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The Jimmy Mann Pick - What If He Wasn't Selected

This is another "What If" feature - going back in time to the 1979 Entry Draft, the Jets first since joining the NHL. What if John Ferguson had used his first round selection wisely? What if he had not been so enamored with Jimmy Mann, someone in his own image? What if, instead, Ferguson had used the pick to select a rising star, playing as an underage junior in the WHA, the player who was picked after Mann, Michel Goulet - a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Following is a timeline for ten seasons worth of speculative "what if" scenarios, based on what did happen versus what could have happened. We'll never know how life for the Jets would have been had that pick been made differently, but it makes for interesting thought when considering what may have been in store for the Jets.

Season What DID Happen What COULD HAVE Happened
1979-1980 With the 19th overall selection in the first round of the 1979 Entry Draft, Jets select Jimmy Mann of the QMJHL's Sherbrooke Beavers.

Jimmy Mann registers 3 goals and 5 assists.

Jets finish 20th overall in 21 team NHL with a 20-49-11 record for 51 points. Jets will select 2nd in 1980 NHL Entry Draft.

Players they did have: Jimmy Mann.
With the 19th overall selection in the first round of the 1979 Entry Draft, Jets select Michel Goulet of the WHA's Birmingham Bulls.

Michel Goulet registers 22 goals and 32 assists.

Jets finish 17th overall in 21 team NHL with a 29-43-8 record for 66 points. Jets will select 5th in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft.

Players they would have had: Michel Goulet.
1980-1981 With the 2nd overall selection in the first round of the 1980 Entry Draft, Jets select Dave Babych of the WHL's Portland Winter Hawks.

During the season, coach Tom McVie is fired and temporarily replaced by the tandem of Bill Sutherland and Mike Smith.

Jimmy Mann registers 3 goals and 3 assists.

Jets finish 21st overall in 21 team NHL with a 9-57-14 record for 32 points. Jets will select 1st in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft.

Players they did have: Jimmy Mann, Dave Babych.
With the 6th overall selection in the first round of the 1980 Entry Draft, Jets select Rick Lanz of the OHA's Oshawa Generals.

Jets finish 21st overall in 21 team NHL with a 21-50-9 record for 51 points. Jets will select 1st in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft.

Michel Goulet registers 32 goals and 39 assists.

After the season, coach Tom McVie is fired and replaced by Tom Watt.

Players they would have had: Michel Goulet, Rick Lanz.
1981-1982 With the 1st overall selection in the first round of the 1981 Entry Draft, Jets select Dale Hawerchuk of the QMJHL's Cornwall Royals.

Jimmy Mann registers 3 goals and 2 assists.

Jets finish 2nd in 6 team Norris Division with a 33-33-14 record for 80 points. Jets will select 12th in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets host St. Louis Blues in Norris Division Semi-Final, and are defeated 3-1 in the best-of-five series.

Players they did have: Jimmy Mann, Dave Babych.
With the 1st overall selection in the first round of the 1981 Entry Draft, Jets select Dale Hawerchuk of the QMJHL's Cornwall Royals.

Michel Goulet registers 42 goals and 42 assists.

Jets finish 2nd in 6 team Norris Division with a 42-31-7 record for 91 points. Jets will select 16th in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets host St. Louis Blues in Norris Division Semi-Final, and win the best-of-five series 3-2. Jets host Chicago Blackhawks in Norris Division Final, and win a hotly-contested best-of-seven series 4-2. Jets host Vancouver Canucks in Campbell Conference Final, and are defeated 4-2 in the best-of-seven series.

Players they would have had: Michel Goulet, Rick Lanz.
1982-1983 With the 12th overall selection in the first round of the 1982 Entry Draft, Jets select Jim Kyte of the QMJHL's Cornwall Royals.

Jimmy Mann registers 0 goals and 1 assist.

