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It can not be changed. How will Winnipeg deal with the top two stars?

Date: May 23, 2024 Time: 08:25:55

Keeping top stars on expiring contracts is one of the most interesting storylines of each season. Clubs trying to keep their expensive leaders often find themselves in an awkward position: there isn’t always enough money for a salary increase, and a large check for one player risks weakening the entire team (again, due to the limited amount of money to strengthen).

The real drama in a year should unfold in Toronto. The team, which is no longer capped, will have to extend Auston Matthews and William Nylander next summer – and it’s unlikely either of them will take a cut from their current salary ($11.6 million and $6.9 million). . , respectively), and the Swede will be entitled to a raise, which will put him almost on the same level as the American striker.

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Thanks to this saga, an almost similar situation unfolds a little imperceptibly west of Toronto. The compatriots of the “leaves” from “Winnipeg” also found themselves in a delicate position. At the end of next season, the contracts of two of the Jets’ top stars, forward Mark Scheifli and goaltender Connor Hellebike, expire. And the “reactives”, unlike the “Maple Leafs”, even if they do not experience problems with the roof, with almost one hundred percent probability they will lose both.

Usually, the desire to leave Winnipeg (or not to come at all) is associated with the unattractiveness of the city itself – the gray and boring capital of the province of Manitoba in a rare player will cause motivation for many years to sell out for the Jets. emblem. However, this applies to a lesser extent to the two veterans of the “reactive players”: Scheifli and Hellebike went all the way through the NHL in their composition (Connor was dug up in the fifth round of the 2012 draft), having survived almost all the ups and downs of the ex-“Atlanta” . The duo was a key part of Winnipeg during its best run of the 2017/2018 season when the team reached the Western Conference Finals.

Then, however, the Jets stopped progressing and consolidated their status, albeit strong, but still middle-class, and the ambitions of the players who year after year dragged him down on themselves did not vanish – more understandably the desire of both players of hockey-. try elsewhere. This is especially true for Hellebike: since September 2017, the American has worked harder than other colleagues in the role, having played the most matches (365), reflected the most shots (10,412; Andrey Vasilevsky, who is second , 9537 for 335 games) and rank among the top 10 goalies in the NHL in safety factor and among the top 5 in save percentage.

Connor Hellebike

Photo: AP/TASS

Not surprisingly, personal success no longer particularly interests him: after three Vezina nominations, one of which in 2020 earned him the NHL’s best goaltender award, Connor is aiming for the Stanley Cup, for which Winnipeg will obviously fight. . in the near future it will not be.

Scheifli, unlike Hellebike, didn’t declare his ambitions as openly, but after the best shooting season of his career (Mark shot 42 goals) in dying Winnipeg, he probably wants more, too.

Rumors about possible trades for both players began to circulate in June. They even named specific clubs that are interested in their services: They were ready to pick up the goaltender in New Jersey, and Boston was interested in the striker, so the issue with the first center is now more relevant than ever. However, nothing happened before the draft; apparently, the duo will start preparing for the new season as part of the previous team.

At the same time, the probability of his departure before the start (or at the start) of the new regular season is not excluded. Two months after the initial rumors, The Fourth Period member David Pagnotta told the NHL Network that Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff was still looking to trade his star players: “I wouldn’t be surprised if negotiations resume with training camps open,” he said. .Pagnotta.

scheifli brand

Photo: AP/TASS

In Cheveldayoff’s main question of “can’t swap”, which is one of Cheveldayoff’s main questions at the moment, it seems that a comma is placed after the first verb. Winnipeg still has time to get solid compensation for its two most valuable assets: Before the start of the new season, the Jets can count on strong players + high picks, at the trade deadline there will be a modest pool of potential buyers, and After the season, Scheifli and Hellebike, each of whom will be 31 by then, will go free, which the “reactive” is unlikely to want.

Winnipeg is approaching a rebuild: it’s definitely not worth going in with veterans who are counting on a Cup fight and the biggest contract of their lives (Hellebike is asking for the same salary cap as Vasilevsky). Therefore, it would be better for the Jets to part with them and gradually start a new life with new leaders.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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