Insider Drops Intriguing Intel on Hellebuyck's Future

Are the Winnipeg Jets really ready for a full tank and rebuild? According to hockey insider Elliotte Friedman, no; he feels the Jets want to push forward and make the playoffs next season. Ultimately, despite all the trade talk, he says that means that premier goaltender Connor Hellebuyck could very well still be a Jet to start the 2023-24 season. 

"I had some people tell me that they wouldn't be surprised if Hellebuyck starts the year in Winnipeg," said Friedman.

"First of all, the Jets don't wanna do a rebuild... I don't think they wanna go backwards, I think they wanna make the playoffs next year. It's not only about trading Hellebuyck. It's about, do they have an adequate replacement for him?"

He goes on to outline the barren market for still-available goalies at this point in the summer. John Gibson is still in Anaheim, Ilya Samsonov and the Maple Leafs are going to get some kind of deal done by Friday even if just in arbitration, and he wonders where that leaves the Jets' ability to replace their perennial Vezina Trophy contender (and one-time winner). 

"I just think that there's a lot of teams playing a waiting game, and I don't think it would be a huge shock if Hellebuyck started the year in Winnipeg," concludes Friedman.

Hellebuyck is going into the final season of his 6-year deal with a $6.1M AAV. He's expected to command somewhere in the neighborhood of $9M+ AAV in his next deal. This past season, he went 37-25-2 with a 2.49 GAA and a .920 SV% with four shutouts. 

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