The Winnipeg Jets’ attempt to put what was an extremely disappointing season in the rearview mirror begins later this week, with the start of training camp at Bell MTS Iceplex.
Without a doubt, the lead-up to the start of the 2022 camp has been anything but uneventful.
Last Thursday, there was Mark Chipman’s letter to drum up business, followed by the hockey club’s announcement on Friday that Blake Wheeler would no longer be captain, and the team leadership would be restructured.
And then there was Mark Scheifele’s very candid conversation on the current edition of the 32 Thoughts Podcast with Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek.
Scheifele said — just like the fans — he watched and wondered what the Jets would do this summer with free agency and trades while other teams were making moves.
“When it’s not your job you really have no idea and leave that up to (general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff),” he said.
“I just bite my tongue and try to get better as a hockey player and go from there.”
Scheifele admitted the Jets players “just didn’t know what our direction was last year. Systems-wise we didn’t know what we were trying to accomplish and why we were trying to accomplish it. There were times our team looked messy and disorganized and unsure of what we were doing.”
The comment that really stood out — at least to this set of ears — was about how he appreciated getting a “checking in on you call” from new coach Rick Bowness while on the golf course this summer, something he had never had in his entire career.
Until there’s an opportunity for clarification from #55 himself later this week when main camp gets started, I’ll reserve offering opinion on any of this for a couple of reasons:
- To avoid any of the misinterpretation of this 32 Thoughts conversation, like that which Scheifele feels there was in the aftermath of his end of season availability back on May 1.
- And so that Mark Scheifele always chooses to speak with honesty and candor, over hogwash and cliches.