The Winnipeg Jets have had an understated, but important off-season. They have not committed too much money to any one player, although they could have paid Dmitry Kulikov less than they did. They went out and found a starting goalie in Steve Mason and most importantly they let go of players like Mark Stuart and Chris Thorburn who had been the favourites of the coaching staff for years.
While the Winnipeg Jets have made much needed improvements, it is hard to say if they will make the playoffs this year. The Central Division is always a strong group and the upcoming season is no different. The Minnesota Wild traded Marco Scandella to the Buffalo Sabres. The Dallas Stars keep on signing old guys and goalies. The St. Louis Blues...what are the Blues doing again? The Chicago Blackhawks made a bunch of trades to stay under the cap with Marian Hossa having to deal with a painful allergic reaction amongst other things. Meanwhile, the Nashville Predators still have a really strong defence and will be bringing back most of their team from last season’s Stanley Cup Finalist squad.
Where does this leave the Jets? This is the hard part because there are so many unknown factors going into the next season. Will the St. Louis Blues be the Blues still? Will the Dallas Stars finally gets some goaltending and defence to win? Will the Minnesota Wild continue to improve under Bruce Boudreau? Will the Chicago Blackhawks continue to decline without Hossa? Will the Nashville Predators be able to outplay Pekka Rinne again? There are simply too many questions about the Central Division to make a prediction about how the Jets will do this upcoming season.
Will the Winnipeg Jets understated off-season pay dividends this season? It is highly possible that the team ends up where it ended up at the end of last season, but it is also possible that the Jets end up in the playoffs because of the addition of a goalie and possibly more youth and scoring up front. Never mind the potential decline of other teams in the Central Division.