The Winnipeg Jets have a deep forward unit, a revamped defense, and one of the best goaltenders in the world, yet they are still sometimes left out of the conversation when it comes to contenders for the 2022 Stanley Cup. Perhaps that’s because they’re from a market in snowy Manitoba that has less than a million people, but it’s also because this same core has disappointed over each of the last three postseasons, reaching the second round just once only to be swept out by the Montreal Canadiens.
If you think that the window may be closing on the key group in Winnipeg, you’re not alone–they know it too. Connor Hellebuyck told reporters today including Murat Ates of The Athletic that the Jets are “not getting any younger” and their “time is running out.” Captain Blake Wheeler will play this season at age-35, while he, Mark Scheifele, and Hellebuyck all have only three years remaining on their respective contracts. The rest of the roster isn’t as young as it once was and there’s no guarantee they are going to be better in the years to come than they are right now. There’s optimism that the Jets can be one of the best teams in the league this season, but they also have some pressure to perform while the clock is ticking.
- When Cale Makar graced the ice today in a non-contact sweater, Colorado Avalanche fans panicked wondering what happened to their star defenseman. Head coach Jared Bednar told reporters including Peter Baugh of The Athletic that Makar had a procedure in the offseason and the team will take their time getting him up to speed. Bednar didn’t seem concerned, explaining that Makar would be “good to go” soon enough.
- Josh Archibald has been confirmed as the Edmonton Oilers player that has declined the COVID-19 vaccination, meaning he may miss 30 or more games this season depending on travel restrictions. Archibald wasn’t on the ice today as he finished a quarantine, but is expected to join his teammates tomorrow. Duncan Keith, who was recently vaccinated in the U.S., will not participate in camp until next Friday as he finishes his own quarantine.