Jets finish 4th in 5 team Smythe Division with a 33-39-8 record for 74 points. Jets will select 8th in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets visit Edmonton Oilers in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and are defeated 3-0 in the best-of-five series.

Players they did have: Jimmy Mann, Dave Babych, Jim Kyte.
With the 16th overall selection in the first round of the 1982 Entry Draft, Jets select Ken Daneyko of the WHL's Seattle Breakers.

Michel Goulet registers 57 goals and 48 assists.

Jets finish 2nd in 5 team Smythe Division with a 40-27-13 record for 93 points. Jets will select 14th in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets host Calgary Flames in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and win the best-of-five series 3-1. Jets visit Edmonton Oilers in Smythe Division Final, and are defeated 4-2 in the best-of-seven series.

Players they would have had: Michel Goulet, Rick Lanz, Ken Daneyko.
1983-1984 With the 8th overall selection in the first round of the 1983 Entry Draft, Jets select Andrew McBain of the OHL's North Bay Centennials. With the 14th overall selection in the first round of the 1983 Entry Draft, acquired in trade, Jets select Bobby Dollas of the QMJHL's Laval Voisins.

During the season, coach Tom Watt is fired and replaced by Barry Long.

Jimmy Mann registers 0 goals and 1 assist and is traded to the Quebec Nordiques, Andrew McBain registers 11 goals and 19 assists.

Jets finish 4th in 5 team Smythe Division with a 31-38-11 record for 73 points. Jets will select 10th in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets visit Edmonton Oilers in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and are defeated 3-0 in the best-of-five series.

Players they did have: Dave Babych, Jim Kyte, Andrew McBain.
With the 13th overall selection in the first round of the 1983 Entry Draft, acquired in trade, Jets select Bobby Dollas of the QMJHL's Laval Voisins. With the 14th overall selection in the first round of the 1983 Entry Draft, Jets select Bob Errey of the OHL's Peterborough Petes.

Michel Goulet registers 56 goals and 65 assists, Bob Errey registers 9 goals and 13 assists.

Jets finish 2nd in 5 team Smythe Division with a 43-29-8 record for 94 points. Jets will select 15th in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets host Calgary Flames in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and win the best-of-five series 3-2. Jets visit Edmonton Oilers in Smythe Division Final, and are defeated 4-3 in the best-of-seven series.

Players they would have had: Michel Goulet, Rick Lanz, Ken Daneyko, Bob Errey.
1984-1985 Jets make no selection in the first round of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, having traded the pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Randy Carlyle.

Andrew McBain registers 7 goals and 15 assists.

Jets finish 2nd in 5 team Smythe Division with a 43-27-10 record for 96 points. Jets will select 18th in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets host Calgary Flames in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and win the best-of-five series 3-1. Jets visit Edmonton Oilers in Smythe Division Final, and are defeated 4-0 in the best-of-seven series.

Players they did have: Dave Babych, Jim Kyte, Andrew McBain.
Jets make no selection in the first round of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, having traded the pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Randy Carlyle.

Michel Goulet registers 55 goals and 40 assists, Bob Errey registers 0 goals and 2 assists, spending most of the season in the AHL.

Jets finish 1st in 5 team Smythe Division with a 50-18-12 record for 112 points. Jets will select 20th in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets host Los Angeles Kings in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and win the best-of-five series 3-0. Jets host Calgary Flames in Smythe Division Final, and win the hotly contested best-of-seven series 4-2. Jets host Chicago Blackhawks in Campbell Conference Final, and win the best-of-seven series 4-2. Jets visit Philadelphia Flyers in Stanley Cup Final, and are defeated 4-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Coach Tom Watt wins his second Jack Adams Award for Coach of the Year.

Players they would have had: Michel Goulet, Rick Lanz, Ken Daneyko, Bob Errey.
1985-1986 With the 18th overall selection in the first round of the 1985 Entry Draft, acquired in trade, Jets select Ryan Stewart of the WHL's Kamloops Blazers.

