It’s shaping up to be a summer of potential big change in Winnipeg. With Pierre-Luc Dubois’ camp indicating that the center does not want to come back next season, one move of note could potentially be made sooner than later. Meanwhile, it appears Connor Hellebuyck could also be in play as Pierre LeBrun, Eric Duhatschek, and Michael Russo of The Athletic report that the ship has sailed on the idea of the goaltender signing a new contract with the Jets.
The 30-year-old is entering the final season of a six-year, $37MM contract signed back in 2018, one that has worked out quite nicely for Winnipeg. Hellebuyck has established himself as a premier netminder in the NHL in recent years but finds himself well below the top earners in the NHL – Carey Price ($10.5MM), Sergei Bobrovsky ($10MM), and Andrei Vasilevskiy ($9.5MM). That’s expected to change next summer when he’s set to reach unrestricted free agency for the first time.
Hellebuyck led the NHL in games played this season for the fourth time out of the last six years. Despite the heavy workload, he posted his lowest GAA in five years (2.49) while finishing tied for fourth in SV% (.920). On top of that, this was the first time since 2017-18 that he didn’t lead the NHL in shots faced and saves, finishing third and second respectively in those categories. Unfortunately for Winnipeg, he wasn’t as sharp in the playoffs which helped play a role in their quick elimination at the hands of Vegas.