Atlanta Thrashers Winnipeg Jets
78 points, and out of a playoff spot. Remember how high everyone was on this team after ONE playoff appearance where they were unceremoniously swept? They got a second wildcard spot in 2015 basically because Dallas decided against playing defense, and LA and San Jose took the year off. How is that anything to be proud of? That's like bragging you beat your older brother at 1-on-1 when he was trying to let you win.
Your Head Coach
Paul Maurice, who you probably forgot was still in the NHL. He gets some accolades for....well, not being offensively bad at his job. But he isn't good either. He just exists. He's that thing in the back of your fridge you bought for one meal and forgot was there for months. He is the mayonnaise of NHL head coaches, which is perfect for the home of the "white out" (in more context than one).
Anyway, here is a list of Paul Maurice's crowning achievements as a coach:
2002: somehow stumbled into a Stanley Cup Final and lost horribly.
2009: somehow stumbled into a conference final and lost horribly.
2015: somehow stumbled into the first round and lost horribly.
Well, dang; that's regression if I ever saw it.
Your Starting Goalie
Ondrej Pavelec? STILL? Man, that's just the hill you guys are gonna die on, isn't it? He's been better than a .906 SV% all of one year, but he's still here. He has one year left on his deal, at which point Winnipeg will likely move on from him finally. Isn't that just the saddest thing? Your team and Pavelec are like that loveless marriage that vows to stay together until the kids turn 18 and go off to college.
Your other major option here is Connor Hellebuyck, who has just 26 games of NHL experience. He does, however, lead NHL goaltenders in ear size. Look at this freak of nature!
Also, there's Michael Hutchinson, who played 30 games and put up a .907 SV% last season. I actually have no idea which one of these people will be your goaltender. But your three options are somebody who's bad at their job and two guys with about 60 games combined experience. I've seen more skill and life experience behind the counter of a Dairy Queen.
New Things That Suck
Well, they missed winning the lottery by *that* much, so instead of Auston Matthews, they got the pleasure of drafting this guy:
Oh dear lord; WHAT is this creature? The future of the Jets is basically in the hands of a guy that looks like Sloth from The Goonies. And he's also way too cocky, which I'm sure Jets fans will love:
"I think I have the ability to someday become the best player in the NHL," Laine said at the NHL Scouting Combine on Saturday. "Maybe other guys are good at many different things, but not really good at one thing. I think I am. I think me and Matthews are quite even [at this stage in development]."
Geez. I give it about 1.5 years before the first Gary Lawless column decrying Laine for not being a team player and trying to run him out of town. Scratch that; 1.5 months.
Aside from that, they really didn't make any other changes to the team. They signed Shawn Matthias for two years, and that's about it. I can't blame people with the option of not going to Winnipeg to exercise that option. We're talking about a city that's so bad, people willingly move to Edmonton to get away from it.
Things That Still Suck
You aren't the real Jets. Let's make that clear. The real Jets died a long, long time ago and moved to the desert in 1996. Those Jets have never- and will never- be replaced. Those Jets had Teemu and that cool picture of the Queen in their arena and Tie Domi in pizza commercials. Those were the real Jets.
You can try all you want, but you are not that iteration of the Jets. You are a parody. A spoof. Something trying way too hard to reclaim a legacy that isn't yours. The sad thing is that legacy wasn't even that great! The Jets 1.0 didn't win a playoff series after 1987. Those are your "good old" days.
Instead, you now have a watered-down imitation "reboot" of the original Jets. You couldn't get the original team back from a failing situation in Glendale! Gary Bettman wouldn't even give you back the team you lost; you had to give you the rooting corpse of a team Atlanta didn't want anymore as a consolation prize for playing nice. And you only acted like complete jackals that felt like your third-rate city had a God given right to an NHL hockey team.
All of this would be sad and not at all hilarious if your fanbase wasn't full of insufferably awful people. Despite getting coddled by the national media, this has to be the most pathetic group of fans in Canada. You boo every other team's star players because you have none of their own. You act about having a hockey team the way most fans act about winning championships, which is to say they like entitled dinks. You shout your corporate owner's name during the national anthem, for crying out loud. Your entire existence in hockey fandom is essentially sponsored content.
And for what? For a team that has done absolutely nothing. Factoring in their history in Atlanta, this Jets 2.0 franchise has made the postseason twice and never won even a single playoff game. All your best players in linear franchise history never actually played in Winnipeg. Yet you want a cookie because you cheered real loud that time you made the playoffs once and got swept in your own building. You people are so awful, you made us once have sympathy for noted garbage human Evander Kane. Geez.
Why You Might Not Suck
You have some good prospects, so you might have a chance in the Central Division, assuming all of Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, and Nashville are all simultaneously hit by comets next year.