The Winnipeg Jets are a team that is hard to get a read on. In 2022-23, they were one of the best teams in the NHL to start the season. They started to fall apart after the calendar turned to 2023 and that dropped them into the Wild Card scene.
They did eventually make the playoffs but were beaten in the first round by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights. That left them with a sour taste in their mouth.
During the off-season, some big moves were made. They sent Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Los Kings in a big package and made some other subtle additions to their group. However, that was not the big storyline surrounding them.
Both Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck entered the off-season with one year left on their deals. Players like that are worth a lot on the open market and they would return a lot on the trade block. The Jets had some decisions to make with them.
The Winnipeg Jets made a stunning announcement on Monday afternoon.
A stunning decision was made on Monday, however, as they were both extended to eight-year deals. They are identical deals as both players are getting an average annual value of $8.5 million.
That is a hefty deal for both of them. It isn’t the cap hit in the short term that is in question. It is the fact that they are going to be highly paid for the next eight years that is extremely risky. That is hard to rebuild around if the Jets are forced to go that route soon.
There were a lot of teams that made sense for those two players via trades. Now, they are going to have to look elsewhere because of these deals. With the AAV that they are getting now, the teams that won’t be getting them are probably happy about it.
As mentioned before, this is shocking news. Nobody saw them getting extensions of this caliber anywhere but nobody especially thought it would come from Winnipeg. We’ll see if it works out for them. It is very fair to be skeptical about both of these deals for the Winnipeg Jets. Only time will tell.