During the season, Dave Babych is traded to the Hartford Whalers for Ray Neufeld, coach Barry Long is fired and replaced on an interim basis by John Ferguson.

Andrew McBain registers 3 goals and 3 assists.

Jets finish 3rd in 5 team Smythe Division with a 26-47-7 record for 59 points. Jets will select 8th in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets visit Calgary Flames in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and are defeated 3-0 in the best-of-five series.

Players they did have: Dave Babych, Jim Kyte, Andrew McBain.
With the 20th overall selection in the first round of the 1985 Entry Draft, acquired in trade, Jets select Scott Metcalfe of the OHL's Kingston Canadiens.

In the off-season, coach Tom Watt is signed to a lucrative multi-year contract extension.

During the season, Dale Hawerchuk, feuding with coach Tom Watt, is traded to the Buffalo Sabres for defenseman Phil Housley and draft choices.

Michel Goulet registers 53 goals and 51 assists, Bob Errey registers 11 goals and 6 assists.

Jets finish 3rd in 5 team Smythe Division with a 37-35-8 record for 82 points. Jets will select 15th in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets visit Calgary Flames in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and win the best-of-five series 3-2 behind the stellar goaltending of rookie netminder Daniel Berthiaume. Jets visit Edmonton Oilers in Smythe Division Final, and are defeated 4-2 in the best-of-seven series.

Players they would have had instead: Michel Goulet, Rick Lanz, Ken Daneyko, Bob Errey.
1986-1987 With the 8th overall selection in the first round of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, Jets select Pat Elynuik of the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders.

In the off-season, Dan Maloney is named the new coach of the Jets.

Andrew McBain registers 11 goals and 21 assists, Dale Hawerchuk registers 47 goals and 53 assists, Ray Neufeld registers 18 goals and 18 assists.

Jets finish 3rd in 5 team Smythe Division with a 40-32-8 record for 88 points. Jets will select 16th in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets visit Calgary Flames in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and win the best-of-seven series 4-2. Jets visit Edmonton Oilers in Smythe Division Final, and are defeated 4-0 in the best-of-seven series.

Players they did have: Jim Kyte, Andrew McBain, Dale Hawerchuk, Ray Neufeld.
With the 15th overall selection in the first round of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, Jets select Mark Pederson of the WHL's Medicine Hat Tigers.

Michel Goulet registers 49 goals and 47 assists, Bob Errey registers 16 goals and 18 assists, Phil Housley registers 21 goals and 46 assists.

Jets finish 1st in 5 team Smythe Division with a 51-23-6 record for 108 points. Jets will select 21st in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets host Los Angeles Kings in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and win the best-of-seven series 4-1. Jets host Calgary Flames in Smythe Division Final, and win the best-of-seven series 4-2. Jets host Detroit Red Wings in Campbell Conference Final, and win the best-of-seven series 4-2. Jets host Philadelphia Flyers in Stanley Cup Final, and are defeated 4-3 in the best-of-seven series.

Players they would have had instead: Michel Goulet, Rick Lanz, Ken Daneyko, Bob Errey, Phil Housley.
1987-1988 With the 16th overall selection in the first round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, Jets select Bryan Marchment of the OHL's Belleville Bulls.

Andrew McBain registers 32 goals and 31 assists, Dale Hawerchuk registers 44 goals and 77 assists, Pat Elynuik registers 1 goal and 3 assists, spending most of the season in the AHL, Ray Neufeld registers 18 goals and 18 assists.

Jets finish 3rd in 5 team Smythe Division with a 33-36-11 record for 77 points. Jets will select 10th in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets visit Edmonton Oilers in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and are defeated 4-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Players they did have: Jim Kyte, Andrew McBain, Dale Hawerchuk, Ray Neufeld, Pat Elynuik.
With the 21st overall selection in the first round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, Jets select Stephane Matteau of the QMJHL's Hull Olympiques.

Michel Goulet registers 48 goals and 58 assists, Bob Errey registers 3 goals and 6 assists in an injury-shortened season.

