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.
We’re taking you LIVE to the end-of-season media conference with General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. https://t.co/X27QnVdIjN
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) April 30, 2023
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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