The Hockey News posted the results of their annual Fan Confidence Survey and while they slipped down a spot in the rankings compared to last year, the Winnipeg Jets continue to have the backing of most fans.
— MassDG (@Mass_Insight) July 29, 2017
The survey was taken after the NHL Draft as well as the opening of free agency (meaning those who voted did so knowing the Jets had made a couple of signings to bolster the team). More or less these results are probably in line with how most Jets fans feel.
The Jets scored a high rank with fans in terms of the vaunted “draft and develop” (Logan Stanley not withstanding we suppose) and with “cap management” which to be fair the Jets haven’t truly been tested in yet, but could looking at a very different story next summer.
Where the team suffered in the minds of those who responded is an area that has long been a criticism of GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, that being the ability to make trades. The club did not make a single player for player deal last season and the only one worth noting was the Drew Stafford trade that scored the Jets a draft pick.
The Jets also scored low in terms of ability to get free agents which could be a result of a few different factors including willingness of players to sign in Winnipeg. It could also be a commentary of the contracts that the Jets did hand out as the Steve Mason and especially the Dmitry Kulikov deals have come under a bit of fire for being too rich for what those players should have been worth.
So fan confidence – if this poll is any indication – is still somewhat high, but it’s waning. The Jets are at a crossroads this season and can no longer be seen as “rebuilding” and moves like signing Mason and Kulikov while bidding farewell to long-time players like Mark Stuart, Ondrej Pavelec and Chris Thorburn likely have helped fans trust that the Jets are moving forward and plan to be a playoff team.
All that said, once the puck actually drops on the 2017-18 season, Winnipeg fans will once again ride a roller coaster of emotions where confidence rockets with each win and but will take sharp dives down with prolonged losing streaks.