I’ll be honest, half the time I forget the Jets are in our Division. Since relocating from Atlanta, the Jets have been fairly quiet. Because this team was established in 2011, this history will be super short and sweet.
- Located in the Central Division of the Western Conference
- Founded in 1999 as the Atlanta Thrashers (relocated for the 2011 season)
- Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Arena: MTS Centre
- Owner: True North Sports and Entertainment
- GM: Kevin Cheveldayoff
- Head Coach: Paul Maurice
- Captain: Blake Wheeler
- Minor League Affiliate: Manitoba Moose
- Stanley Cups: none
And here is a slightly more in depth history. Again, this will be super short. I went over the origins of the original Winnipeg Jets in the Arizona Coyotes Profile. So here I will focus on the Atlanta Thrashers since they are the team that became the present day Jets.
The Atlanta Thrashers were founded in 1997 as an expansion team. In their 12 years as a franchise they only made it to the playoffs once. They didn’t win a single playoff game during that run.
As early as 2009, True North Sports and Entertainment had interest in buying the team to relocate them to Winnipeg. They had put in a bid for the Phoenix Coyotes. Despite the fact that they were unsuccessful, their approach was praised by Gary Bettman and the rest of the owners, which would help them when it came time to make a bid for the Thrashers. Finally in 2011 it was confirmed that the Thrashers were purchased with plans to relocate them to Winnipeg.
Season ticket sales for the yet unnamed team exceeded expectations, selling out within minutes. The name was revealed as the Winnipeg Jets on June 24th when the team was introduced to make their first selection in the 2011 Entry Draft.
Since then, they have made the Stanley Cup playoffs once, in 2015. They were swept by the Anaheim Ducks.
This past season they finished 25th overall. They were able to win the 2nd overall draft pick this year in the lottery, selecting Patrik Laine.
- Blake Wheeler
- Dustin Byfuglien
- Andrew Ladd
Again, this team flies under the radar quite a bit, especially in the competitive Central Division. They are a young team, so they likely need some time to establish themselves. I’m not complaining. The Central Division is scary enough as it is.