The future of Connor Hellebuyck in Winnipeg is one of the things many will be keeping an eye on this offseason. The 29-year-old had a standout showing this season, posting a 2.49 GAA with a .920 SV% while leading the NHL in games played. He’s eligible to sign a contract extension this summer but indicated in his end-of-season media availability (video link) that he hasn’t yet given any thought to signing another deal with the Jets and discussions with the team on that front have not started. Hellebuyck indicated that his primary goal remains to go after a Stanley Cup so if Winnipeg opts for a rebuild this summer after their disappointing playoff exit, it would be surprising if Hellebuyck chose to sign an extension. Regardless of what team he signs that next contract with, he’ll be getting a sizable raise from his current $6.166MM AAV.
More from Winnipeg:
- In his availability (video link), Pierre-Luc Dubois remained non-committal about his future with the team, instead stating that he hasn’t given much thought to his future just yet. The 24-year-old, who acknowledged that he dealt with hip trouble this season, has been in trade speculation going back to last summer amid reports that he thought he could be moved to Montreal at the draft. Dubois accepted his $6MM qualifying offer last summer and will be in his final year of restricted free agency with arbitration eligibility in July.
- Winger Nikolaj Ehlers indicated in his session (video link) that it’s possible that he’ll be able to suit up at the World Championships next month despite missing all but one game in their series against Vegas. He declined to disclose the nature of the injury that kept him out for more than two weeks. Ehlers would certainly be a key addition to a Denmark squad that will be missing a few of its NHL players at least with those teams having already moved onto the second round.
- After a short and blunt presser following their elimination game, some wondered if head coach Rick Bowness would stay on for next season. He told the media today (video link) that his intention is to remain behind the bench in Winnipeg but declined to comment on what changes to the team might be needed, instead deferring to GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. The 68-year-old has one more season plus a team option remaining on his contract after joining the Jets last summer.