|2013–14 Winnipeg Jets season|
|Home arena||MTS Centre|
|Colours||Polar Night Blue, White, Aviator Blue, Silver
TSN Radio (1290 AM)
|Owner(s)||True North Sports & Entertainment
(Mark Chipman, chairman)
|General manager||Kevin Cheveldayoff|
|Head coach||Paul Maurice|
|Minor league affiliates||St. John's IceCaps (AHL)
Ontario Reign (ECHL)
The Winnipeg Jets are a professional ice hockey team based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team is owned by True North Sports & Entertainment, which relocated and renamed the former Atlanta Thrashers franchise prior to the 2011–12 NHL season (the first NHL franchise relocated since the Hartford Whalers became the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997).
- 1 History
- 2 Season by season record
- 3 Team information
- 4 Players
- 5 Franchise records
- 6 Broadcasters
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Winnipeg Jets (1972-96)
On December 27, 1971, Winnipeg was granted one of the founding franchises in the World Hockey Association (WHA). By 1979, the vast majority of the WHA's teams had folded, but the Jets were still going strong and they were absorbed into the NHL along with the Nordiques, Oilers and Hartford Whalers. Team owner Barry Shenkarow sold the team to American businessmen Steven Gluckstern and Richard Burke. Burke and Gluckstern originally planned to move the team to Minnesota (which had lost the North Stars to Dallas in 1993), but eventually reached an agreement with Phoenix businessman Jerry Colangelo that would see the team move to Arizona and become the Phoenix Coyotes. The Winnipeg Jets played their last game on April 28, 1996.
Atlanta Thrashers (1999–2011)
The City of Atlanta was awarded an NHL expansion franchise, named the Atlanta Thrashers, on June 25, 1997. It was the second NHL franchise for Atlanta (their first being the Atlanta Flames, established in 1972, who departed for Calgary in 1980 to become the Calgary Flames). The Thrashers began play in the 1999–2000 season.
In their 12 years, the Thrashers qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs only once, during the 2006–07 season, and never won a playoff game. Partially due to their lack of playoff success, the team had difficulty drawing fans to attend their games over their final seasons.
Winnipeg Jets (2011–present)
As early as in October 2009, there were rumours that True North Sports & Entertainment, the company which owns both Winnipeg's MTS Centre and the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Manitoba Moose, was purchasing the Atlanta Thrashers with the intention of moving the team to Winnipeg. True North's chairman, Mark Chipman, was on very good terms with NHL owners. On November 27, 2010, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly conducted an exclusive interview with The Illegal Curve Hockey Show on Sports Radio 1290 (now TSN Radio 1290) in Winnipeg and officially brought the Atlanta Thrashers into the conversation. True North had also bid on the Phoenix Coyotes, with the intent of returning the franchise to Winnipeg. Although they were unsuccessful, their approach was praised by Bettman, and so True North received favour from the league when the question of the Thrashers' relocation came up.
By May 28, 2011, multiple reports had confirmed that the deal to purchase and move the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg was done, and all that was left was for the NHL to decide the right time to officially announce the relocation. According to The Globe and Mail, a deal was finalized on May 20, 2011 to relocate the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg. The league later denied the report, but acknowledged that advanced negotiations were underway and that commissioner Gary Bettman supported the move. On May 20, 2011, the Winnipeg Sun confirmed that an agreement in principle has been reached, while Winnipeg's mayor Sam Katz announced that he was confident that Atlanta Thrashers relocation to Winnipeg would soon be officially announced. On May 31, 2011, at a press conference at the MTS Centre, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that the Atlanta Thrashers had been sold to True North, and would relocate to Winnipeg for the 2011–12 season pending the approval of the sale and relocation by the NHL Board of Governors; the Board of Governors gave formal approval of the sale and relocation at their June 21, 2011 meeting. The reported purchase price was $170 million, with $60 million going to the NHL as a relocation fee. After the sale announcement, True North made preparations to move the Moose franchise to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador; that team's move was formally approved and announced by the American Hockey League on June 10, 2011, returning the AHL to Atlantic Canada after a six-year absence.
