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Connor Hellebuyck Won’t Sign Extension with Jets, Trade a Given

It appears the Winnipeg Jets will have no choice but to trade Connor Hellebuyck as he’s informed the team he won’t sign an extension.

With speculation that the Jets will explore the trade market for goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, a new development adds to the drama surrounding the top-tier netminder. As per a report by The Athletic, Hellebuyck has seemingly informed the Jets organization that he will not sign an extension with the franchise when his current contract runs out at the end of next season.

Following pre-existing rumors that Hellebuyck might be available and with the upcoming season being the last on his current contract, the Jets face a critical decision regarding their star netminder. News now is that it’s a given his next contract will not be with the Winnipeg Jets, signaling an imminent departure from the team.

Hellebuyck, who is only 30 years old, has proven himself as one of the league’s premier goaltenders in recent years. Despite his consistent performance and crucial contributions to the team’s success, his current contract significantly undervalues his worth in comparison to the top earners in the NHL. And as the Jets appear ready to make significant changes, the combination of his current team looking drastically different and the fact he makes less than names like Carey Price, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Andrei Vasilevskiy, the snowball effect of the drama in Winnipeg creates an expectation for Hellebuyck to seek a more lucrative deal once he reaches unrestricted free agency next summer — preferably with a contender.

The Athletic article writes:

Then there’s Connor Hellebuyck (No. 2 on the trade board 2.0) and Mark Scheifele (No. 3), both entering the last year of their deals. Odds are both are traded this summer. And there should be no confusion about whether Hellebuyck has interest in signing an extension in Winnipeg. That ship has sailed. His next contract will be with a new team.

These developments come hot on the heels of the news that agent Pat Brisson has informed the Jets’ general manager that forward Pierre-Luc Dubois is not interested in re-signing with the team. Brisson has expressed his willingness to facilitate a trade that benefits both parties involved. While speculation suggests that Dubois may find a new home in Montreal, the future remains uncertain for Hellebuyck, who could be on the radar for a number of teams and might not exclusively want to go to one destination.

What Will the Jets Do About Hellebuyck?

If he’s informed the team he’s not going to sign a new deal, this is an eerily similar situation to the one that the Calgary Flames faced last summer when Matthew Tkachuk gave the team a heads up he wasn’t going to return. Tkachuk, who was a restricted free agent, agreed to an eight-year contract with Florida that takes the forward through the 2029-30 season. The Flames felt like they had no choice but to trade the forward and the returns, (while solid on paper) haven’t worked out for Calgary. The trade was a clear winner in the early going for the Florida Panthers.

As the trade market heats up and the Jets face the possibility of significant roster changes, fans and pundits alike eagerly await the resolution of these situations. The likely departures of both Hellebuyck and Dubois would undoubtedly impact the team’s dynamics and prompt the Jets’ management to make strategic moves in order to remain competitive.

The coming months promise to be transformative for the Winnipeg Jets. As they navigate the intricate landscape of trades and contracts, one thing is certain: Connor Hellebuyck’s exit will mark the end of an era for the Jets, and his next destination will be eagerly watched by the entire hockey community.

Next: Bruins Exposed to an Offer Sheet Problem with Jeremy Swayman

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