After many thought the Winnipeg Jets were poised for a teardown in the offseason, they’ve managed to turn things around, keep a lot of the core players, and are looking like one of the better teams in the Western Conference. Frank Seravalli and Tyler Yaremchuk talk more on Daily Faceoff Live about the Jets start to the season and the good vibes they have so far.
Tyler Yaremchuk: We haven’t talk a lot about the Jets this year. They’re 12-7-2 to start the year, it’s not spectacular by any stretch, but it’s really really good when you look at this team and compare where they could have been three months ago and what we were thinking with this group, it’s quite the difference. We were thinking heading into the summer that Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck could all be gone, it could be a total teardown in Winnipeg and a rebuild year incoming.
Instead you got Scheifele and Hellebuyck signed to long-term extensions and they’re sitting here looking like a legitimate playoff team. It’s quite the contrast.
Frank Seravalli: It is, and I think that all changed the moment those two signed those twin extensions. That is really where the feeling kind of went in a different direction of having a stability and not selling off pieces, they know that they’re here for the long term. To no one’s surprise, after a shaky first week or two, Hellebuyck has rebounded into form, and Kyle Connor is back to being one of the true, really underappreciated talents in this league.
So you begin to sort of add all of these things up and this is a team that has been through some turmoil. We talked about the drama, but also having Rick Bowness step aside for a number of weeks to take care of his wife who suffered a seizure, that could’ve been another turning point this year. Instead, Scott Arniel continued to push the bus forward, and the Jets are in the spot today where, I don’t want to say they’re sitting pretty, but I’m not looking at a lot of those teams that are in the mush really challenging Winnipeg to even be out of the mix, even though Winnipeg is only a few points ahead.
Tyler Yaremchuk: Yeah, only a couple of points up, but the vibe is so different around Winnipeg right now. I think the pieces they got in that Pierre-Luc Dubois trade are all working out pretty well too. They got this layer of depth now.
You can watch the full episode here…