29 Teams We Hate: Winnipeg "Jets"

Kevin C. Cox

Where do you start with the Winnipeg Jets?

Well, how about the name - because we all know the true Winnipeg Jets currently play in Arizona. These are your Atlanta Thrashers of Winnipeg, the modern day incarnation of a team that once tried this. It doesn't matter what you change the name to, you're still the Thrashers in, what can best be described as, generic jerseys from NHL 13 Create-A-Team mode.

Commandeering the name of another team...tsk, tsk. Fans in Winnipeg wouldn't have it any other way.

"The Jets just meant so much to me and I can't see the logic in going with a different name,"

How about because they're a different team?

"It would just be that much sweeter if it was the Jets,"

I got some bad news, buddy, they're still the Atlanta Thrashers, new name or not.

"If they come back and they're not the Jets, it would kind of tear your heart out again,"

Talk about ungrateful. Honestly, if I lived in a city that was negative four degrees Fahrenheit on the average winter day, the name of a hockey team would be irrelevant.

Did you know: Winnipeg is the 2nd coldest city with a population over 600,000 in the world after Ulan Bator, Mongolia? It's so cold that it froze Tyler Seguin's alarm clock or something.

But that same miserable cold gives way to a very lively crowd with a great reputation among NHL media. I know you guys are excited to be inside, but there's no need to yell so much. Shouts out for turning the Canadian anthem into a thank you to team ownership:

Also, it ruins the song, so there's that.

Then, of course, there's the media - the worst in the NHL. Let's look at some of their work regarding two specific players (I think you all know who):

Ondrej Pavelec is a not good NHL goalie. In fact, in his two seasons in Winnipeg, he's finished 35th and 34th in save percentage among goalies. AND YET...

September 17, 2013

if you were to conduct a poll of the dressing room, [Pavelec] would have earned a lot of votes as the team's MVP

September 10, 2013

Although Pavelec was clearly the Jets most valuable player during the 2011-12 season...

June 30, 2012

(The whole thing.)

The real head scratchers, though, came after Pavelec signed a ridiculous contract in 2012. Seriously, look at these cap hit comparable. News broke that Pavelec had been arrested for a DUI two weeks before and the Jets sure looked dumb admitting they had no clue it had happened.

One would think the writers would take Pavelec out back for his recklessness and lack of disclosure. Nah.

From Arctic Ice Hockey

Do you want to know what the Winnipeg Free Press wrote of Pavelec after he was sentenced with DUI felony charges? Apparently the team needs to sit down and discuss the matter upon his return to Winnipeg. Not to be outdone, the Winnipeg Sun chimed in with a matter-of-fact piece on the incidents' occurrence. Ed. Note: Paul Friesen did complete this follow up article, chastising Pavelec's withholding of the truth. But the Freep's sports op-ed writer, a man who makes his bread by stringing opinion together as fact, had nothing to say on the matter.

Not everyone gets that kind of free pass in Winnipeg. While Pavelec's DUI received a gentle slap on the wrist, Evander Kane was chewed apart for this.

Paul Friesen's column "Jets winger Evander Kane doesn't have a clue" is a particularly wonderful read. And it would seem the fans agree!

There's two issues at play here. The first, is that because this was during a time of lockout, players should demonstrate frugality as a demonstration of the need for money, apparently. This, of course, completely overlooks the fact that the players were LOCKED OUT BY THE OWNERS, a key detail. The second issue is that Evander Kane shouldn't ever have fun with his money. We all know how much he makes, but if he displays it in any sort of way he's being a mean jerk! It's as if no one had any idea what his contract terms were until that photo came out judging by reactions. Fortunately, Kane didn't apologize because he didn't do anything wrong.

It doesn't end there, though. Plenty more character assassination to be found by media members, like our old pal Paul Friesen:

You may recall the Jets tried to help Kane conduct an extreme makeover last season, after his off-ice behaviour drew more and more criticism.

There were rumours of the guy walking out on restaurant bills, another suggesting the mysterious concussion that forced him to miss seven games was caused when someone slugged him at a nightclub.

At one point Kane was forced to deny reports he wanted out of Winnipeg.

Much of this and the resulting backlash from fans unfolded on social media sites, of which Kane was a regular user.

Things got so unwieldy, the Jets suggested he lay off Twitter for a while.

During the lockout, though, teams aren't even supposed to contact their players.

So Kane, left to his own devices, sends out a shot of him big-timing again.

Earth calling Evander: flaunting your cash just isn't a Winnipeg thing. We prefer low-key. Showoffs don't mix well, here.

*Unfortunately I exceed the Winnipeg Free Press' allotment of free articles in researching this piece so please Arctic Ice Hockey again regarding most of WFP's coverage of both matters*

Now in the Western Conference, the Jets will rely heavily on super awesome mega goaltender master Ondrej Pavelec and Evander Kane (provided he doesn't go Hollywood on everyone) as they attempt to make the playoffs for the second time in franchise history. Unfortunately, the Southeast division is no more so don't count on that happening. But you can definitely thank them for putting the Bruins in a division with Florida and Tampa, real exciting stuff.

EDIT: if you've got some time, check out the highly requested "Death By Popcorn" video. (Thanks Cornelius for this)

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