Season ticket sales began June 1, 2011, with Manitoba Moose season ticket holders having priority. The team sought to sell 13,000 season tickets in an effort to prove its viability. Within the first three and a half hours the new franchise sold 1,870 packages to Moose season ticket holders. The number of season tickets sold jumped to 4,170 on June 2 and 7,158 on June 3. Season tickets opened to the general public on June 4 and sold out in just 17 minutes. Once the 'Drive to 13,000' was completed, TNSE started a season ticket waiting list, which was shut down after 8,000 people had signed up in two hours. In July 2011, tickets for the Oct 9 home opener versus the Montreal Canadiens were listed for an average price of $1,711 on Stubhub, with an average selling price of $713
True North stated that the announcement of the team's name would not be made until after the successful completion of the season ticket drive at the absolute earliest. The team was not to be named the Thrashers, since True North did not acquire the name in the transaction, and the rights to that name and the Thrashers logo were retained by the ownership group in Atlanta.
There was considerable support in Winnipeg to re-use the "Winnipeg Jets" name, which was the moniker for the city's original WHA and NHL franchise as well as the original name for a junior hockey team that had begun play in 1967. The rights to the name "Winnipeg Jets" belonged to the league (through the league's ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes), but Bettman stated that True North would be permitted to use it if it wished. True North did consider other nicknames for the franchise (including those incorporating "Manitoba" instead of "Winnipeg"), but kept their nickname selection a secret until the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul on June 24, when during the announcement of the 7th overall selection, Chipman introduced general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to "make our first pick, on behalf of the Winnipeg Jets"—True North's first official announcement of the franchise's name.
2011–12 NHL season schedules were prepared to accommodate the Thrashers' move to Winnipeg after the sale's announcement. The Jets' schedule was formally released on June 23, 2011; their first on-ice appearance was in a pair of split-squad pre-season games with the Columbus Blue Jackets on September 20, 2011 (at both MTS Centre and Columbus' Nationwide Arena). The Jets made their formal regular season debut on October 9, 2011, when a sellout crowd at MTS Centre (who greeted the Jets with thunderous applause) saw the visiting Montreal Canadiens defeat the Jets, 5-1, with Nik Antropov scoring the first-ever Jets goal. Other highlights on the first Jets' schedule have included a home-and-home set with the Phoenix Coyotes, Winnipeg's previous NHL franchise (including a December 1 game in Winnipeg, the Coyotes' first regular season appearance in Winnipeg since vacating the city), as well as a December 17 home game against the Anaheim Ducks, which was former Jet Teemu Selanne's first playing appearance in Winnipeg since being traded from the Jets in February 1996.
The Jets inherited the Thrashers' position in the Southeast Division for the 2011–12 season, with the NHL considering realignment plans for the following season. One such proposal included the Jets (who as part of the Southeast Division faced long road trips to their division opponents in the southeastern U.S.) joining the Central Division alongside such geographically-favourable teams as Chicago, Detroit, and Minnesota). The NHL Players Association initially rejected that proposed realignment, forcing the Jets to play in that division once again for the 2012-13 season; however, the players later approved a revised version that would send Columbus and Detroit to the Eastern Conference. Beginning in 2013–14, the Jets moved to the Western Conference and play in the new-look seven-team Central Division (where the previous Jets had played in their final 3 seasons in Winnipeg).
Before the franchise relocation was officially completed, True North bought out the remaining years of General Manager Rick Dudley's contract on June 4, 2011. Thrashers president Don Waddell, who had been with the franchise since its inception, had earlier announced he would not be moving with the team. Kevin Cheveldayoff, a former GM of the Chicago Wolves and former assistant GM of the Chicago Blackhawks, was hired to replace Dudley four days later.
On June 12, 2011, Cheveldayoff had Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay reinterview for his position, then formally dismissed him as head coach eight days later. Claude Noel, who had been the head coach of the Manitoba Moose, was named head coach four days later; the other finalist for the job had been Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Haviland. Charlie Huddy, Pascal Vincent and Wade Flaherty, formerly of the Dallas Stars and Blackhawks, were named the assistant coaches.
On January 12, 2014, the The Winnipeg Jets fired coach Claude Noel and replaced him with Paul Maurice. Assistant coach Perry Pearn was also let go.
