The Winnipeg Jets are a captainless plane. The team announced this morning that Blake Wheeler was no longer captain and there was a restructuring of leadership on the team. While this might be a needed move, it is still interesting to watch play out.
The stripping of Wheeler comes after numerous young players seemed to struggle to fit in with the Jets partially due to them not fitting a specific mold of player and/or person that the Jets wanted even if the player in question was fine. There were reported issues in the Jets dressing room last season and this seems to be a partial response to them. This is a good first step.
Stripping Wheeler of his captaincy also allows the Jets to explore trading him as he only has two years left on his contract. They might not be able to do that until the offseason, but the option is now there because the emotional burden of trading the captain is gone. This move allows Kevin Cheveldayoff a certain amount of freedom he did not have before.
While this move is surprising, if it is the first move of a long list of changes under Rick Bowness I could see it working. However, I have also written something like that about 50 million times now, so I know that things are unlikely to change with the Jets. It’s just the way they are.