|2011–12 Winnipeg Jets season|
|History|| Atlanta Thrashers|
|Home arena||MTS Centre|
|Colours|| Polar Night Blue, White, Aviator Blue, Silver
Sports Radio 1290
|Owner(s)|| True North Sports & Entertainment|
(Mark Chipman, chairman)
|General manager||Kevin Cheveldayoff|
|Head coach||Claude Noël|
|Minor league affiliates|| St. John's IceCaps (AHL)|
Colorado Eagles (ECHL)
The franchise was formerly known as the Atlanta Thrashers and played in Atlanta, Georgia until their purchase by True North Sports and Entertainment in 2011. With approval by the NHL Board of Governors, the team was relocated to Winnipeg prior to the 2011–12 NHL season. Following the move, the team adopted the name of Winnipeg's original WHA/NHL team, which became the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996.
The Jets will play their home games at the MTS Centre in Downtown Winnipeg beginning in the fall of 2011. The team will continue as a member of the NHL's Southeast Division, the same division they played in while in Atlanta, for at least the 2011–12 NHL season. The league is expected to re-align its divisions for the 2012–13 season.
Atlanta Thrashers (1999–2011)
- Main article: Atlanta Thrashers
The City of Atlanta was awarded an NHL expansion franchise, named the Atlanta Thrashers, on June 25, 1997. It was the second NHL franchise for Atlanta (their first being the Atlanta Flames, established in 1972, who departed for Calgary in 1980 to become the Calgary Flames). The Thrashers began play in the 1999–2000 season.
During their history, the Thrashers qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs only once, during the 2006–07 season, and they had difficulties in drawing fans to attend their games over their final seasons.
Winnipeg Jets (2011-present)
As early as October 2009, there were rumours that True North Sports and Entertainment, a company that owns both Winnipeg's MTS Centre and the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Manitoba Moose, was purchasing the Atlanta Thrashers with the intention of moving the team to Winnipeg. By May 28, 2011, multiple reports had confirmed that the deal to purchase and move the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg was done, and all that was left was for the NHL to decide the right time to officially announce the relocation. According to The Globe and Mail, a deal was finalized on May 20, 2011 to relocate the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg. The league later denied the report, but acknowledged that advanced negotiations between the two teams were underway and that commissioner Gary Bettman supported the move. On May 20, 2011, the Winnipeg Sun confirmed that an agreement in principle has been reached, while Winnipeg's mayor Sam Katz announced that he was confident that Atlanta Thrashers relocation to Winnipeg would soon be officially announced. On May 31, 2011, at a press conference at the MTS Centre, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that the Atlanta Thrashers had been sold to True North, and would relocate to Winnipeg for the 2011–12 season pending the approval of the sale and relocation by the NHL Board of Governors; the Board of Governors gave formal approval of the sale and relocation at their June 21, 2011 meeting. The reported purchase price is $170 million, with $60 million going to the NHL as a relocation fee. After the sale announcement, True North made preparations to move the Moose franchise to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador; that team's move was formally approved and announced by the American Hockey League on June 10, 2011, returning the AHL to Atlantic Canada after a six-year absence.
Season ticket sales began June 1, 2011, with Manitoba Moose season ticket holders having priority. The team sought to sell 13,000 season tickets in an effort to prove its viability. Within the first three and a half hours the new franchise sold 1,870 packages to Moose season ticket holders. The number of season tickets sold jumped to 4,170 on June 2 and 7,158 on June 3. Season tickets opened to the general public on June 4 and sold out in just 17 minutes. Once the 'Drive to 13,000' was completed, TNSE started a season ticket waiting list, which was shut down after 8,000 people had signed up in two hours.
2011–12 NHL season schedules were prepared to accommodate the Thrashers' move to Winnipeg after the sale's announcement. The Jets' schedule was formally released on June 23, 2011; their first on-ice appearance was in a pair of split-squad pre-season games with the Columbus Blue Jackets on September 20, 2011 (at both MTS Centre and Columbus' Nationwide Arena), while their regular season debut will be on October 9, 2011 against the Montreal Canadiens at MTS Centre. A highlight of the regular season schedule is a home-and-home set with the Phoenix Coyotes, Winnipeg's previous NHL franchise (October 15 in Glendale, Arizona and December 1 in Winnipeg, which will be the Coyotes' first regular season appearance in Winnipeg in 15 years).
