It’s clear to anybody who’s been paying attention to the Winnipeg Jets since their return that they like to keep their cards close to the vest. Many believe that this ability to keep leaks contained played a major role in TNSE staying in the good graces of the league and allowing the return to happen. But now, six years later, it has gone too far.
With the Vegas Golden Knights about to have their expansion draft next week, and the deadline for teams to ask any of their players to waive their no-movement clauses coming and going yesterday, the Jets once again did not inform the fans of their decisions or requests.
Toby Enstrom, the best left-handed defender that this team has had for each of the past six years, was the one player with such a clause who may or may not have been asked to do so. So, what did we discover?
For those wondering, #NHLJets won't be commenting on whether they've asked or if Toby Enstrom has agreed to waive NMC for expansion draft— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeSunSports) June 12, 2017
Now, compare that with the Columbus Blue Jackets and what they had Aaron Portzline, one of their local beat-writers, pass along:
#CBJ did not ask veteran forward Scott Hartnell to waive his no-move clause by today's 5 p.m. deadline.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) June 12, 2017
To make matters even more confusing and aggravating, here is what Toby’s group had to say about it this morning:
Tobias Enstrom's camp will neither confirm nor deny if he was asked to waive his NMC. Want that info to be released by the team.— Sean Reynolds (@snseanreynolds) June 13, 2017
Now, is this one instance such a big deal? Probably not. And it’s not like we won’t find out later this week once the expansion lists are made public. So, why the secrecy? Why not give the rabid fan-base something to talk about at the water-cooler instead of harping on the fact that this team still has zero playoff wins in its history? (Okay, maybe I’m one of the few that constantly brings that up).
But unfortunately, it’s been a recurring theme for some time now. The secrecy around the Evander Kane tracksuit incident. The secrecy about the injuries to players like Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers. The garbled Chevy-speak that is high on word count but devoid of insight. It leaves fans with plenty of blanks to fill in and nothing but our imaginations to use to fill them.
The slogan is “Fuelled by Passion”, but for myself and many others that I’ve spoken to the passion has all but died out. There’s a reason that video games have a “Be A GM” mode, and that the major networks employ insiders to fill the talk-radio airwaves with plenty of rumour fodder. The fan experience doesn't just include the game when the players are on the ice, but that’s pretty much all that we get provided with.
If you’re going to be a secretive, boring team that doesn’t provide the full “Be A GM” experience, then you’d better win more games than you lose. And unfortunately for the local squad in double-blue, they don’t provide either. When it comes to the Jets, all work and no play makes them a very dull team.
Sorry, but it’s hard to get passionate about that.