Winnipeg Jets 2012-2013 NHL Preview:
One of the most exciting events of the 2011-12 NHL season was the return of the Winnipeg Jets, who moved from a dull Atlanta sports market to one of the most hockey-crazed cities in Canada. Although the Atlanta Thrashers finished in 12th before their move to Winnipeg, the Jets made some wise decisions in the draft and looked like they had the makings of a contender during last season. The Jets finished the 2011-12 season with a 37-35-10 record and failed to qualify for a playoff spot, but the team made great strides during its first year in Winnipeg to capture the hearts of the Jets' faithful and give them hope of making the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in their new home.
The Jets have done a remarkable job with a Thrashers roster that was considered one of the least talented in the league and gave it a major makeover. The team boasts one of the youngest rosters in the league, and one of the most talented first lines in the Western Conference. The trio of Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler is one of the best possession lines in the league, and younger players like Evander Kane and Alexander Burmistrov ready to take the next step for more playing time this season.
The Jets' defense was not one of their stronger suits during the 2011-12 season, but on the whole, the duo of Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien was solid throughout the year. The team also has talented youngsters like Zach Bogosian and Ron Hainsey waiting in the wings, so they should expect plenty of time in the rotation. Finally, the Jets' biggest offseason priority was to shore up their goaltending situation, and they did just that by handing goalie Ondrej Pavelec a five-year contract extension in the offseason. At just 25 years old, the Jets believe they have their goaltender of the future.
In the Winnipeg Jets' second full year at the MTS Centre, fans will have plenty to look forward to throughout the season. The Jets will play eight all-Canadian matchups during the season, as well as their first against the Vancouver Canucks and and Calgary Flames. The season will kick off October 13 at home against the Carolina Hurricanes, and spirits are high among the fanbase that the Jets could capitalize on their young talent and break through to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time.
WINNIPEG HOCKEY EXPERIENCE:
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Stadium: MTS Centre
Conference: Eastern Conference
Division: Southeast Division
Winnipeg Stanley Cup Titles: none
Winnipeg Conference Championships: none
Notable Players: Dany Heatley & Ilya Kovalchuk
Previous Names: Atlanta Thrashers
Winnipeg play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team was formed in 1999, as the Atlanta Thrashers and brought hockey back to Atlanta since the Flames left for Calgary, Alberta in 1980 to become the Calgary Flames. History repeated itself in 2011, when the Thrashers departed the city for Winnipeg, becoming the Winnipeg Jets.
Winnipeg play their home games at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The modern arena opened in November of 2004 and holds around 15,000 hockey fans. MTS Centre replaced the Winnipeg Arena, where the original Winnipeg franchise played between the 70's and mid 90's. It's unique red brick exterior façade is a nod to Canada's historic "Eaton's" stores, one of which was demolished to make way for construction. Visitors may enjoy a visit to the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame housed on the main level.
Buy Winnipeg hockey tickets and watch one of the NHL's youngest franchises fight to bring their team to the top of the Eastern Conference! TicketCity is not affiliated with the Winnipeg Jets, the official team website, or MTS Centre.
Winnipeg Season Preview History