Mathieu Perreault: A Pro’s Pro

What to do with Mathieu Perreault? – 

I’ve always been a big fan of Mathieu Perreault and what’s prompted me to write this article is the realization that he becomes a UFA at the end of this season.

Kevin Cheveldayoff signed Mathieu Perreault on July 1, 2014 and in my opinion, to date it is Chevy’s most successful UFA signing.  MP’s first contract was a 3-year deal at $3,000,000 per season.  During those first three season Perreault scored 40 goals and added 87 assists for 127 points in 198 games.  That is roughly .65 points per game.  Those solid numbers earned MP a 4-year contract extension with an AAV of $4,125,000 per season and a modified no-trade clause.  Not too shabby for the 6th round selection (177 overall) by the Washington Capitals in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

The Drummondville, Quebec native has been a favourite of mine right from the start.  MP has skill, speed, and is a demon on the fore-check.  Perreault, affectionally called Frenchie by his teammates is not the biggest player at 5’10, 190 lbs. and his relentless style of play has landed him on the IR more than a few times in his 7-year tenure in Winnipeg.  I love his balls to the wall style of play.  Mathieu Perreault can never be accused of cheating the game, he plays full out and on the edge.  This is why he has so many fans.

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As the Winnipeg Jets have improved as a team “Frenchie’s” roll has changed.  With the emergence of Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, Mason Appleton, Andrew Copp and ex-Jets Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic, MP has been used mostly in a 4th line role.  “Frenchy” has been a good soldier and never complained about his role on this team like other former Jets players, he just goes about his business like a true professional.

The 33-year-old winger has been called the Jets swiss army knife because he can be moved up and down the lineup and contribute.  Perreault still has the skill-set to still be used on the 2nd PP unit but for me his biggest contribution the last couple of years is his ability to stabilize the Jets 4th line.  The Jets 4th line has been a revolving door of very bad veteran pick-ups by Chevy last few seasons but the one constant has been MP trying to hold it together.  

What do the Winnipeg Jets do with Mathieu Perreault?

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I have been impressed with Perreault’s impact on this year’s Winnipeg Jets team.  This brings me to the $64,000 question.  What do the Winnipeg Jets do with the upcoming UFA?   

I have a lot of time for MP and I think the Jets would foolish not to consider offering him some sort of a contract extension, I’m sure he has a couple good years left in him.  I think MP would love to remain a Winnipeg Jets player but how much of a haircut is he willing to take to remain with this team?  I would think $1,500,000 for two years could get it done but only Mathieu Perreault and Kevin Cheveldayoff know the answer to that question.

I don’t pretend to know but I would think Paul Maurice would love to have MP return.  Perreault is an extremely low maintenance player and coaches love those types of guys.  I bet he is even “good in the room”, you know, a “glue guy”.  Of course I’m just being cheeky but I think there are still a few forwards on this team that can learn a lot from Frenchie. 

I still have a lot of “old school” in me and MP reminds me a lot of the throw-back players of the past.  In my opinion Mathieu Perreault has the highest “give a shit” meter on this team.    

At times the Winnipeg Jets have been accused of being too loyal, loyal to a fault but in this case I wouldn’t blame them.  C’mon Chevy, get it done.   



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