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Mark Scheifele's Future Tops Winnipeg Jets' Off-Season To-Do List

Signed over the weekend to a three-year contract extension, Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff faces a busy off-season.
Mark Scheifele

Signed over the weekend to a three-year contract extension, Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff faces a busy off-season addressing the issues that derailed his club's playoff hopes for this season. In addition to finding a new head coach, bolstering the blueline depth and improving roster morale, he faces a difficult decision regarding Mark Scheifele.

The Jets' first-line center, Scheifele's been an instrumental part of their offense since his breakout performance in 2015-16. However, the 29-year-old endured a difficult 2021-22 campaign, sidelined by a suspension to start the season, enduring a bout with COVID-19, and facing growing criticism from Winnipeg fans and pundits over his questionable defensive game.

Scheifele raised eyebrows during the club's end-of-season press conference following Sunday's 4-3 win over the Seattle Kraken. He told the media he wants to know the club's direction over the next two years and what changes could be in store.

Those two years are what remains on Schiefele's contract. Cap Friendly shows him carrying a $6.125- million annual average value with a 10-team no-trade list. He'll be eligible for unrestricted free agent status in 2024. 

Scheifele said he loved to be in Winnipeg but he's in his playing prime and has to think about his career and family. He anticipated a “tough talk” with Cheveldayoff on Monday. That exit interview has yet to take place, though the Jets GM said Scheifele hasn't submitted a trade request.

The Winnipeg Sun's Paul Friesen believes Scheifele's remarks should spur Cheveldayoff to trade him. Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press thinks the center is “as good as gone.”

It remains to be seen if Cheveldayoff follows their advice. What's certain, however, is that Scheifele's future will be a hot topic for off-season speculation. 



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