The Brainwashing of the Winnipeg Jets Fanbase

It Started in Year One of Winnipeg Jets 2.0 –

The brainwashing and excuses were flowing long before the Winnipeg Jets 2.0 ever hit the ice but in our joy and jubilation of finally getting a NHL team back in River City we were oblivious to the warning signs.  The “excuse seeds” were planted early and often.

There have been thousands of excuses and blame pointed in another thousand different directions on why the Winnipeg Jets haven’t made the playoffs in their first three plus seasons in Winnipeg.  The excuses have come from fans on social media (mostly twitter and talk radio), from certain media (preaching the TNSE message) and a little bit from within the organisation (subtle buzzwords and rhetoric).  Everyone has an opinion or a theory including myself.  I’m the first to admit that retrospective analysis is easy at this point of the game but I always wondered right from day one why TNSE felt the need to hire a new coach and G.M. right out of the gate.  This was no expansion team that needed to be built from the ground up!  You can say what you want about “the core” but I’d take my chances building the Jets 2.0 version over what the Jets 1.0 version had to start with.  I’ve seen both and I do acknowledge it was a different time, with a different schedule, a different playoff format etc, etc, etc, but the Winnipeg Jets 1.0 made the playoffs in YEAR 3!!!  The Winnipeg Jets 1.0 started their NHL franchise in 1979-80 with THREE legitimate NHL players: Morris Lukowich, Scott Campbell, and Willy Lindstrom.


Scott Campbell, Willy Lindstrom, and Morris Lukowich, Winnipeg’s 3 best players in 1979-80

Excuse me if I don’t shed a tear for TNSE and their G.M. Kevin Cheveldayoff but the Winnipeg Jets 2.0 started with Zach Bogosian, Tobias Enstrom, Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien, Bryan Little, Andrew Ladd, and Blake Wheeler.  That’s a far cry from what coach Tommie McVie started with in 1979-80.  Add prospects Paul Postma, Patrice Cormier, Carl Klingberg, and Alex Burmistrov along with a handful of unspectacular but serviceable pieces in Jim Slater, Mark Stuart, Ron Hainsey, Kyle Wellwond and I think you should be getting my point.  I’m tired of the “woe is me” attitude and the excuses that surround this team only a few weeks into the 2014-15 season.          

Excuses, quotes, blame, buzzwords and more:

There have been hundreds of theories, excuses and reasons for the Winnipeg Jets plight since arriving in Winnipeg and many of them are very legitimate and many of them are simply “rose-colored glasses” and drinking the “Kool-Aid” but since the introduction of the internet and social media it is hashed out on a daily basis.  Man, I wish the internet was around in 1979-80!  Those would have been fun times.  

Are we being brainwashed by our own rhetoric?

These are a few of my faves!

1.  The previous management left the cupboards bare.

2.  Draft and develop. (because the Jets are the only NHL team doing this)

3.  The 5 year plan. (TNSE isn’t to blame for this one)  It was mentioned in passing but somehow stuck as gospel.

4.  Jets are still in an evaluation period.

5.  The “Atlanta Core” is rotten to the core!

6.  Atlanta was a Country Club.

7.  Winnipeg’s a hockey market. (accountability)

8.  The switch to the Western Conference. (Who saw that coming?)

9.  The lockout. (I guess it didn’t affect the other 29 teams) 

10.  “Fueled by Patience.”

11.  “In Chevy we trust.”

12.  Claude Noel has lost the room.

13.  Pavelec has no defence in front of him and faces tougher scoring chances.

14.  We’re still evaluating the “Atlanta Core”

15.  Atlanta’s management rushed their draft picks.

If you hear and read this enough you really can start to believe it.  It’s human nature.


Hutch, T.J. and Mathieu


I still believe in a good portion of this team.  I like the additions of draft picks Mark Scheifele, Jacob Trouba, and Adam Lowry as well as FA signings Michael Hutchinson, T.J. Galiardi, and Mathieu Perreault.  I still believe in coach Paul Maurice but it is starting to wain.  I know a coach can’t always say what’s really on his mind because he would not want to openly throw a player under the bus but in that same respect I don’t see the logic in openly praising the Thorburns, Stuarts, and Pavelecs on this team.  The game is evolving and his reluctance to acknowledge that Chris Thorburn, Mark Stuart, Anthony Peluso, and Ondrej Pavelec aren’t the answers lead me to believe he is towing the company line or is caught in a time warp.  Either way, my “spidey senses” are tingling and I’m concerned.  The belief, patience and/or loyalty shown by this organisation might be admirable but is currently its biggest downfall IMHO.

I’m not big on jumping the gun and over reacting after only seven or eight games but I really had high hopes for this team and I really bought into all the positives. Expectations can be a bitch!  I’m sure you have all heard the old saying “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”?  Well shame on me AGAIN!  I bought in because I let the fan in me take over from the common sense in me. I’m still full of hope and I would love to eat my words but this team can make it tough on the most optimistic fan.  It really is hard work being a Winnipeg Jets fan. I, like all Winnipeg Jets fans, just want a team that wins more than it loses to start with AND especially at home.  Is that really too much to ask for?



  1. Great read Mitch, I to go back to 72-73 season and have seen the glory years and the garbage years. Thankfully no social media in the 70’s and 80’s for me. I agree Jets playing games with our minds. We were in awe when they came back and didn’t see the big picture until now.

  2. Mitch Kasprick says

    Thanks, Dale. It’s been brewing for awhile and will only get worse if it continues going sideways. I hope it starts to turn around soon.

