Here's a question for you: #whatdidchevydotoday? Has anyone spoken to Kevin Cheveldayoff lately or know where he is or what he's up to? I didn't think so.
I created the above hash-tag on Twitter as an outlet for me to vent my incredible frustration with the lack of, well, anything coming out of TNSE and the Winnipeg Jets offices lately. For such a passionate fan-base, only two years into the rebirth of the Jets, to be left out in the dark about any of the comings and goings of this franchise feels minor-league to me and in my opinion deserves to be mocked. These aren't the days of the Manitoba Moose anymore, where the vast majority didn't care enough to know any of the details. Lets try and act like we're in the majors now. Please?
Has anyone read an article in any of our local papers lately that has any direct quotes from upper management? Because I haven't. Has anyone heard Chevy on local sports talk radio since he basically blew off the Zach Yuen situation a few weeks ago? Neither have I. And I subscribe to a local paper and listen to talk radio. A lot. I love the Jets and enjoy talking about potential trades, signings and draft picks as much as I do watching the games live. But for some reason, Winnipeg is not allowed to be privy to ANYTHING from inside the walls at 300 Portage Avenue, and that's a real shame and a disservice to the fans.
There is a voracious appetite for Winnipeg Jets hockey talk in this market, yet we don't even have a chance to discuss their intentions because the Get Smart-style "Cone of Silence" over TNSE doesn't allow ANYTHING to get out. Not even a "controlled leak", which would at least give the masses an inkling of what our fearless leaders are up to, and would fill the pages and airwaves with discussion and would ensure that the message TNSE wants is being spread. But nope. We get nothing.
Instead, we are left a few options:
- Blindly believe that Chevy and co. are filling their days with endless amounts of awesome behind-the-scenes work.
- Blindly speculate about what they could/should/might/will/won't do.
- Get pissed off because other markets get to hear their GM's speak and have a clue about what they're up to.
- Hope and pray that McKenzie, Dreger or any of the "insiders" get a scoop, because our MSM can't (or aren't allowed to) do it themselves.
- Assume that Chevy and his minions are up sun-tanning at Winnipeg Beach and that they have no cell-reception up there.
And right now, I am having a hard time showing "blind faith" in our management crew. A recent entry here on AIH looked at Chevy's Best and Worst Moves Through Two Years, and they aren't pretty. For a team that has finished out of the playoffs in both seasons since their return, has attempted to fill its roster with scraps from the waiver wire and has attempted to "build through the draft" while letting a recently drafted player walk, I'm having a hard time "keeping the faith".
According to CapGeek, the Jets have 20 players signed in the entire organization, with 12 considered to be NHLers. This list of 12 includes both Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba, two guys who may or may not be ready for the show, and even with those two we have the least amount of "NHLers" signed. And as we sit here today, we are 9 days away from the draft and just over two weeks away from free agency. With SEVENTEEN RFA's and TWELVE UFA's. It's remarkable, and damn near panic inducing, that not only do the Jets have so many holes in their lineup but we have nothing to go off in terms of info about who they are interested in keeping or letting go. Ridiculous.
And the local media? Well, they can't help you either. They either don't have access to Chevy's work-phone or cell-number, or TNSE hasn't included them under the "Cone of Silence", because they have nothing to go off of. They are left to call the agents of the players to try and pry something, anything, that resembles relevant information. And even that is a dangerous game, as agents can and will say whatever they want in order to help their client get paid, but here we are. People are desperate for information, and that's all they can do. Either that or write an opinion piece, which is just as much speculation as anything else.
But the thing that perhaps bugs me the most is that apparently the "rights holders" of the Winnipeg Jets aren't even allowed to say a bad word about the franchise or upper management. Sure, they can discuss the shortcomings of the players (unless it's Ondrej Pavelec, he's the "MVP") or odd coaching decisions or what not, but have you ever heard one bad thing said about Chevy and company yet, be it in print or on the radio waves? Because I sure haven't, at least not lately. Heck, I've barely seen or heard anything at all about the Jets. What, do you have to toe the party line in order to not get your press pass revoked? I sincerely hope that isn't the case, yet here I am wondering about it. I'm pretty sure you could fill the airwaves with Jets discussion 24/7 if you wanted to, but that certainly isn't the case.
The GM's met in Boston this past Wednesday just before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and I read all sorts of interesting tidbits from various GM's and media-types. Juicy gossip about trade potential, buyout possibilities and where the next coaching candidate could end up. Which player might be going where, and for how much. What certain teams are looking for heading into this incredibly critical summer with the salary cap decreasing. And not one word from Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Winnipeg Jets. As if I expected any differently.
So here we are. I am clearly in the camp that is unimpressed with Chevy's body of work and think it's ridiculous that we aren't hearing anything about the team that I pay a lot of money to support. And in the other corner are the people, who I give tremendous credit to despite the disagreements I have with them here at AIH or on Twitter, who manage to "keep the faith". Good on you, guys and girls. You impress me more and more each day as less and less appears to be getting done. But a wedge has clearly been driven between us, which is too bad, because the Winnipeg Jets should have all of their fans on the same page. But it just isn't the case.
I'm sure we'll hear something soon. I think. I hope. But until we do, I'll continue using the #whatdidchevydotoday hash-tag in an attempt to, I don't know, bring humour to a humourless situation? Sure, let's go with that. But every day it seems that the local papers are given nothing to write about and local talk radio stations pretty much ignore the current nothingness going on as they talk about everything else. Or perhaps even worse, they aren't "allowed" to do so. Would a "controlled leak" where the message TNSE wants to convey really be too much for fans to ask for? Throw us a freakin' bone here. Until we are given something concrete to discuss, in our current world of social media and instant gratification, we are left with nothing but wild speculation about what Chevy did today. Sadly, it doesn't look like much. Again.