The Jets will inherit the Thrashers' position in the Southeast Division for the 2011–12 season; after that season, the NHL is planning a realignment that corrects the fact that Winnipeg (firmly in the Central Time Zone) is in the Eastern Conference while two teams in the Eastern Time Zone (the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets) are in the Western Conference. The current plans would reduce the number of divisions from six balanced divisions of five teams to four unbalanced divisions with either seven or eight teams. Other possibilities, such as a four conference alignment that places the seven Canadian teams in the same conference, may also be considered.
Team name and colours
True North stated that the announcement of the team's name would not be made until after the successful completion of the season ticket drive at the absolute earliest. The team was not to be named the Thrashers, since True North did not acquire the name in the transaction, and the rights to that name and the Thrashers logo were retained by the ownership group in Atlanta.
There was considerable support in Winnipeg to re-use the "Winnipeg Jets" name, which was the moniker for the city's original WHA and NHL franchise as well as the original name for a junior hockey team that had begun play in 1967. The rights to the name "Winnipeg Jets" belong to the league (through the league's ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes), and Commissioner Bettman had confirmed that True North were permitted to use the Jets name if they wish. Though other nicknames (including those incorporating "Manitoba" instead of "Winnipeg") were considered, True North officially announced that "Winnipeg Jets" would indeed be the team name at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft on June 24, 2011, just prior to making the seventh overall selection in the first round. Mark Chipman made the announcement moments before Kevin Cheveldayoff was about to make the draft announcement he said, quote "the first selection of the Winnipeg Jets." According to one TSN reporter, while talking to Chipman post-announcement, he claimed that he thought the announcement was "subtle but effective."
No new logo and colours for the Jets accompanied the team's nickname announcement at the draft (draft pick Mark Scheifele was presented with a generic black-and-silver NHL jersey and cap), but True North confirmed that they were in the process of conceiving a logo and colour scheme for the Jets, with True North's chairman, Mark Chipman, stating that the previous Jets' red-and-blue colours would be incorporated. The Jets unveiled their new logos and colours on July 22, 2011, three days before the team had scheduled to release them (this after team merchandise containers were broken into and a crude picture of a Jets' t-shirt made the rounds on the internet). While blue and silver are the main colour palette, the insignias are a dramatic departure from the previous Jets' logos and pay homage to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), particularly Winnipeg's 17 Wing; the primary logo is patterned after the roundels used by the RCAF. (Red is a secondary part of the colour scheme due to a maple leaf, the incorporation of which came with the permission of the Toronto Maple Leafs.) Game uniforms for the new Jets were unveiled in September; no third jersey will be used in the 2011-12 season as its design faced a limited timetable.
The logo was designed by Reebok and the NHL, with participation of the Department of National Defence. Reebok's lead uniform and team identity designer Dominique Fillion has been associated with the identity design, although True North has not revealed specific design credits.
Before the move was officially complete, True North cleaned house in the organization, buying out the remaining years of General Manager Rick Dudley's contract on June 4, 2011. Don Waddell had earlier announced he would not be part of the Jets. Kevin Cheveldayoff, a former GM of the Chicago Wolves and former assistant GM of the Chicago Blackhawks, was hired to replace Dudley four days later.
On June 12, 2011, Cheveldayoff had Craig Ramsay reinterview for his position, formally dismissing him as head coach eight days later. Claude Noël, who had been the head coach of the former Manitoba Moose, was named head coach four days later; the other finalist for the job had been Blackhawks assistant Mike Haviland. Charlie Huddy, Pascal Vincent and Wade Flaherty, formerly of the Dallas Stars and Blackhawks, were named the other assistants.
On July 21, 2011, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that the Jets had reached a deal with Bell MediaTemplate:Emdash where CFRW would be the team's official radio broadcaster, and TSN would become the team's official television broadcaster. The Press later indicated that former Jets play-by-play broadcaster Curt Keilback has been in contact with CFRW regarding the possibility of serving as the voice of the new Jets. The Winnipeg Sun, however, indicated that True North had hired Dennis Beyak as their primary play-by-play personality, calling all Jets games including every regionally-televised match as well as a handful of radio broadcasts. True North also retained former Manitoba Moose announcer Brian Munz as a part-time radio play-by-play announcer, filling in for Beyak on CFRW when the latter is calling televised matches.
On August 31, 2011, the Jets and TSN confirmed this news, and noted that Shane Hnidy would provide colour commentary for Jets radio broadcasts, while color commentary for the television games would rotate between Brian Engblom and Mike Johnson. The agreement between Bell and the Jets lasts through 2021. Jets games not carried nationally will be carried on a regional TSN Jets channel, to be carried within Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and parts of Northwestern Ontario.
