Although social media was rife with speculation about his future with the franchise after a frustrating end to the 2021-22 season, Winnipeg Jets star Mark Scheifele says he has nothing but positive feelings toward his team.
“(The team) means a lot to me,” Scheifele told 680 CJOB. “It’s the club that drafted me, that took a chance on me at seventh overall. I’ve been there my entire career. (The Jets) mean so much to me,” he said.
“I think when you have that respect for the organization, you want things to go well — especially as a leader. You want things to go in the right direction. You want things to be the best that they can be so that everyone has success.
“I think that’s why there was so much anger from a lot of us at the end of the year — because we want to win. We have a lot of guys that expect a lot out of themselves, and we want the team to be in the best scenario possible.”
Missing the playoffs, Scheifele said, was a frustrating close to a season that he — and his teammates — expected to be far more successful.
“It was kind of one of those funky years, where a lot of weird things happened, and we dealt with a lot of adversity as a hockey club.
“We’re all emotional people and we all want the best and want to succeed… and when the year doesn’t go the way you want it to, you have a lot of frustrated thoughts going through your brain.”
Scheifele, who will turn 30 this upcoming season, said he’s excited about hitting the ice again in Jets colours this fall, and is feeling good about the conversations he’s had with the team’s coaching staff, including new head coach Rick Bowness.
Longstanding rumours that the Jets suffer from inter-squad personality conflicts and animosity in the locker room are unfounded, he said.
“That was just a load of B.S. that there’s problems in the room,” he said.
“When you don’t have success, it’s hard to be happy-go-lucky and excited when expectations weren’t met.”
“Our locker room is a great group of guys. We have a really tight-knit team. Guys love hanging out with each other … we were lucky to have a team where everyone gets along.”
The Jets’ preseason kicks off Sept. 25 in Edmonton against the Oilers, followed by a home game two days later at Canada Life Centre against the Ottawa Senators.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.