WINNIPEG - For all of those asking — and speculation has been rampant on this subject — Zach Bogosian is not on the trading block.
“Bogosian, for me, is someone I hope to build our defence around,” said Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, who was on hand to discuss the signing of captain Andrew Ladd to a five-year contract extension worth $22 million on Wednesday. “In this game, there are never any certainties, but what is certain is that he’s a 21-year-old defencemen who was drafted very, very high (third overall in 2008), with lots of talent.
“For our organization, I hope he’s someone who’s going to be here for a long, long time.”
Bogosian had five goals, 12 assists, 17 points and 29 penalty minutes and was a team-worst minus-27 in 71 games last season and was said to have had some issues with the Atlanta Thrashers coaching staff.
Those issues led many trade rumours, none of which came to fruition.
“I can’t speak to anything that happened last year, with respect to rumours or anything like that,” said Cheveldayoff. “Nor will I speak to any rumours regarding our team going forward. What I can speak about is that Zach is a tremendous kid. He’s a young defenceman and anyone who follows the game knows that defencemen mature at a different rate than maybe different players.”
Cheveldayoff actually has a history with Bogosian, albeit a brief one, as the blue-liner played five games on a conditioning stint with the Chicago Wolves when Cheveldayoff was the GM there.
“He was head-and-shoulders above everyone else out there at 18-years-old,” said Cheveldayoff. “Again, I think the best is in front of a lot of these players and we’re going to get a chance to watch them grow in front of our eyes.”
Cheveldayoff spoke with Bogosian’s new agent, Bob Murray, on Monday afternoon and the dialogue is open.
“We discussed concepts, terms and different things like that,” said Cheveldayoff. “That (negotiation) will take its own course.”
Murray made it clear Bogosian wasn’t looking for a trade and is excited about what could lie ahead.
“(Cheveldayoff) thinks a lot of Zach, which is great, so we’ll proceed from there,” said Murray. “The whole thing is a fresh start. Last year probably wasn’t the best year for Zach in some aspects, but everyone recognizes the ability that he has and the potential that’s there. He’s coming to a new town with a new coaching staff, with a lot of new management people and a lot of the same teammates and he’s looking forward to it.