We nominated, you voted, and the results are in. We’re down to the final category for the 2013 Jets Nation Year End Awards where we reveal your reader picks with our writers’ perspectives. We might have tricked you into thinking we were done handing out hardware last week (by lying to you – what a cunning ruse), but how silly do you feel now?! Last and definitely least, the Jets’ goat of 2013.
(The Many) Nominees: Olli Jokinen, Ondrej Pavelec, Ron Hainsey, Kevin Cheveldayoff, Claude Noel, Pacal Vincent, The Injury Bug, The 4th Line
Brett Martin (@brettmartinlive)
Full disclosure – I have a soft spot in my heart for Olli Jokinen. During the years of Jets exile, I was a full-blown Flames fan. Even though he became reviled for not becoming the #1 Center the Flames hoped he would when they initially acquired him, he rebounded, somehow re-signing with the Flames after being discarded coldly at the trade deadline. You gotta love that! In his 2nd tour of duty in Calgary, he re-invented himself as a reliable, all around Centre, capable of scoring and playing hard minutes against tough competition. You gotta love that! When he signed in Winnipeg, I was delighted to see a familiar face in Jets silks who could do some good.
What he did was in fact not good. Did I see a Kent Wilson tweet saying he had 1 even strength assist all season long? Good lord. 14 points in 47 games? You gotta hate that! He was outscored by Grant Clitsome. You gotta laugh at that! He was generally as useful as mosquito repellant in Winter.
So, even with the soft spot that I have for him, my goat for the Season is Olli Jokinen. That said, knowing Olli, expect next year to be something entirely different – lets hope it’s for the better.
Travis Hrubeniuk (@thrubeniuk)
This was a tough one. I was close to going with Chevy due to his…well, lack of doing anything except for a very questionable extension between the pipes, but I’m willing to give him this offseason to really do something big. Despite his horrid year, Olli Jokinen has a relatively short contract and has stats to prove that he can bounce back. Therefore my Goat for this year is, and will probably will be until 2017, Ondrej Pavelec. He ranked among the bottom of the league in almost every goaltending category (except for starts… maybe I should reconsider), was out of position on a regular basis, and let in countless garbage goals. I don’t know what else I can say about Pavelec that I haven’t mentioned many times on this site or on twitter, so feel free to take a look at the garbage game winning goal he let in against Canada at the World’s for further evidence. Heck, the guy didn’t even start the first two games for the Czech Republic. I guess they see something that other Jets fans just can’t. I look forward to the day that Chevy realizes that his goaltender is nowhere near worth what he is getting paid, but until then, at least Pav can carry this award around.
Kevin McCartney (@kevinmccart)
My pick was easy – the gourd-headed Fin took the cake for me this year. Yeah, his stats were awful. We went over that
. But it’s the two images I have stuck in my head from watching him this year that drive me to the point of Goat Voting. 1) Him floating up the side-boards on the powerplay doing nothing, forcing his entire line to stagnate. The Jets PP looked great when they started moving the puck, with the top of the umbrella shifting, Byfuglien driving, and rotation through the low-zone. When Jokinen was out there, they stood still and waited for him to do SOMETHING! even when he wasn’t being pressured. He found space and just liked the quiet ice. And 2) Jokinen’s massive circle (sometimes even behind the net!) to get going on any clean breakout. Everyone else was equipped with edges on their skates, and this guy was playing roller hockey. The opposition dump it in for a change or back out of the zone to regroup and Jokinen starts winding up. He was late to the breakout play over and over, causing his defence to drift with no options, his wingers to stop at the offensive blue line, and ultimately allowing the opposition to set up in a full trap.
There weren’t enough games to get all my yelling out during this shortened season. I’m exciting he’s back for a full 82 games next year so I can really pull something in my neck.
Jets Nation at Large
This was a less obvious race than MVP, but it was still a clear majority. Olli Jokinen wins Goat of the Year!!! 68% of you agreed. Congratulations, Olli Jokinen. You’re the worst single part of a disappointing season from the net to the front office.
16% of the Nation agreed with Travis – Pavelec was the goat. Hainsey, Cheveldayoff, and the 4th line all received votes as well. Interestingly, Hainsey received a single vote for goat – the same number he received for Best Defenceman. We are a divided fan base, Nation.
One thing we can all agree on is that Olli Jokinen had a miserable season, earning his status as the Jets’ scapegoat for 2013 with every shift.
Don’t forget to play StreakCred the new playoff pool game from the Nation Network. You can win a trip for 2 to Oktoberfest in Germany among the awesome prizes up for grabs. Only $20 and a portion of the proceeds go to Charity. Sign up here.