- 99 - Wayne Gretzky, number retired league-wide February 6, 2000.
While not officially retired, Evander Kane sought (and received) permission from Bobby Hull to wear the number 9; the number had been retired by the previous Jets franchise (and remains retired for the Coyotes). Kane had worn the number 9 during his time with the Thrashers, and the Jets organization insisted on him keeping the number 9. Numbers 10 and 25 (retired by the previous Jets in honor of Dale Hawerchuk and Thomas Steen respectively) are not currently in use, and their status is unknown. Also unknown is the status of number 37, unissued by the Thrashers since the death of Dan Snyder in an automobile crash.
Note: This list does not include captains from the Atlanta Thrashers.
- Andrew Ladd, 2011– present
Note: This list does not include head coaches from the Atlanta Thrashers.
- Claude Noël, 2011– present
These are the top-ten point, goal, and assist scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.
These records include those accrued during the team's time as the Atlanta Thrashers.
Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game; G/G = Goals per game; A/G = Assists per game; * = current Winnipeg Jets player
- Most goals in a season: Ilya Kovalchuk, 52 (2005–06, 2007–08)
- Most assists in a season: Marc Savard, 69 (2005–06)
- Most points in a season: Marian Hossa, 100 (2006–07)
- Most penalty minutes in a season: Jeff Odgers, 226 (2000–01)
- Most goals in a season, defenceman: Dustin Byfuglien, 20 (2010–11)
- Most points in a season, defenceman: Dustin Byfuglien, 53 (2010–11)
- Most goals in a season, rookie: Ilya Kovalchuk, 29 (2001–02)
- Most assists in a season, rookie: Dany Heatley, 41 (2001–02)
- Most points in a season, rookie: Dany Heatley, 67 (2001–02)
- Most wins in a season: Kari Lehtonen, 34 (2006–07)
- Most shutouts in a season: Kari Lehtonen, 4 (2006–07, 2007–08)
- ↑ http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=564247
- ↑ Ira Podell (June 21, 2011). "Winnipeg bound: NHL owners give green light for Atlanta Thrashers to move". Winnipeg Free Press. Archived from the original on June 24, 2011. http://web.archive.org/web/20110624063042/http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/winnipeg-bound-nhl-owners-give-green-light-for-atlanta-thrashers-to-move-.html. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- ↑ "Reports: NHL to realign for 2012-13". ESPN. June 26, 2011. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=6706113.
- ↑ O'Brien, James (2010-11-06). "Add the Atlanta Thrashers to the list of teams facing attendance issues". NBC Sports. http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2010/11/06/add-the-atlanta-thrashers-to-the-list-of-teams-facing-attendance-issues/. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- ↑ Ken Wiebe, SUN Media (2009-10-04). "Thrashers to Winnipeg?". canoe.ca. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Atlanta/2009/10/04/11298236-sun.html. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
- ↑ McGran, Kevin (2011-05-28). "After Winnipeg, where does NHL go next?". Hamilton Spectator. http://www.thespec.com/news/world/article/539314--after-winnipeg-where-does-nhl-go-next. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- ↑ Brunt, Stephen (2011-05-22). "Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg". The Globe and Mail (Canada). Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. http://web.archive.org/web/20110520015341/http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/atlanta-thrashers-moving-to-winnipeg/article2029179/. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
- ↑ Zwolonski, Mark; McGran, Kevin (2011-05-20). "Atlanta Thrashers’ move to Winnipeg not complete, parties insist". Toronto Star. http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/994421--atlanta-thrashers-move-to-winnipeg-not-complete-parties-insist?bn=1. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
- ↑ Penton, Kirk (2011-05-20). "Moose deny St. John's move". Winnipeg Sun. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/AHL/2011/05/24/18183561.html. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Wiebe, Ken (2011-05-24). "NHL announcement in next few days 'realistic': Katz". Toronto Sun. http://www.torontosun.com/2011/05/24/nhl-announcement-in-next-few-days-realistic-katz. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- ↑ http://www.tsn.ca/returntowinnipeg/story/?id=367433
- ↑ "NHL Board of Governors approves sale of Thrashers to True North Sports & Entertainment," from winnipeg.nhl.com, 6/21/2011
- ↑ "Pro hockey returning to St. John's," from CBC News, 6/10/2011
- ↑ Rush starts for NHL season tickets in Winnipeg; AHL faithful get first crack. Canadian Press. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
- ↑ "Fans commit to buying 1,870 season tickets on first day of drive". Winnipeg Free Press. June 1, 2011. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/Fans-commit-to-buying-1870-season-tickets-on-first-day-of-drive-122978198.html.
