Connor Hellebuyck's Price Dropping: Which Teams Still Targeting The Jets' Goalie?

The Winnipeg Jets aren't in the best position as they will have to either trade their starter Connor Hellebuyck for less than they had initially hoped, possibly trade him mid-season for the same result, or stick with him for the final year of his deal and lose him for nothing.

While the Jets rightfully want a big return for one of the best goalies in the league under contract at $6 million for one more year, Hellebuyck isn't doing them any favors with what he's asking for on his next deal. Teams don't generally want to give up a ton of their future if there isn't a guarantee in place that they can work out a deal. Hellebuyck is making that hard and teams reel back as he's looking for Andrei Vasilevskiy money ($9-9.5 million AAV).

Pierre LeBrun reported that the New Jersey Devils remain interested in Hellebuyck, but don't want to pay a high price. They have Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid as their tandem in the NHL which worked out fairly well for them last season, while also having Erik Kallgren and Nico Daws in the AHL. An upgrade to Vanecek as the starter would be beneficial, but the price has to drop for Hellebuyck since Vanecek would be in the return package.

The only other team that now makes sense is the Buffalo Sabres who have been linked to the Jets' starter for some time now. They are alright running with Devon Levi and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen as their tandem this season, but are still open to making more moves if something falls into their lap. The Jets could get desperate and really drop the price. In that case, the Sabres are trying to get to the playoffs this season as they were so close in 2022-23. A legitimate starter would help them do that, especially with a more solid defense core.

Photo credit: © James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports