BREAKING: Winnipeg Jets to Enter Season Without Captain

Winnipeg Jets (Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)
Winnipeg Jets (Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports) /
Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg Jets, Blake Wheeler (26). Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

The Winnipeg Jets announced today that they will enter the 2022-2023 season without a captain.

Blake Wheeler will enter the season without the “C” on his chest for the first time since 2016. Wheeler was named captain in the summer of 2016 following the departure of Andrew Ladd, and has served in that role for the past 6 years.

In a press release this morning, new Jets’ head coach, Rick Bowness explained that the leadership shuffle will serve as an opportunity for new faces to step into leadership roles.

“We want to provide them with the opportunity to step into those greater leadership roles as a group.”, Bowness elaborated.

In a press release, the Winnipeg Jets announced a change in on-ice leadership that sees Blake Wheeler being stripped of the captaincy

In the announcement, it was also announced that the group of assistant captains will also undergo changes, meaning that Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey are no longer guaranteed to wear the “A”.

This is just the next piece of news in a long list of changes to team personnel following the Jets’ failure to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2017. Dave Lowry, who was brought in as an interim coach to replace Paul Maurice after his in-season departure, did not have his contract extended following the 2021-22 season, which led to the hiring of new coach, Rick Bowness.

Bowness looks to establish a new team culture, and that begins with the leadership team. What this also does, however, is send a message to the players that changes are coming.

As mentioned in the release, the leadership team has yet to be determined, but it’s safe to assume that players will be notified and announced as assistants prior to the October 14th season opener against the New York Rangers.

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The Winnipeg Jets are making Rick Bowness and Blake Wheeler available to the media today at 12:00PM CT, where it is expected that Bowness will expand on the decision.

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