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Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter

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BOSTON - The calendar says Free Agent Frenzy begins on Canada Day.

But for the Winnipeg Jets, the deadline might as well be June 23 ­– the opening of the unrestricted free agent interview period – when it comes to keeping Tyler Myers.

Now that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has a clearer picture of what RFA defenceman Jacob Trouba can fetch in a trade, the Jets have re-engaged with Myers’ camp on bringing back the 6-foot-8 blueliner.

The two sides met at the NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo last week.

The question is: Can the Jets entice Myers enough in the next two and a half weeks to not go to market? He’s made it this far and the pull to at least listen in the courting process is strong.

Myers would draw no shortage of interest on the open market. The Vancouver Canucks, Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars are among the teams potentially interested in signing Myers, though you could probably pencil in more than half the league as keen on the idea of adding a right-shooting defenceman of his calibre.

Myers, 29, collected nine goals and 31 points for the Jets last season. He would likely earn a $6-plus million AAV from market on a long-term deal.

Could the Jets, amid their cap crunch, possibly convince him to stay with a cap hit in the high $5 million neighbourhood? It would probably be a slight discount, but the Jets can offer what others can’t: familiarity, a chance to win and an increased role with Trouba vacating a spot on the right side of the Jets’ depth chart.

They’re working on it. But the clock is ticking.

Myers is up to No. 7 on TSN Hockey’s latest Free Agent Frenzy Top 30 list, second only to Erik Karlsson among UFA defencemen.

Six new names joined the board, including Vezina Trophy finalist Robin Lehner of the Islanders (No. 12), Lightning defenceman Anton Stralman (19), Jets blueliner Ben Chiarot (25), Blues’ Game 7 hero Pat Maroon (28), Oilers winger Alex Chiasson (29) and Predators pick-up Brian Boyle (30).

The Jets traded the negotiating rights of Kevin Hayes (No. 17) to Philadelphia on Monday, but Hayes re-signing with the Flyers does not appear to be imminent. 

No player has put more money in his pocket this spring than Boston Bruins forward Marcus Johansson. Finally healthy, it has been an impressive playoff run for ‘JoJo’, the former 58-point scorer. He’s got four goals and seven critical assists, forming a dynamic duo with fellow deadline acquisition Charlie Coyle. For Johansson, a return to Washington may be in the cards if the money makes sense.

Here is TSN Hockey’s latest Free Agent Frenzy Top 30 list:

 

The Top 30

 
RK Player Team Pos Age GP G PTS 17-18
1 Artemi Panarin CBJ LW 27 79 28 87 $6M
2 Erik Karlsson SJS RD 29 53 3 45 $6.5M
3 Sergei Bobrovsky CBJ G 30 62 2.53 .913 $7.43M
4 Matt Duchene CBJ C 28 73 31 70 $6M
5 Jeff Skinner Buf LW 27 82 40 63 $5.75M
6 Anders Lee NYI LW 28 82 28 51 $3.75M
7 Tyler Myers Wpg RD 29 80 9 30 $5.5M
8 Joe Pavelski SJS C 34 75 28 64 $6M
9 Mats Zuccarello Dal RW 31 48 12 40 $4.5M
10 Marcus Johansson Bos LW 28 58 13 30 $4.58M
11 Robin Lehner NYI G 27 46 2.13 .930 $1.5M
12 Jake Gardiner Tor LD 28 62 3 30 $4.05M
13 Jordan Eberle NYI RW 29 77 19 37 $6M
14 Alex Edler Van LD 33 55 10 32 $5M
15 Gustav Nyquist SJS LW 29 81 22 60 $4.75M
16 Micheal Ferland Car LW 27 71 17 40 $1.75M
17 Kevin Hayes Phi C 27 71 19 55 $5.18M
18 Ryan Dzingel CBJ LW 27 78 26 56 $1.8M
19 Anton Stralman Tam RD 32 47 2 17 $4.5M
20 Wayne Simmonds Nsh RW 30 79 17 30 $3.98M
21 Braydon Coburn Tam LD 34 74 4 23 $3.7M
22 Brett Connolly Wsh RW 27 81 22 46 $1.8M
23 Brandon Tanev Wpg LW 27 80 14 29 $1.15M
24 Joonas Donskoi SJS RW 27 80 14 37 $1.8M
25 Ben Chiarot Wpg LD 28 74 5 20 $1.4M
26 Colin Wilson Col LW 29 65 12 27 $3.94M
27 Ron Hainsey Tor RD 38 81 5 23 $3M
28 Patrick Maroon StL LW 31 74 10 28 $1.75M
29 Alex Chiasson Edm RW 28 73 22 38 $650K
30 Brian Boyle Nsh C 34 73 18 24 $2.55M