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It’s Winnipeg Jets day on PHT

Aug 22, 2013, 9:32 AM EDT

Lightning Jets Hockey AP

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Winnipeg Jets.

Solid, yet unspectacular.

That’s the way you could describe how just about everything the Jets have done over the past year. They finished ninth in the Eastern Conference, four points behind the upstart Islanders. The brilliant parts of their team (Evander Kane, Blake Wheeler, Andrew Ladd) are often overshadowed by who struggles (team defense, goaltending, coaching?).

The Jets are a team with hope and with reasons to be optimistic about their future, but many questions remain. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff tried to address some of those issues this summer, but mostly got caught up in retaining his own players.

It’s not quite a “one step forward, two steps back” kind of thing, but in a new division with new rivals they have to hope treading water is OK.

Offseason recap

The Jets managed to spend quite a bit of money this summer, just not in what was an unspectacular free agent crop. They carved out big deals to restricted free agents Blake Wheeler, Zach Bogosian, and Bryan Little. With all the money spent there, the generally frugal Jets are now amongst the league’s biggest spenders.

Who they were able to add to the team they did so through trades. They acquired Michael Frolik from Chicago and Devin Setoguchi from Minnesota for just mid-round draft picks. Meanwhile, young forward Alex Burmistrov packed up his things and headed to the KHL after apparently having issues with coach Claude Noel.

Prospect forwards Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry will each get their chance to show they can be full-time NHL players this year and it would do Winnipeg a world of good to see them make the leap.

Rookie defenseman Jacob Trouba could wind up being a Calder candidate this season. Meanwhile, questions still remain as to how good (or not) goalie Ondrej Pavelec can be.

It could be one of those seasons for the Jets, they just have to hope they can hang with the likes of Chicago, St. Louis, and Minnesota instead of Tampa Bay, Florida, and Carolina. Gulp?

Related:

Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series

  1. vstar1us - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Traveling in Europe and had my Minnesota Wild hat in and a dude said hey I am from Winnipeg! I said cool how is your team going to do this year he said “probably suck like always” but do care I don’t go to the games just watch the on TV.

    What a true fan, Go Wild Go……

    • lordfletcher - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      Winnipeg fans are awesome!

      Not everyone from every state or city is in love with their hockey team or the sport. It’s hard to rival Winnipeg to most US markets, luckily MN is one of them but I think hockey is far better off in Winnipeg than Arizona (not a knock, just saying).

      Love Winnipeg and can’t wait for the wild / jets rivalry to start and to go to Winnipeg for a game. oh baby!!!

  2. lowenni - Aug 22, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    The Jets are going to be a bubble team for a while. I think for the next couple of years they’re just going to be an average team. I could see them ending up like the Flames did. Have a couple playoff years, then sort of start fading and just miss the playoffs by that much year after year (like they did this year). Also, I am not sold on Claude Noel as the Coach (or Kevin Cheveldayoff as GM for that matter).

  3. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 22, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    I would pick Dallas as the 4th Central Div playoff team at this point.

  4. oquintero99 - Aug 22, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    So much for Winnipeg Jets day. So far this is the only article regarding the Jets.

    • lordfletcher - Aug 22, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      so Kane is do for a DWI or something? There is still 6 hours left in the day

      I kid, I kid…

  5. ndnut - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    The return of the Jets has split Fargo, ND. They are close to both Minneapolis AND Winnipeg. Decisions decisions…

  6. pavelfitzgerald - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    I can understand a lot of people’s perception that Winnipeg will simply be okay. I would challenge those people on how many actual Wpg Jet games they watched tho.
    This is a young team with lot’s of talent & on the upswing. With Schieffle & Trouba making the team this year & Lowry next year you are going to see a transition into a tougher, more physical & added scoring. I’m excited that Wpg has kept this core intact as the only place to go is up

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