe, Morrissey has a no-movement clause in years three through five which turns to a no-trade clause in years six through eight.

Some final words on Josh Morrissey

Morrissey needs to step up and play like a top-two defenseman. If anyone can do that, it is him.

Finally, another domino falls on the restricted free agency end as far as a defenseman. What will this mean for say Charlie McAvoy and Ivan Provrov?

Nothing imminent on the Charlie McAvoy (BOS) or Ivan Provorov (PHI) RFA deals but with camp opening this week, and CBJ signing Zach Werenski to a three-year, $15M deal today, expectation is talks on McAvoy and Provorov will heat up considerably in the next day or two.

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 9, 2019

The start of training camp exists as a pressure point of sorts. It is now a time where teams will try to negotiate in days what took months. The game-changer for the Morrissey deal is he takes less money later in the deal. This tweet above proved to be foreshadowing for one free agent. Stay tuned to see which one that is.