Another hockey season in Winnipeg has gone down the toilet.
Mark Chipman is officially 0 for 1 as an NHL general manager.
Oh sure, the team won some games. They got you worked up, didn’t they?
They almost made the playoffs. They spent one whole day in first place.
Be still my beating heart.
And then they went into the tank.
I’ve been down that road with the real Jets far too often, back in the day when simply making the playoffs wasn’t a cause for a parade. Gluttons for punishment, however, many of you must really miss that feeling.
Yes, I miss the Jets.
I miss the Hot Line. I miss Dale Hawerchuk. I miss listening to Friar Nicolson and Curt Keilback on the radio.
But I don’t miss the heartache. I also don’t miss Mark Chipman and his melancholy band of servile cronies who act like they are Heaven-sent gifts to our city. Instead, I prefer to do business with organizations that appreciate my patronage rather than expecting it.
So many of you thought that by moving a woeful franchise to a more so-called traditional hockey market would magically transform the team into a Stanley Cup contender.
But there’s always next year, right?
At least for now, while many of you are still willing to cough up big money to watch a team that made John Ferguson’s Jets look like world beaters and while Chipman can keep bleeding the public treasury to subsidize the operation.
I’d be shocked if the NHL’s most domineering owner did anything else in the off-season besides adding some more eager, low-budget, minor-league free agents with Manitoba heritage to his roster. Anyone expecting anything more over the summer will be left bitterly disappointed.
Chipman might call up his buddy Greg on Broadway demanding yet another handout, but that might be the highlight of the off-season.
Chipman wants to win. But it’s not nearly as important to him as it is to many of you.
Year Two of Chipman’s reign as an NHL general manager, assuming there isn’t a strike, won’t be much different than Year One.
A blind squirrel stumbles upon an acorn once in a while, but not very often.
You wanted the Atlanta Thrashers?
You wanted a Mark Chipman team?
You got one.
As I’ve said many times before, be careful what you wish for.