Determining who the ‘biggest fan favorite’ is for a hockey club is always a tricky proposition. There was a thought of doing a “March Madness” style bracket like our friends over at OilersNation and The Leafs Nation , but that kind of thing is a tad cliche isn’t it? Besides, this isn’t about past hockey loves, and a bracket style tournament can always lead to odd mismatches and earlier-than-expected exits.
But we still need something to do and talk about while hockey remains on hiatus, and so why not go about trying to figure out which current Winnipeg Jet is the most popular among fans?
How should we determine a fan favorite if we’re not going to do a playoff bracket style tournament? The same way pro wrestling properly determines a number one contender for a championship: A gauntlet match!
So how will this gauntlet match / series work?
Each day over the next month, at 2 PM CST on our Twitter (@NHLJetsNation), we’ll put up a poll where we’ll put Jet versus Jet, and for the next 22 hours afterwards fans will have the chance to vote for their favorite between the two players. The loser is eliminated and the winner moves on to the next round where they’ll take on another teammate the next day.
We’ll continue on until there is just a single Jet left standing and that man becomes our Fan Favorite Gauntlet Series champion!
Which players are eligible in this series?
Every player who has suited up for the Winnipeg Jets in the 2019-20 season for at least one game is in. Sorry prospects and Manitoba Moose players. No past Jets from either era as well. This is all about the here and now.
CJ Suess and Andrei Chibisov fans can rejoice, your guys are in.
We won’t release a full schedule or order of how the players will be entered, but it’s worth noting that most players are ‘seeded’ according to where they are points wise (with a few variations), so early on the players involved in these votes will be the grinders, fourth liners, and press-box stalwarts.
But first, the “play-ins”
In the interest of speeding up this process a little bit, the first three days of this series are going to feature two, four-way votes featuring player like Suess and Chibisov who haven’t played very much for the Jets this season. Thursday and Friday of this week we’ll have our two four way-matches, and then on Saturday the winners of those two polls will go head to head and our gauntlet series will start proper.
May 7, (again each match is posted at 2PM CST on our Twitter) will see a vote between Joona Luoto, Mark Letestu, @Nick Shore and Chibisov
May 8, the second four-way match features Suess, Cody Eakin, Logan Shaw and Carl Dahlstrom
Check back here often as we’ll also go over each matchup, recapping past results, keeping track of players who go on serious runs and ultimately figuring out who is this season’s top favorite Winnipeg Jet.