NHL Rumors: Jets Could See Major Shakeup If Season Goes South

The Winnipeg Jets missed the playoffs last season and hardly anything seemed to go right for them. Kyle Connor was stellar all season long, but other areas needed to be much better. Dan Rosen suggests that this season could be a make or break one for the team, possibly ending with a major shakeup.

The Jets didn't make any major changes this past offseason, but are introducing rookies Cole Perfetti and Morgan Barron to their forward group. Their stars up front and Connor Hellebuyck in net are still there, but that may be a part of a major shakeup that's coming. The defence is still without a number one and takes up too much cap space.

A couple of players to watch would be Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele who have been a part of this organization for a while, are the leaders on the team, and both have two years remaining on their deals. Wheeler was recently stripped of the captaincy, signaling a possible change soon.

Pierre-Luc Dubois has made it pretty clear he doesn't want to stay with the Jets long-term, and once he becomes an unrestricted free agent, you can expect him to be good as gone to test the open market.

The players that need to stick around and allow the Jets to build around are Hellebuyck, Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, Perfetti, Barron, Ville Heinola, Dylan Samberg, and Brad Lambert among the players who are with the Jets or very close. Everyone else on the team should be fair game.

The biggest change the team needs is on defence. They have two young and promising prospects in Heinola and Samberg who can't find NHL playing time. Three of their defencemen, Josh Morrissey, Neal Pionk, and Nate Schmidt, all have a cap hit of at least $5.875 million per season and none of them can assume the role of number one defenceman or point man on the power play.

The team needs to move some money out and around and bring in some fresh faces. Free agency is always an option if they are to move some of their players, but Winnipeg is also a tough destination to attract free agents without a winning culture established. We'll see what happens, but a strong start in their tough division is key.

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