Josh Morrissey

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Jets have had extension talks with Cheveldayoff, none with Maurice

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After missing the playoffs for a second consecutive year, Winnipeg faces a number of questions this summer.

And many of those questions start at the top.

The future of GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and head coach Paul Maurice are chief among those queries and, during Monday’s end-of-year media availability, both individuals touched on what the future has in store.

Both are heading into the final year of their respective deals. Per the Sun, Cheveldayoff’s had discussions about an extension while Maurice has yet to open similar talks.

Cheveldayoff’s been in charge of the Jets since their relocation from Atlanta in 2011. Reviews have been mixed. There’s an obvious level of disappointment with just one playoff appearance but, at the same time, the 47-year-old has stockpiled a tremendous amount of young, promising talent, primarily through the draft.

Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers, Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey have all come aboard on Cheveldayoff’s watch, and become important pieces. This year also saw the debuts of two highly touted ’15 draftees — Kyle Connor and Jack Roslovic — while Eric Comrie, regarded as the team’s potential goalie of the future, also saw his first NHL action.

Other Cheveldayoff picks like Adam Lowry, Andrew Copp and Nic Petan have also graduated to the big club.

As for Maurice, Cheveldayoff said the veteran bench boss has his “full support.”

The 50-year-old has been in charge of the Jets since taking over from Claude Noel in ’13-14 and, like Cheveldayoff, reviews have been mixed. The Jets have been one of the league’s least disciplined teams under Maurice — the Jets took 307 minor penalties this year, fourth-most — and that issue was compounded by an awful penalty kill that finished 26th in the NHL.

But Maurice has also been somewhat undone by lacklustre goaltending, a signature problem of the Cheveldayoff era. Ondrej Pavelec, Al Montoya, Michael Hutchinson and Connor Hellebuyck were Maurice’s primary options over the last four years, and none really got the job done.

Future’s on display in Winnipeg as Connor, Roslovic recalled

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On Monday, the Jets put the spotlight on their ballyhooed ’15 draft class by bringing up Kyle Connor and Jack Roslovic from AHL Manitoba.

Connor, the 17th overall pick, re-joins the club after appearing in 19 games earlier this season. The 20-year-old started out with the Jets after a terrific freshman season at the University of Michigan, but was eventually sent to the Moose for further grooming.

So far, the plan has worked. Connor has 23 goals and 42 point through 49 games.

Roslovic, taken eight spots after Connor, has also played very well in his first professional campaign. After leaving Miami (Ohio) after just one year, he jumped right to the AHL and has 45 points in 61 games.

This marks his first NHL recall.

Should both draw into Tuesday’s game against the Blues, it’ll be a big showcase for GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s draft-and-develop model. Connor and Roslovic would join the likes of star rookie Patrik Laine (2nd overall, ’16), Nikolaj Ehlers (ninth overall, ’14), Josh Morrissey (13th overall, ’13), Jacob Trouba (9th overall, ’12) and Mark Scheifele (7th overall, ’11).

Other recent draftees currently making an impact in Winnipeg include Connor Hellebuyck, Andrew Copp and Adam Lowry.

Worth mentioning here that all the guys mentioned are 24 or younger (and that’s without listing two former first-rounders acquired by trade: Marko Dano and Joel Armia). This will end up a disappointing season for the Jets, having failed to make the playoffs for a second consecutive year, but the future still looks extremely bright.

Bruce Boudreau: ‘We stunk in the first, we better come back in the second — holy crap’

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Those thinking that perhaps Bruce Boudreau would wax poetic about his team’s second period comeback against Winnipeg would be mistaken.

The Minnesota Wild were down 4-0 early in the second period to the Jets before coming all the way back to tie the game before the middle period was up, thanks to four goals in just over 10 minutes.

In the end, the Wild still lost after giving up a third-period goal to Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey and not being able to beat goalie Michael Hutchinson for the equalizer in the final seconds.

Boudreau met with reporters post-game and, well, he wasn’t in any way happy or positive about the developments Sunday. Minnesota has now lost five in a row and eight of 10 games this month, falling out of first place in the Central Division.

Asked about his team’s resiliency, the coach offered this response: “Hey, listen: We stunk in the first period. We better come back in the second. Holy crap. It’s not resiliency. You’re making it sound like we’re good. That’s — I’m done.”

The Wild host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

Related: Bruce Boudreau is ‘concerned’ about the way the Wild are playing

Wild can’t complete the comeback, lose fifth straight

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The shots favored the Wild. The puck possession numbers favored the Wild. The result on the score board, however, did not favor the Wild.

Minnesota has now lost five in a row and is only 2-8 this month following a 5-4 defeat to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday. Their recent slump combined with the fact Chicago is putting together plenty of positive results of late has pushed the Wild five points back of first place in the Central Division.

The Blackhawks are playing tonight, so their advantage could stretch to seven points.

This had the makings of a complete disaster for the Wild, after they fell behind by four goals before this game was even 25 minutes old.

Devan Dubnyk had given up four goals on eight shots but was kept in the net to battle through his struggles.

Minnesota suddenly sparked a comeback. The Wild turned the tide with four goals in the span of 10:24, eliminating their deficit and getting back onto even terms before the end of the second period in which they completely dominated the Jets.

The Wild’s offensive outbreak forced the Jets to make a goalie change, with Michael Hutchinson coming off the bench to replace Connor Hellebuyck and stopping all 13 shots he faced in the third period, as the furious comeback attempt fell short.

Hutchinson made a spectacular save with only seconds remaining in regulation to secure the win.

Josh Morrissey scored to give Winnipeg the lead and eventually the win.

“We’re not executing properly … it’s something we’ve got to clean up and be better. We’ve got to be better prepared for Tuesday,” said Eric Staal.

The Wild are back home for their next three games. They host the San Jose Sharks, the Pacific Division leaders, on Tuesday.

Jets lose another d-man — Enstrom out 2-3 weeks after surgery

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Winnipeg’s blueline was dealt another blow on Thursday, as the club announced Tobias Enstrom would miss the next 2-3 weeks following surgery to correct a lower-body injury.

Enstrom played just 1:22 in a loss to Tampa Bay over the weekend, then missed Tuesday’s 5-2 win against Dallas.

The 32-year-old plays a big role for the Jets — averaging 22:19 TOI through 55 games this year — so the loss will hurt. And it hurts even more given the club won’t have rearguard Tyler Myers for the foreseeable future. Myers, who hasn’t played since Nov. 11, is out 6-8 weeks after also undergoing surgery for a lower-body ailment.

With those two out, Jets head coach Paul Maurice iced a defense of Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba, Josh Morrissey, Paul Postma, Ben Chiarot and Mark Stuart in the win over the Stars. Byfuglien and Trouba were the heavy lifters — receiving 24:21 and 26:01 of ice time, respectively — and there’s a good chance that trend will continue with Enstrom on the shelf.

If Enstrom is out two weeks, that puts his return at March 2 — meaning he’d miss the next five games. If the recovery goes three weeks, Enstrom could miss as many as nine games.

Winnipeg heads into tonight’s action sitting five points back of Calgary for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.