The season is over yet I think its safe to say even without a playoff birth this year was a rousing success. Winnipeg made a name for itself with its knowledgeable and incredibly loud fans. This was a season that will not be forgotten. Here are some thoughts to close out the year.
SHOW ME THE MONEY – The Jets proved the naysayers wrong (again) by making a pretty penny and not needing revenue sharing. A lot of the anti-Winnipeg crowd (Bob McCown) swore up and down that the Jets would need to partake in the assistance program. Well that didn’t happen. The Jets are flush with cash and will continue to be one of the top revenue generating clubs.
CASHING IN – Three Jets made some serious coin this season. Pav, Kane and Wellwood are all in line for big paydays. The Jets should be able to retain all of them. Good thing they have some room under the cap.
BUFF NEEDS TO WORK OUT – When he’s healthy Buff is an amazing athlete. He’s big yet still has a lot of speed. Sports Illustrated did a story where they named guys in other sports that could step in and play in the NFL. Buff was at the top of the list. The problem with the big guy is he came to camp over weight and never really got into shape. Look for the Jets training staff to keep him on a short leash this summer and for Buff to come into camp fit and ready for an all-star year.
FEHR THY WELL – I would have liked it if the Eric Fehr gamble had worked but it was pretty obvious that he never recovered from his shoulder surgery last year. Fehr is a RFA and I can see the Jets offering him a incentive laden one year deal. Fehr will need to impress at camp or I could see him and his salary being buried in St. John’s.
SCHIEFLE’S TIME – If Mark Schiefle can step into the lineup next season and contribute on the top two lines then the Jets will be sitting pretty. If he’s not ready look for him to go back to junior and for the Jets to try and make a move to get a top 6 center.
DEBBIE DOWNERS – I am so sick of Lawless and Friesen and their constant negativity towards the team. Its like they were glad the team missed the post season just so they could say “I told you so”. Winnipeg has an NHL team maybe we need some writers who are NHL caliber as well.
FUTURE IS NOW – There has been a lot of talk about building for the future and thats all fine and well but at some point the future needs to become today. We can’t afford to be like Edmonton where they have pretty much given up on making the playoffs for almost half a decade. Yes we should develop our young players but there has to be a balance between building and winning. Detroit doesn’t rebuild, they reload. Even in off years they still make the post season.
NOEL NEEDS TO BE HONEST – I think Noel did a great job this year but if I had to pick one thing I didn’t like it was his love affair with his “character guys”. Lets be truthful here Randy Jones and Chris Thorburn are marginal NHL players at best yet Noel keeps giving them chances and it has hurt the team. Jones was horrid over his last 10 games. Right when the Jets were in the hunt he was getting big minutes and looked out of place as he kept turning the puck over and over. Thorburn may be a hit with the fans and his teammates but he brings nothing to this team that couldn’t be brought by someone else.
WHEELER IS THE MAN – Blake Wheeler turned into the player everyone thought he was when he first was drafted. He probably was rushed into the NHL too soon and only now has he started to tap his immense potential. Wheeler could easily be a 80pt man and now with the emergence of Kane as a 30 goal scorer it looks like Winnipeg’s future at least on the offensive side is bright.
PUT THE MANGY BEAST DOWN – The NHL just needs to do the right thing and let the Coyotes move to Quebec City. Last week the mayor was crying that the NHL misled her and the city and that they were going to take the money out of escrow. Only problem is they can’t. How do you become a mayor of a city and not know what escrow is? The NHL should just take the $20 million and set up shop in QC. Winnipeg proved a small Canadian market can be successful.
THE CODE – Every time there is a hit, good or bad teams want to drop the gloves. I’m all for guys sticking up for teammates but if its a clean hit you have to let it go.
CHARLIE HUDDY HAS DONE A GREAT JOB – Huddy made his case for being a head coach with the way he helped Zach Bogosian develop. This was a big year for Bogo. Either he was going to breakthrough or he was going to be declared a bust. Thanks to the work of Huddy Bogo had a huge year where he was able to contribute offensively and be probably the Jets best defensive player.
KEEP BOOING! – One of the best parts of the Jets Return is how the fans have taken an active role in the games. There has been a lot of talk from the media wishing that Winnipeg Fans would stop booing the other team and that they would stop with their taunts and chants. I say ratchet it up. As long as its not vulgar I have no problem wit it. Its part of the game. I also loved how the fans gave Stamkos a standing O when he got his 60th. Just another fact to prove the case that Winnipeg has the best fans.
Category: Jets News