You know what I love more than anything else in the entire world? Reboots! Remember in 2019 when Men In Black International revived that iconic franchise, or when Ghostbusters received another film in 2016? Did those films do the originals justice and honor the witty and franticly-paced action of the originals? Did they respect the history of their franchises? Did they?
These films in particular were not very good, and threw everything they were known for (as in everything the originals did right) to the wayside in favor of doing their own thing. That isn’t necessarily always bad, but when you take the name of something well respected and try to duplicate it while simultaneously ignoring what made it great in the first place, that’s where you run into issues.
For me, this is pretty anecdotal of the Winnipeg Jets, or rather, this version of them.
Creating new ideas is wonderful, and the world needs new ideas. Take for example, the Vegas Golden Knights. Where the Jets and Golden Knights primarily differ is that the Jets were moved “back” to Winnipeg and took an existing idea instead of trying something new when they have nothing to with the original Jets.
That is just one of the reasons why I have an ire for them.
1. They aren’t the Jets!
As I stated in my introduction, we are looking at two different concepts here. In one corner we have the Winnipeg Jets, 1972-1996. They joined the NHL in 1979 after the merger between the NHL and WHA that saw other clubs like the Edmonton Oilers join the NHL as well. This original iteration of the Jets relocated to Arizona for the 1996-97 season and became the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes.
In the other corner we have the Winnipeg Jets, 2011 to present. This club started as an expansion team in the Atlanta market for the 1999-2000 season as the Atlanta Thrashers, and were moved to Winnipeg after being bought by a different ownership group, who renamed them as the Jets.
I would’ve been perfectly okay with the new ownership group relocating the Thrashers to Winnipeg and renaming them something different, with unique new branding as a signal to fans that this club will be different from the previous one that won zero Stanley Cups and couldn’t hack it in Canada, the home of hockey. However, instead, they decided to simply “reboot” the Jets with new modern branding.
I dislike this because it doesn’t honor the original Jets at all. If you’re going to take their name, at least pay some homage to the franchise that existed previously.
They’ve also essentially designed the new Jets as if the original franchise never moved and this was a natural progression of the brand, which it isn’t. You can’t just erase the years in Atlanta when you were terrible. Essentially, they aren’t looking back or forward. They’re stuck in this middle ground between what identity they want to take, their own or the past’s, what the Coyotes were or what the Thrashes have become. In the end, they’ve chose neither, and vaguely honor a history of the original Jets that isn’t theirs to claim.
2. They’re a continuation of the Thrashers, who I also hate
I don’t know why the NHL thought Atlanta would like another hockey team after the Flames failed there.
I don’t have the Thrashers because of anything they did in particular to the Flyers. In fact, the Flyers can boast a 30-11-3 record all time against the now defunct club. The Thrashers were terrible for pretty much their entire history, but still, the image of captain Ilya Kovalchuk dancing down the right wing conjures a certain indignation in my soul I can only describe as revulsion.
Why where you even a franchise?
3. A certain Luca Sbisa is on their roster
Mr. Lucas Pizza, as he is known, is indeed a member of the Jets because they have absolutely nobody on their blue line. He was bad for the Flyers, and will likely be bad in the future for the Jets.
4. The first point, again
This is really the main reason I dislike the Jets. They’re just pretenders, and that’s all I’ll ever see them as.