Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic wrote today that Winnipeg Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck is looking for a contract with an average annual value around $9.5MM. LeBrun says that teams looking to trade for the 30-year-old are aware of what Hellebuyck’s camp are seeking in contract negotiations. If Hellebuyck were to get that salary it would put him in the same pay bracket as Tampa Bay Lighting goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Hellebuyck was the 2020 Vezina award winner for top goaltender and has a long track record of putting up elite numbers. However, he has had a handful of poor seasons and with teams having just seen the Vegas Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup with Adin Hill between the pipes, there might be a hesitancy to pay a premium in a trade and an expensive cap hit for a goalie who is on the wrong side of 30. You can’t fault Hellebuyck for asking for the moon as he is nominated once again for the Vezina award after a terrific season in Winnipeg posting a 37-25-2 record with a .920 save percentage and a 2.49 goals against average.
In other afternoon notes:
- Rick Dhaliwal of CHEK TV tweeted today that it appears the Vancouver Canucks have had discussions with defenseman Ethan Bear’s representatives about several contract possibilities. The tweet comes on the heels of a conversation with Bear’s agent Jason Davidson who said that they’ve discussed several options, but a one-year deal may be the way to go for the 25-year-old. It’s an interesting idea from Bear’s camp given that the defender is out until December after undergoing shoulder surgery this week. Bear is a year away from unrestricted free agency and the allure of picking his long term destination may be worth the roll of the dice.
- Ben Gotz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweeted today that Bruce Cassidy told reporters that goaltender Logan Thompson is skating and should be 100% by training camp. Thompson started the year as Vegas’ number one goaltender but suffered a lower body injury in February and did not play again. When healthy the 26-year-old posted good numbers going 21-13-3 with a .915 save percentage and 2.65 goals against average. If Thompson is ready to go it could give Vegas leverage in their contract negotiations with pending free agent netminder Adin Hill. Thompson would be a solid fallback option should Hill elect to test the market and move on.