Changes Are Coming in Winnipeg.. It is Not If But When

The Winnipeg Jets will be one of the more fascinating teams come the offseason as everyone expects change within the organization.

We know about restricted free agent Pierre-Luc Dubois. Whatever the Jets do with Dubois could have a massive impact on the rest of the roster. Add in the fact that Connor Helleybuyck needs a contract extension. There is so much uncertainty surrounding a team that has a very good roster.

NHL Rumors: Jets Making Playoffs Could Impact Pierre-Luc Dubois Future in Winnipeg

Now throw in head coach Rick Bowness‘s comments after the Jets got eliminated in Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round of the playoffs. It is a messy situation in Winnipeg.

For those that did not see, Bowness told reporters after the game he was “disgusted and disappointed” in the way his team played.

He felt that there was no pushback from the Jets. No pride in an elimination game. As he stated it was the same things he saw in February when the Jets were struggling. Just not enough pushback.

The Jets were one of the best teams in the leagues through the first 45 games and the minute they were challenged or saw a little adversity there was not enough pushback.

It did not help Winnipeg was playing without Josh Morrissey and Mark Scheifele. Add in that Nikolaj Ehlers was playing his first game of the series and was a shell of himself, the Jets backs were up against the wall.

Unfortunately with Bowness going public with these comments instead of keeping them in the room, there is a toxic environment between the players and the coach.

And during the Jets breakup day Blake Wheeler, who was stripped of the C at the beginning of the season, let it be known he was not happy about it.

So either one of two things are going to happen. One the coach is going to be replaced. That would be three coaches in less than two seasons. Or two general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is going to make trades that shake up the team.

But one thing is for sure the winds of change are swirling in Winnipeg.

As ESPN NHL Analyst Ray Ferraro on the Ray and Dregs Podcast notes you cannot have Rick Bowness coach the same group of players after what happened during his post-Game 5 press conference. It has felt like Winnipeg had to turn the ball over for at least a summer and a half. But it is hard to go backwards with the collective talent on the roster.

If you look at the track record for Kevin Cheveldayoff all of the trades he made are because players wanted out in Jacob Trouba, Patrik Laine, and Jack Roslovic. Now he did get good players back in return especially Neal Pionk on the backend.

However, it feels the core group of this roster needs to be shaken up because the same issues that were there last year came back. The Jets 2018 run to the Western Conference Final feels like it was a lifetime ago.

Sometimes good teams need a shakeup to push them to the next level. Kevin Cheveldayoff has his work cut out for him this offseason as change is coming in Winnipeg.