ANALYSIS: Jets need a finisher behind the bench

The Western Conference final started Thursday night in double overtime fashion in Dallas, and I’m sure there are many people inside the Jets’ office and throughout the city of Winnipeg saying that it’s the Jets who should be facing Connor McDavid and the Oilers.

We all knew all season long that good teams were going to be eliminated long before the final four, and most people here hoped it wouldn’t be Winnipeg. But alas, it was.

Story continues below advertisement

The five-game series against the Avalanche feels forever ago. And in watching Thursday night’s Oilers victory, the question has to be asked: How close are the Jets to competing at this level?

Click to play video: 'Jets head coach Rick Bowness calls it quits after 38-season NHL career'

Jets head coach Rick Bowness calls it quits after 38-season NHL career

That’s why the next hire at head coach might just be the most important in team history.

Story continues below advertisement

With coaches being hired earlier this week in Toronto and New Jersey, that leaves Winnipeg, Seattle and San Jose still without a head coach. And I’m not sure the three remaining teams are competing for the same style in coach.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

San Jose and Seattle need a teacher. Winnipeg? Well, the Jets need a finisher.

The talent is deep in Winnipeg, and this core is strong. Rick Bowness did a marvelous job rebuilding a foundation for the club. But, quite frankly, it wasn’t and isn’t enough. That’s probably why associate coach Scott Arniel wasn’t given the job on the same day that Bowness departed.

And while I suspect that Arniel is still a candidate for the job, it’s important for this organization to find the right candidate who will enhance what is already here.

And while San Jose and perhaps Seattle can think outside the box for their new hires, it is imperative that this team takes its time and finds someone who knows how to deliver immediately — someone with gravitas and a championship resume. Not Rick Bowness 2.0, but rather a coach that understands what Bowness did, and can now show everyone how to get this team to the next level.

Click to play video: 'John Shannon on the Jets: Year-end review'

John Shannon on the Jets: Year-end review

&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.