After allowing the fourth-most goals of any NHL club last season, there’s no denying Winnipeg Jets starter Connor Hellebuyck left more to be desired in 2016-17. Through 56 appearances, the 23-year-old posted a save percentage of .907 while winning just 46 per cent of his tilts. Backup Michael Hutchinson didn’t fare much better, registering nine wins and a save percentage of .903 in 28 games. Count Jets captain Blake Wheeler among those calling for an improvement in net, one that should hopefully stem from the club signing veteran Steve Mason to take over the starting role. “We need better goaltending,” Wheeler told The Hockey News’ Matt Larkin. “It’s a tough business, and being a goalie is tough. By no means is this closing the door on anyone, but I think having competition back there is really important. “Because if you keep putting somebody back into the net, and they’re 24 years old and maybe they’re not quite ready for it, it can be damaging to them a little bit.” While Mason’s decade of NHL experience means he’ll likely slot in as the No.1 option, the move doesn’t signal the Jets writing off Hellebuyck just yet.
Jets' Wheeler: 'We need better goaltending'
Sportsnet | Aug 24