Jets finish 3rd in 5 team Smythe Division with a 40-31-9 record for 89 points. Jets will select 16th in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets visit Edmonton Oilers in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and are defeated 4-2 in the best-of-seven series.

After the season, coach Tom Watt is fired and replaced by Dan Maloney.

Players they would have had instead: Michel Goulet, Rick Lanz, Ken Daneyko, Bob Errey, Phil Housley, Stephane Matteau.
1988-1989 With the 10th overall selection in the first round of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, Jets select Teemu Selanne of Jokerit Helsinki.

During the season, Ray Neufeld is traded to the Boston Bruins for Moe Lemay, coach Dan Maloney is fired and replaced on an interim basis by Rick Bowness, General Manager John Ferguson is fired and replaced by Mike "Mikhail" Smith.

Andrew McBain registers 37 goals and 40 assists, Dale Hawerchuk registers 41 goals and 55 assists, Pat Elynuik registers 26 goals and 25 assists, Ray Neufeld registers 5 goals and 2 assists before his trade to Boston.

Jets finish 5th in 5 team Smythe Division with a 24-42-12 record for 64 points. Jets will select 4th in 1989 NHL Entry Draft.

Players they did have: Jim Kyte, Andrew McBain, Dale Hawerchuk, Ray Neufeld/Moe Lemay, Pat Elynuik, Bryan Marchment.
With the 16th overall selection in the first round of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, Jets select Kevin Cheveldayoff of the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings.

Michel Goulet registers 26 goals and 38 assists in 1988-1989, Bob Errey registers 26 goals and 32 assists, Phil Housley registers 26 goals and 44 assists.

Jets finish 5th in 5 team Smythe Division with a 30-40-10 record for 70 points. Jets will select 11th in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.

Players they would have had instead: Michel Goulet, Rick Lanz, Ken Daneyko, Bob Errey, Phil Housley, Stephane Matteau.

1989-1990 In the off-season, Bob Murdoch is named the new Head Coach, replacing Rick Bowness. Jim Kyte, Andrew McBain and Randy Gilhen are traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Randy Cunneyworth, Rick Tabaracci and Dave McLlwain.

With the 4th overall selection in the first round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, Jets select Stu Barnes of the WHL's Tri-City Americans.

Dale Hawerchuk registers 26 goals and 55 assists, Pat Elynuik registers 32 goals and 42 assists, Randy Cunneyworth registers 5 goals and 6 assists before being traded to the Hartford Whalers for Paul MacDermid, who registers 7 goals and 10 assists after being traded to the Jets, Dave McLlwain registers 25 goals and 26 assists.

Jets finish 3rd in 5 team Smythe Division with a 37-32-11 record for 85 points. Jets will select 14th in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.

Jets visit Edmonton Oilers in Smythe Division Semi-Final, and are defeated 4-3 in the best-of-seven series, blowing a 3-1 lead.

Players they did have: Dale Hawerchuk, Pat Elynuik, Randy Cunneyworth/Paul MacDermid, Dave McLlwain, Rick Tabaracci, Bryan Marchment.
In the off-season, Michel Goulet is traded to the Quebec Nordiques for an exchange of first round draft selections and goaltender Ron Tugnutt.

With the 1st overall selection in the first round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, Jets select Mats Sundin from Nacka (Sweden).

Bob Errey registers 20 goals and 19 assists, Phil Housley registers 21 goals and 60 assists.

Jets finish 5th in 5 team Smythe Division with a 25-46-9 record for 59 points. Jets will select 1st in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.

Players they would have had instead: Ken Daneyko, Bob Errey, Phil Housley, Stephane Matteau, Ron Tugnutt.

Beyond this point, the future for the Jets is even more highly speculative, regardless of which direction the team would have taken, but it's interesting to think as to what would have happened to the fortunes of the Jets if only that one choice in 1979 been made just slightly differently.