The Winnipeg Jets are heading into the 2023-24 NHL season fresh off of a first round exit at the hands of the eventual Stanley Cup Champions. For the Jets, a lot has changed since they last took the ice, and unfortunately the changes are going go keep coming this season.
Waiting is not going to fix the Winnipeg Jets’ roster problems
Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blake Wheeler are both on different teams, and unfortunately there are more moves that need to be made at some point this season. Connor Hellebuyck, the best player to wear a Jets jersey for the past handfull of seasons, is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2023-24 season. That is also the case for Mark Scheifele.
Both of Hellebuyck and Scheifele are not expected to re-sign with the Jets, and so waiting to move them is not going to solve the Jets’ problems.
We have seen this year after year with big pending free agents. If a deal is not worked out by the time the season begins, carrying the contract negotiations or lack there of into the new season just hurts the entire team more than having those players on the roster.
The Jets have had issues for a long time now keeping players in Winnipeg, and at the end of the day the best case scenario is keeping players in the locker room who want to be here.
While Connor Hellebuyck might be one of the best goalies in the NHL, waiting for the regular season to make a move is not a great move for the team.
Moving goalies during the regular season is not something that happens that often for whatever reason, and for Hellebuyck, he holds a lot of power considering he can decide whether or not he would be willing to re-sign with any team that trades for him. Waiting towards the regular season or up until the trade deadline will put the pressure on the Jets to make a trade and will hurt their leverage in any trade.
The Jets have a headache right now with Hellebuyck and Scheifele, and rather than drag the situation out all season, they should work on getting any trades done before puck drop in October.