NHL Rumor Mill – April 5, 2022

by | Apr 5, 2022 | Rumors | 18 comments

The Winnipeg Jets could face some important roster decisions this summer if they fail to qualify for the 2022 playoffs. Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre recently compared the current Jets roster to “expensive housecats”, suggesting they boast a “good pedigree, but can’t be coached, can’t be trained.” He points out there’s been little change in their inconsistent ways since Paul Maurice stepped down as head coach earlier this season and Dave Lowry took over behind the bench.

Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele (NHL Images).

TSN analyst and former NHL general manager Craig Button recently blamed the Jets’ woes on what he considered “average coaching”, pointing out their poor defensive play. McIntyre, however, believes the fault rests with the players, singling out first-line center Mark Scheifele’s seemingly indifferent commitment to the defensive part of the game.

McIntyre suggests a “full-scale audit” of the franchise will be required if they miss the playoffs. That includes general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, who assembled the current roster.

SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Ken Wiebe also believes the Jets’ performance over the remainder of this season could determine what level of changes will be necessary in the offseason.

Wiebe believes the Jets’ priority will be getting center Pierre-Luc Dubois signed to a long-term extension before giving consideration to any blockbuster deals. He doesn’t expect two-way forward Adam Lowry will be traded given his solid second-half performance.

The Jets need to ship out one or two veteran defensemen to make room for their promising prospects. Asked about whether the Jets should pursue Dallas Stars blueliner John Klingberg via free agency this summer, Wiebe doesn’t believe he’d be a good fit if the Jets attempt to shed salary from the blueline. The savings should be used to bring in a good middle-six forward.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks suggested Scheifele could be a doable acquisition for the Rangers as a replacement for Ryan Strome or Andrew Copp if one of them departs via free agency this summer. Scheifele is signed through 2023-24 with an annual average value of $6.125 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets have steadily declined since 2017-18 when they finished with a franchise-record of 114 points and reached the Western Conference Finals. Changes could very well be in the offing if they failed to qualify for the postseason or get bounced from the opening round.

Scheifele’s become a lightning rod for criticism this season. Nevertheless, he would draw considerable interest in this summer’s trade market if management decides to shake things up. He has some measure of control with his 10-team no-trade list. His cap hit could also prove a bit of a sticking point.

Aging captain Blake Wheeler has a full no-movement clause. His age (35) and $8.25 million annual cap hit through 2023-24 would make him difficult to move.

Teams would line up for Jets forwards like Dubois, Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. However, they’re likely considered untouchable unless someone is willing to overpay for their services.

Talk of moving one or two high-salaried defensemen would start with Nate Schmidt and Josh Morrissey. Moving either guy in cost-cutting deals will be challenging with the salary cap rising by just $1 million next season.

Schmidt, 30, is signed through 2024-25 with an annual average value of $5.95 million and a 10-team no-trade clause. The 27-year-old Morrissey carries a $6.25 million cap hit through 2027-28.

It might be easier for Jets management to find a head coach who will command the players’ respect and buy into a more responsible two-way system.


  1. I would stay away from Schmidt. However, I would do almost anything to get Morrissey and or Hellebuyck. I haven’t noticed any other d-man that can stop McDavid coming off the rush along the boards as Morrissey has. Hellebuyck is self explanatory. LOL

  2. The Jets are a classic example of the old adage “the more things change the more they remain the same.”

    When Maurice stepped down on Dec 17 they had played 28 games and were a not bad-not great 13 10 5 for 31 points – and a points % pace of .554.

    Since Lowrey took over as interim coach they have played 42 games and have gone a not bad-not great 20 17 5 for 45 points and a points % pace of .538.

    Their cap situation shows they have $66,242,023 committed to 15 leaving them $16,257,977 to sign 8.

    Of their 5 RFAs, the biggest one to re-up is Dubois, who’s coming off a $5 mil cap hit. The other 4, all with arbitration rights and on ELCs of various amounts under $1 mil, are Svechnikov, Appleton, Harkins and goalie Comrie and of this group probably Comrie would appear to be the one getting the biggest boost. Collectively, their RFAs cost $8,125,000 off the cap and if all are retained – especially Dubois – you’re looking at something in the range of $11 to $12 mil in total.

