Report: Jets discussing contract extensions with Ladd, Byfuglien

Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA TODAY Sports

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The clock is ticking toward the potential departure times for a pair of Winnipeg Jets.

Captain Andrew Ladd and stalwart defenseman Dustin Byfuglien are both entering the final years of their contracts with the club, and can become unrestricted free agents next summer.

The big questions facing general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff are whether the team can meet each player's asking price, and if the club would be better served by dealing one or both for future assets.

Ladd, for one, won't come cheap, according to Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press:

Ladd wants to remain in Winnipeg. He has a young family and more and more this city is a fit. He also likes the organization and the work general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has done. So, he’s willing to work with the Jets. But not at a $5-million or more discount. All told, Ladd’s next ticket is going to be worth in the range of $40 million.

Cheveldayoff has been working to get him signed to an extension. Both sides have declared their intent to get a deal done, but they remain apart. The Jets operate as a budget team and the management group must find a way for Ladd’s contract to not only fit into the picture today, but also for several years down the road.

The 29-year-old recorded a career-high 62 points this past season, and has been a consistent presence for the Jets since coming over from the Chicago Blackhawks following their Stanley Cup win in 2010.

As for Byfuglien, his agent tells Lawless that he and the club have engaged in nothing more than preliminary discussions. Even at age 30, he'll likely command more than the $5.2-million cap hit per season on his current deal.

The burly defenseman recorded 18 goals and 45 points with a career-high 124 penalty minutes in 2014-15, and has proven to be a force at both ends of the ice since also joining the organization by way of Chicago in 2010.

The Jets are coming off a playoff season, and have the look of a club on the rise. Whether these two core players remain in the mix long-term is yet to be determined.

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Report: Jets discussing contract extensions with Ladd, Byfuglien
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