The Jets' offseason game plan: Time to open up the checkbook

By the start of the 2018-19 season, the Jets may have inked Connor Hellebuyck, left, and Patrik Laine to lucrative long-term deals. Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

As each NHL team is eliminated from playoff contention -- either mathematically or by losing in the postseason -- we'll take a look at why its quest for the Stanley Cup fell short in 2017-18, along with three keys to its offseason and a way-too-early prediction for what 2018-19 will hold.

What went wrong

They were one of the NHL's darling teams this season that seemingly could do no wrong. The Winnipeg Jets -- with a 27-point improvement over 2016-17 -- boasted top-end goaltending (thanks to surprise Vezina Trophy candidate Connor Hellebuyck), strong forward depth, a handful of elite scorers and an underrated defensive group.

They proved they could win tight, grind-it-out games, but could also score in bunches to blow other teams out. So what happened?

The Jets won a slugfest against the top-seeded Nashville Predators in the second round, and perhaps didn't have enough gas in the tank to close out the Vegas Golden Knights.

Really, there's not much to lament about this Jets season. Winnipeg arrived ahead of schedule and looks poised to contend for some time. The city of Winnipeg got a nice showcase too, in these playoffs, a hockey-crazed community that has a deserving team to rally around.