    That leaves between $4 and $5 mil to sign 3 (I would not expect to see any of their UFAs retained – Stastny, Sanford and Brooks – who’s a G6 UFA).

    So, overall, their Cap doesn’t look too bad and should Scheifele be moved, and depending upon who they’d get in return, Cheveldayov could go after one or two of the better UFAs on the market.

    But then, should he hold onto his job? He is, after all, the architect of an under-performing bunch.

  3. Even if the Jets run the table (they won’t through a trip through Florida -Carolina -NYR), They are going to need help
    Not sure why Ehlers is untouchable . He would be top of my list.
    They need a stud defence-man. Morrissey is good but not elite . Maurice stepped down for a reason-lost the room ?

  4. How about Klingberg’s rights, for Scheifele…Stars will have Radulov coming off the books, so the money will work. They could even throw in Kiviranta or Gurionov to sweeten the deal? Helps the Jets on D and the Stars with scoring. Gurianov and Scheifele could both use a change of scenery.

    • Scheifele is a number 1 centre. The Stars will have to do a lot more than Klingberg’s rights plus sweeteners. If anything Klingberg’s rights would be a sweetener in a Scheifele deal.

    • If jets fail to sign Kline burg does scheifle return to jets?

      • I think that the Jets would have to know that ahead of time. But maybe a draft pick coming back depending on the length of the contract?

      • Or the Jets just wait til Kling becomes a UFA if he hasn’t signed with Dallas yet.
        The cost to get a first crack at him would be worth something, like a mid late pick.

        Dallas has some young guys who need a raise, like Roberston and their tender, but both coming off ELC so shouldn’t be too bad so will have some space.

      • The Jets for some reason have always been a disappointment. George O is correct, “the more things change the more they remain the same”.

  5. I dunno. As outsider looking at that deal…..Scheiffle refuses to play a 200ft game for ANY coach. And Klingberg looks like another expensive “house cat”. Not sure any sweetener needs adding. One disgruntled defenseman for one pouting center. I don’t think a change of scenery does either team good. Scheiffle ends up at another aging underperforming team. And Kling wonders who in their right mind would chose to live in Winnipeg.

  6. The Jets are not making the playoffs.

    Lowry will not be retained as the coach.

    Dubois, Connor, Ehlers, Morrissey, Pionk, Hellebuyck are not going anywhere.

    Wheeler isn’t going anywhere for a different reason; his contract.

    I was happy with the Nate Schmidt signing but to be honest he hasn’t played well. always smiling and funny, good teammate but hasn’t played good.

    There appears to be a divide it all fingers point to Scheifele. If traded is would have to be for a big return.

    Start with the coaching and go from there.

    • My suggestions:

      1. Clean house with new coaching staff
      2. Hire Lane Lambert as next head coach
      3. Resign Dubois and give him the “C”
      4. Try to move Wheeler, need a new voice and he is too much of the past.
      5. Get rid of Nate Schmidt and promote Heinola /Samberg
      6. Move Adam Lowry to fourth line C.
      7. Cole Perfetti to third line C.
      8. Dump Vesalainen.
      9. Add some grit for third line

      • On what basis should Cheveldayov hold onto his job?

  7. IMO the bigger problem with Scheifele is that he’s never had a coach who was coach enough to give him a good kick in the a**. He’s been babied for too long and now it’s come back to haunt the Jets.

    • Henry Richard – would he fit in with the Habs and what would the return to the Jets look like?

      • I think the Habs have had enough of players who do not respond to a coach’s doctrine.

  8. For the 6th straight season Schiefele is at or over a point per game. He’s a plus 60 for his career, despite being minus 19 this season. All for a guy with a reasonable 6.1m cap hit. I fail to see how he’s the biggest reason Jets aren’t in playoffs. I have read how he wasn’t happy with how he was treated after getting suspended in playoffs. I’d gladly take him on Rangers.

    • I wouldn’t trade Scheifele (just yet). He is still on a cap friendly contract and is a 1C. He needs a new coach and needs to reapply himself and earn it under a new leader.

      Dave Lowry, unfortunately, is seen as a part of the previous regime even though he has here for one year.

      Scheifele is passionate about hockey and with the right voice can bring his game up. He will have to commit to a defence first system but under the right person I think he is worth keeping.

      If it doesn’t work out we give Perfetti another year to develop and can still get a good return for Scheifele in the future.