Winnipeg Jets: David Rittich may bring out best of Connor Hellebuyck

Nashville Predators, David Rittich (33). Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators, David Rittich (33). Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

As we look ahead to the 2022-2023 regular season, the Winnipeg Jets will have a new goaltending tandem for the new season.

For the second straight offseason, the Jets’ backup goaltender has left the franchise in free agency. In 2021, Laurent Brossoit left Winnipeg for Vegas, and this offseason Eric Comrie has signed with the Buffalo Sabres after some great performances last season.

Some thought that the Jets would promote Manitoba Moose starting goaltender, Mikhail Berdin to the backup position but Kevin Cheveldayoff decided to go a different route.

The Jets decided to sign twenty-nine-year-old goaltender, David Rittich to a one-year contract, with a $900,000 average annual value, to back up Connor Hellebuyck.

The Winnipeg Jets having David Rittich as their backup goaltender may bring out the best of Connor Hellebuyck

The one thing that Rittich has that both Brossoit and Comrie did not have much of when they first appeared for the Jets, is NHL experience. Before featuring for the Jets, Brossoit had played in 28 NHL games for the Edmonton Oilers, while Comrie had appeared in only nine games at the NHL level.

Although they lacked NHL experience, both Brossoit and Comrie played outstanding for the Jets in the backup role and were rewarded with outstanding contracts in free agency due to their performances with the Jets.

On the other hand, Rittich comes to the Jets with a wealth of experience, especially in the Central Division. Rittich has played over 40 games a season twice in his career and has only had one NHL season with a goals against average of over 3.00, which was last season with the Nashville Predators (3.57 GAA).

All of this can play a factor in managing Hellebuyck’s workload during the new season. Hellebuyck has the most amount of games played by any goaltender since the beginning of the 2015-2016 regular season (381 games).

Rittich has shown throughout his career, that the more he has played, the better he has performed. We could see Rittich start upwards of twenty-five games this season, which may lessen the burden on Hellebuyck and bring out the best in both goaltenders. In all, this may help the Jets in the long run of contending for the 2023 Stanley Cup.

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It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and how Rick Bowness and the Jets’ new coaching staff handle Hellebuyck’s workload this upcoming season and how often Rittich may play.

Winnipeg Jets Fans: Are you happy that the Winnipeg Jets signed David Rittich or do you wish they promoted Mikhail Berdin to be Hellebuyck’s backup? Leave your comments below!