- ↑ "Drive to 13,000". Drive to 13. http://driveto13.com/. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- ↑ Tait, Ed. "NHL season tickets sell out in just 17 minutes". Winnipeg Free Press. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/Priciest-NHL-tickets-already-sold-out-123156823.html.
- ↑ "Season ticket wait list capped at 8,000 following 17-minute sellout". Winnipeg Free Press. June 4, 2011. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/Priciest-NHL-tickets-already-sold-out-123156823.html.html.
- ↑ Lawless, Gary (2011-05-17). "Few hurdles to potential Thrashers sale to Winnipeg". Montreal Gazette. http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/hurdles+potential+Thrashers+sale+Winnipeg/4795756/story.html. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
- ↑ "Pre-season schedule announced for Winnipeg NHL Franchise," from winnipeg.nhl.com, 6/23/2011
- ↑ "NHL regular season schedule released," from Winnipeg Free Press, 6/23/2011
- ↑ Custance, Craig (2011-06-25). Dramatic realignment coming to NHL next season. The Sporting News. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
- ↑ Tate, Ed (June 4, 2011). "Transition Game-True North has hands full, but not overwhelmed". Winnipeg Free Press. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/hockey/ourteam/transition-game-123086863.html. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Tucker T (2011-06-01). "Waddell's job, Thrashers name will end with sale". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-thrashers/waddells-job-thrashers-name-964455.html. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- ↑ Halstead, Jason (2011-05-25). "Thousands sign petition demanding team be called Jets". Toronto Sun. http://www.torontosun.com/2011/05/25/thousands-sign-petition-demanding-team-be-called-jets. Retrieved 2011-06-22.
- ↑ Boylen R (2011-05-31). "Boylen: Why Winnipeg should be nicknamed the Jets". The Hockey News. http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/40548-.html. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- ↑ "Fans get their wish," from Winnipeg Free Press, 6/25/2011
- ↑ "Welcome to Winnipeg, Scheifele," from Winnipeg Free Press, 6/25/2011
- ↑ Progress made on Winnipeg Jets logo, jerseys; no date set. The Sporting News. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 "Jets fly with air force logo," from Winnipeg Free Press, 7/23/2011
- ↑ "True North Unveils Jets Logo," from jets.nhl.com, 7/22/2011
- ↑ “Winnipeg Jets unveil air force-inspired logo” in Winnipeg Free Press, 2011-07-22, accessed 2011-09-14.
- ↑ Patrick Williams, “New Jets jerseys, ceremony evoke military feel” at NHL.com, 2011-06-09, accessed 2011-09-14.
- ↑ “The logo its designers are ashamed of” in Fawny.org, 2011-09-13, accessed 2011-09-14.
- ↑ CBC Sports (2011-06-04). "Thrashers GM Dudley let go by True North". CBC Sports. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/stanleycup/story/2011/06/04/sp-dudley-winnipeg.html. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- ↑ TSN.ca (2011-06-08). "CHEVELDAYOFF TAKES WINNIPEG GENERAL MANAGER'S JOB". TSN. http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=368174. Retrieved 2011-06-08.
- ↑ http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=368740%7Cpublisher=TSN%7Cauthor=TSN.ca%7C%7Ctitle=WINNIPEG GM INTENDS ON INTERVIEWING FOR COACHING JOB|accessdate=2011-06-13
- ↑ Wiebe, Ken (2011-06-20). Then there were two: Noel and Haviland still standing. Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
- ↑ "Noel named as Winnipeg Head Coach". Noel named as Winnipeg Head Coach. 2011-06-24. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110624/ap_on_sp_ho_ne/hkn_winnipeg_coach. Retrieved 2011-06-24.
- ↑ Jets reach broadcast agreement with TSN Winnipeg Free Press July 21, 2011
- ↑ Kirbyson, Geoff (July 29, 2011). Ex-voice of the Jets hopes to return to airwaves this fall. Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
- ↑ Penton, Kirk (August 24, 2011).Beyak, Munz tapped as Jets voices. Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
- ↑ Jets & Bell Media announce 10-Year broadcast deal. News release. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- ↑ Jets' Kane gets Hull’s blessing on No. 9. Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- "Winnipeg Jets Official Website". NHL Enterprises, L.P.. 2011. http://jets.nhl.com/. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
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