Season by season record
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, OT = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
|2011–12||82||37||35||10||84||225||246||4th, Southeast||Did not qualify|
|2012–13||48||24||21||3||51||128||144||2nd, Southeast||Did not qualify|
|2013–14||82||37||35||10||84||227||237||7th, Central||Did not qualify|
No new logo and colours for the Jets accompanied the team's nickname announcement at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft (draft pick Mark Scheifele was presented with a generic black and silver NHL jersey and cap), but True North confirmed that they were in the process of conceiving a logo and colour scheme for the Jets, with True North's chairman, Mark Chipman, stating that the previous Jets' blue and red colours would be incorporated. The Jets unveiled their new logos and colours on July 22, 2011, three days before the team had scheduled to release them (this after team merchandise containers were broken into and a crude picture of a Jets' T-shirt made the rounds on the internet). While blue and silver are the main colour palette, the insignias are a dramatic departure from the previous Jets' logos and pay homage to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), particularly Winnipeg's 17 Wing; the primary logo is patterned after the roundels used by the RCAF and includes a silhouette of a McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet. (Red is a secondary part of the colour scheme due to a maple leaf, the incorporation of which came with the permission of the Toronto Maple Leafs.) Game uniforms for the new Jets were unveiled in September at 17 Wing; the team did not introduce a third jersey for its inaugural season due to a limited timetable. The team has, thus far, opted not to introduce a third jersey.
The logo was designed by Reebok, the NHL and designer Linda Lynch. Reebok's lead uniform and team identity designers, Dominique Fillion and Linda Lynch, have been associated with the identity design, although True North has not revealed specific design credits.
On October 7, 2011, True North announced they had recalled their former mascot Mick E. Moose from the AHL.
Mick E. had spent the past 15 seasons with the Manitoba Moose of the International and American Hockey Leagues, entertaining kids and adults alike at Moose games and community events. Mick E. Moose, a fan favourite, had averaged over 100 community appearances per season for the past 15 years in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba. Slight modifications to the costume were made, including a new vintage leather aviator helmet.
Updated April 14, 2014.
|Winnipeg Jets retired numbers|
|991||Wayne Gretzky||C||–||February 6, 2000
(No banner at the MTS Centre)
While not officially retired, Evander Kane sought (and received) permission from Bobby Hull to wear #9; the number had been retired by the previous Jets franchise. Kane had worn the number 9 during his time with the Thrashers, and the Jets organization encouraged him to keep the number.
Number 25 was also retired by the previous Jets in honor of Thomas Steen and was worn by Brett MacLean, for five games, during his brief time with the Jets in the 2011-12 season. It is currently worn by Zach Redmond.
Both 9 and 25 remain retired with the Phoenix Coyotes, who later also retired Dale Hawerchuk's #10 for his accomplishments in Winnipeg. The Coyotes also retired Teppo Numminen's #27 and Keith Tkachuk's #7 for their accomplishments in Winnipeg and Phoenix. Bryan Little, who wore the number #10 in Atlanta, changed to #18 out of respect for Hawerchuk.
Note: This list does not include captains from the Atlanta Thrashers.
- Andrew Ladd, 2011–present
Note: This list does not include head coaches from the Atlanta Thrashers.
These are the top-ten point, goal, and assist scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.
These records include those accrued during the team's time as the Atlanta Thrashers.
Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game; G/G = Goals per game; A/G = Assists per game
= current Jets player
- Most goals in a season: Ilya Kovalchuk, 52 (2005–06, 2007–08)
- Most assists in a season: Marc Savard, 69 (2005–06)
- Most points in a season: Marian Hossa, 100 (2006–07)
- Most penalty minutes in a season: Jeff Odgers, 226 (2000–01)
- Most goals in a season, defenceman: Dustin Byfuglien, 20 (2010–11)
- Most points in a season, defenceman: Dustin Byfuglien, 53 (2010–11, 2011–12)
- Most goals in a season, rookie: Ilya Kovalchuk, 29 (2001–02)
- Most assists in a season, rookie: Dany Heatley, 41 (2001–02)
- Most points in a season, rookie: Dany Heatley, 67 (2001–02)
- Most wins in a season: Kari Lehtonen, 34 (2006–07)
- Most shutouts in a season: Kari Lehtonen, 4 (2006–07, 2007–08), Ondrej Pavelec, 4 (2011–12)
Bell Media is the official broadcasting partner of the Jets, as part of a ten-year deal that expires in 2021. The deal gives Bell exclusive regional broadcasting rights for television, radio, and mobile television. Games not televised nationally by NHL on TSN or Hockey Night in Canada are televised by TSN Jets, a secondary feed of TSN available in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and parts of Northwestern Ontario.
Radio broadcasts are carried by local sports talk station CFRW, TSN Radio 1290. Dennis Beyak serves as the primary play-by-play voice of the Jets, calling all games televised on TSN Jets. Brian Munz calls most games on radio; however, is replaced by Beyak when the latter is not calling games on television. Television colour commentary duties are split between Brian Engblom and Mike Johnson. They are joined by rinkside reporter Sara Orlesky. Former NHL player Shane Hnidy provides commentary for both radio and television.
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