Is everyone leaving Winnipeg and the Jets? Now that former Jets’ coach Paul Maurice has landed in Florida, might he be the first of an exodus of players? A number of rumors abound. What are some of them?
Rumor One: Mark Scheifele
The first rumor was that Mark Scheifele wanted to be traded; however, this rumor seems to have been put to bed.
Scheifele, it was reported, was uncertain about his future with the team when he spoke to the media after the Jets didn’t qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Those rumors resulted in trade speculation, but Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff seems to have quieted that talk. Scheifele has two years remaining on his current contract and he’s been a huge part of the Jets’ organization.
Related: Jets Shopping Stastny and Copp in Trade, Not Offering Extensions
Rumor Two: Paul Stastny
The second rumor, which seems close to accurate, is that Paul Stastny will likely test free agency this summer to see what the market will bear. Still, there’s a chance he’ll stay in Winnipeg. He always seems to return there.
As Stastny admitted, “I’m getting older in my career so I don’t really have that much time left. So really for us, it’s that I just want to win.”
Stastny added, “It’s finding a good opportunity where you know you can help the team and you’re a good fit. Obviously it’s always hard thinking like that because there’s so many good teams you just never know what happens throughout the year.”
Interestingly, Stastny noted that he’d wait to see what teams did in terms of hiring coaching and making player personnel changes. Again, noting the point at the top of the post, Maurice has moved to Florida. Might Stastny follow? (from “LeBrun: Johnny Gaudreau, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Mikheyev and other pending UFA updates,” Pierre LeBrun, The Athletic, 07/06/2022).
Rumor Three: Pierre-Luc Dubois
About Pierre-Luc Dubois, it seems that, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Dubois is going to test the market in unrestricted free agency. However, the issue is that Dubois isn’t yet a UFA and can’t be for a while (two years). Currently, he’ll be a restricted free agent this summer; however, he does have arbitration rights.
Interesting nugget from @FriedgeHNIC just now during the intermission, reporting Pierre-Luc Dubois has told the #NHLJets his plan as of now is to get to unrestricted free agency in summer 2024 rather than sign long-term extension. He’s a RFA, club controls rights 2 more seasons.
— Mike McIntyre (@mikemcintyrewpg) June 23, 2022
Odd that Dubois is already planning to leave – perhaps as soon as he can. The rumor is that he’s already told the Jets about those future plans. The organization’s desire is to keep him and re-sign him to a long-term contract. It’s a bit of an interesting situation for a player who just recorded a career-high 28 goals and one less point (60) than his career high of 61 points he had with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Rumor Four: Are the Jets Going to Move Blake Wheeler?
According to rumors, the Jets have come to Blake Wheeler asking him to move his no-move clause so they might trade him. In fact, the rumors are they the team is already talking with other teams. To the search has started. On Daily Faceoff, Frank Seravalli noted that Wheeler’s full no-move clause will change to a five-team list only soon.
Wheeler remains signed for two more seasons at just over $8 million per season. But, as Seravalli tells it, Wheeler might consider a proposed destination that’s not on his list, if it works for his family and career.
What’s Going on in Winnipeg?
The gist of all this is that something seems to be going on in Winnipeg. There certainly seem to a lot of players (and coaches) on the move.
Finally, there’s one coach NOT on the move. That’s Barry Trotz. The team had been talking with Trotz about taking over the job as head coach. But he decided not to coach for a season and spend more time with his family. What does he know about the team in Manitoba’s capital city?
Related: Mark Scheifele Hasn’t Officially Asked Jets For Trade
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