  3. Right on Mitch! I’m not sure TNSE gives a flying f*** whether we win or or lose as long as they make money. Sadly PoMo seems to be preaching the same shit Noel did. There is no rhyme nor reason to some of the decisions made. Paying customers (I’m not one. Live out of town) must get pretty frustrated when management seems not to care about improving team.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I think management cares about improving the team it’s just that they are doing it at their own slow pace. My concern is that the core keeps getting a year older as they wait for help also.

  4. explain your point that no other team has built through the draft? Before the hawks won the cup they were garbage. Their core are mostly draft picks. Same with LA and Bos. Both teams were garbage for a number of years prior to winning the cup. Once theses teams were close to going deep in playoffs, then they started making moves to complete their teams.
    The Jets core is in the making. Shife,troubs,lowry,ehlers, pitan. What they have now is not their core. Yes its disappointing to not make playoffs in the first 3 years!!! The hawks missed the playoffs for how many years? Made the playoffs 1 year and then won the cup the next. Ill take that approach over making the playoffs in the first three years. #vision

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I don’t know where I referenced that other teams haven’t built through the draft ….. the exact opposite is my point. My point is EVERY team builds through the draft but not ONLY through the draft. You’re right about “adding” as they become contenders. BUT this team didn’t arrive in Winnipeg with nothing and it’s being looked at like an expansion build by some which is NOT the case. The core right now is Ladd, Little, Wheeler, Buff, Tobi, Bogo, Kane, Pav. Ehlers & Petan aren’t even NHL players and are not part of “the core” and it’s premature to put expectations on them already. Great post Colin … Thanks for reading.

  5. The Hawks, Kings and Bruins also made key deals mixed in with picks. Don’t forget, Chevy has traded away more draft picks than traded for picks. “Draft and develop” teams don’t do that. Scheifele and Trouba are fine but not franchise players. Pray we get McDavid.
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    • Mitch Kasprick says

      You can’t win without “key deals” and it’s easier to deal when it looks like your team is a desirable destination as far as winning goes … example Jeff Carter to L.A. …. Hossa to Chicago …. etc …… BTW … we have no shot at McDavid.

      • Your entire post suggests that this team is a front runner for the first pick. Pretty contradictory statement saying we have no shot.

        • Mitch Kasprick says

          we are stuck in the old Calgary Flames syndrome … not bad enough to get a top lottery pick and just bad enough to miss the playoffs by a handful of points. AND BTW in this article I am pointing out the rhetoric, it doesn’t necessarily mean I believe all of it !!! Thanks for reading and commenting Marc!

          • Enjoyed the read Mitch. Still early in the season, but this team has poor goaltending, average dmen, and a bottom heavy forward group. Goal production is a huge issue. We may finally touch the bottom this year. Patience my friend. Coming from a life long Hawks fan.

    • Rob Carson says

      I 100% disagree with your point about Scheifele and Trouba. They are indeed franchise players. And drafting first to 5 guarantees nothing. Getzlaf was a 15th pick Perry in the high 20’s and I’d say they are franchise players. This Jets team is very close to being a legitimate playoff team. Once their draft picks start blossoming then you may make a big trade IF it’s needed. There’s a reason why the people from the illegal curve are in the media. The media has zero accountability and just sit around looking at stats and dreaming up stories. Stats are for losers. Philadelphia has been one of the biggest reputations for trading and they’ve been sputtering for years. They traded away Carter and Richards who went on to win a Stanley cup. In this day and age, making the playoffs is extremely difficult. But if you sneak in, LA 8th seed, anything can happen.

      • Mitch Kasprick says

        You are right about that Rob … Datsyuk & Zetterberg … 6th round, Benn 5th, Rinne 8th, Lundqvist 7th etc. etc. franchise players are up and down the draft board

  6. I’m not sure if they have the right core or not right now. But in each and every game I’ve watched the Jets have out played their opponent for more than half of each game IMO with the exception of maybe Arizona in the 2nd & 3rd. I believe Scheifele will be close to a 100 point player one day. I see glimpses of greatness but he isn’t getting any breaks and he’s only 21.

    IMO, this is Scheifele’s team. Once he starts scoring regularly this team will start winning.

    Important notes. If a team relies on their goaltender like Ottawa is doing or like Toronto did last year, the bleeding can’t be stopped when the goalies play just average. It also works the other way. If you’re allowing less than 30 shots a game like they’re doing and outplaying your opponent for more than half of the game or playing them evenly the wins will come.

    The league is so close. The difference from winning and losing is so small. Back in the 80’s 16 of 21 teams made the playoffs, now it’s 16 of 30! Almost half don’t make the playoffs. I think they have a good team and it’ll pay off soon. It’s frustrating but I still think the Jets have drafted well. Oh and the Jets got Hawerchuk in 1981, that was a franchise player that gave instant success.

  7. Mitch Kasprick says

    You are correct Rob about being goaltender dependent … when you get average or less than average goaltending it can get ugly real quick but the truth be told, most team success starts and ends in the goal. Today there aren’t many teams that can out-score their own deficiencies.

    • Rob Carson says

      That’s right. I like Pavelec most times but sometimes he doesn’t fight to see the puck when traffic is in front of him. He doesn’t move side to side as good as Hutch does. He’s out of position a lot and sometimes he’s slow to react and he has to stop these wrap around goals!! I’m hoping with less shots he won’t be so tired either. I guess I’m just hoping!!!

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