Last season the Jets finished with the fourth-highest goals-against per game (3.11) and the third-worst team save percentage (.900), making it clear that the men manning the crease in Winnipeg have been a large part of the problem - a problem Wheeler sounded off on, according to Matt Larkin of The Hockey News:
We need better goaltending. 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 in 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. And seeing someone go in there who has worked for it, who's had success doing it, can really only help them. Having competition back there, having that hunger to get back into the net, that's a huge thing for any team. The ideal situation is that we have two No. 1 goalies and we ride the hot guy, and the guy who's not playing is pissed off, and when he gets into the net, he gets hot, and they work out like that. And if one guy grabs the job and runs with it, that's great too. There are 31 starting goalie jobs in the entire world, so there's an incredible amount of competition, so it's a thankless job a lot of times. But for us to get to where we need to go, we need to have that position solidified.
Last season the Jets were spear-headed largely by Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson, with less than ideal results. Hellebuyck went 26-19-4 in 56 games with a 2.89 GAA and a .907 save percentage, while Hutchinson went 9-12-3 with a 2.92 GAA and a .903 save percentage.