ANALYSIS: Jets at a crossroads with no appetite for rebuild in Winnipeg
Amid all of the voices, opinions and even deflection that last weekend’s exit interviews produced, simply put, the Winnipeg Jets’ season was not good enough.
Yes, there was a playoff appearance — a brief one. Indeed, there were exciting moments along the way, but not enough of them. And sure, the team boasts some all-star cast members, but nary a messiah among them.
If the Jets were a spreadsheet, what the bottom line would indicate this season would not be considered favourable — and, frankly, not an aberration either, but a trend.
As a result, what everyone can agree on is it’s time for change to the team’s current roster — a seminal moment in the franchise’s 12-, turning 13-year existence in Winnipeg, and perhaps a seismic one, at that, when it comes to the core and charter members.
Even veteran defenceman Brenden Dillon acknowledged on Saturday during his exit availability what many believe is on the horizon, calling this off-season “a big summer.”
Now let’s be clear: contrary to the gratuitous buzz on social media, there is no appetite in our market for a rebuild. If the fanbase was timid to support a team this winter that never once dipped below the playoff line, then operating under the premise the turnstiles will be carouselling at a rapid rate when they struggle to play competitively for the next year or two is folly.
But the team has reached a crossroads, a challenging point of its existence. How and what an overall upgrade looks like is uncertain, be it a buyout, a major trade, procurement of a prized free agent — or all of it.
What is not palatable is a run-back of the status quo. In other words, it’s strategic home improvements that are needed, not a demolition.
Last weekend provided a forum for voices, opinions and some deflection, but what really should have emerged is this hard reality that simply being ‘good enough’ isn’t good enough any longer.
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