© Chuck Duboff
Following a horrid 1-4 opening to the Winnipeg Jets season, it would seem that Coach Maurice is feeling the same frustration as the fans and his predecessor Claude Noel. In his press conference on Monday afternoon, following an uninspired, embarrassing loss to Calgary on Sunday, Coach Maurice let fly with an F Bomb and then stated what Coach Noel was adept at stating: “You have to work with what you are given.” Coach Maurice may have over a thousand games coaching in the NHL under his belt, but when given this mess of a team, there is no magic that can be worked. We have seen the same group of players go through the motions, collect their million dollar cheques and then be worshipped by the best fans in the NHL.
The man responsible for this mess is Kevin Cheveldayoff. He has done little to nothing to improve this team since the Jets have returned to Winnipeg. He has allowed the so called “Atlanta Core” of this team to continue to be the cancer which will not allow it to improve. Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Toby Enstrom, Chris Thorburn, Zach Bogosian and even Mark Stuart…all remnants of an organization which hasn’t made the playoffs in seven years. Both Big Buff and Ladd seem to put in an effort whenever they feel like it; they’ve both won their Stanley Cups with other organizations, have their big contracts and do not have the passion anymore tht it takes to win and lead.
Both Enstrom and Bogo show no signs of being winners…it matters not to me that Bogo is a great guy and has beautiful eyes (for all those ladies out there). These guys are not winners. If we are going to be a losing team, then a guy like Stuart needs to be shipped off to a winner and get some value for him. As a fan, I feel insulted by Chris Thorburn continuing to see ice team and being given a three year contract. He is slow, never produces anything and is nothing more than an old time NHL player, not fitting the mold of today’s speed and finesse. Chevy has stood by these players for 3 years and 5 games and nothing has changed; we continue to be frustrated by the inconsistent lack of effort…and I would strongly suggest that this is due to the rotten core of the team.
Three other Atlanta players are excluded from this list; Brian Little, Blake Wheeler and Evander Kane, I believe, give a whole hearted effort, night in and night out. Though I may be wrong about these three, I do believe they are assets and should be held on to.
Additionally, Chevy has done nothing in three years with our third and fourth lines; they continue to be populated by slugs like Thorburn and fringe players like Hallischuk, Paluso and Clitsome. When other organizations make trades (Islanders pick up both Boychuk and Leddy just before the start of the season) and free agent signings (the whole Central Division), Chevy stands pat and gives Chris Thorburn a new three year contract and refuses to make a move with the core of the team…I would assume that Chevy believes that the same players who have not taken this team to the playoffs since moving here are suddenly going to start magically winning. Well, you know what Chevy, the saying goes that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
This all leads back to what Coach Maurice had to say after dropping his F Bomb: “You have to work with what you are given.”
It’s time to make a bold move Chevy, before the 2014-2015 season is quickly in the tank. The loyal, die hard fans of Winnipeg, deserve a whole lot more than the team you are icing.