Winnipeg Jets Need To Forge Own Identity With Rebuild

By Will Billinghurst

If this season is any indicator, then it’s time for the Winnipeg Jets to start a rebuild. Some fans may think that this year is just a fluke, but unfortunately it isn’t. Winnipeg is currently sitting third from the bottom in the Western Conference and nine points out of the final Wild Card spot after making the playoffs last season.

Winnipeg needs a rebuild is because they are still the Atlanta Thrashers. The core group in Winnipeg is the same core group that played in Atlanta in the final year before they moved. That core group consists of captain Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Dustin Byfuglien, Mark Stuart, Chris Thorburn, Toby Enstrom, Alexander Burmistrov and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. Those are all players who were either drafted by Atlanta or brought in before the team was moved.

The point of this is to show how little the team has changed since moving to Winnipeg, and Atlanta was never a good team. They were always hovering around the playoffs but just couldn’t make it in, with the only time they made the playoffs being in the 2006-07 NHL season. In the four seasons since coming to Winnipeg, the team just made the playoffs for the first time last year.

This team needs a change with a rebuild. How can management expect to make the playoffs if they continue to use a roster that is fundamentally the same as Atlanta? Winnipeg needs to develop their own identity instead of just wearing the husk of an old team that couldn’t make the playoffs.

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