The Winnipeg Jets will be without a captain for the next NHL season

The Winnipeg Jets took the C off Blake Wheeler’s jersey and put it away, opting to distribute a whole bunch of A’s instead.

The NHL team has decided to do without a captain, announcing a restructuring of its management ahead of the 2022-23 season.

It’s the first time in franchise history for the NHL team, which began playing in the 1999-2000 season as the Atlanta Thrashers before moving to become the Jets for the 2011-12 season, that it will not have a designated leader.

“It is the determination of the coaching staff that we enter the 2022-23 season without a specific captain, but rather with a group of assistants yet to be determined,” new head coach Rick Bowness said in a press release. Friday morning.

« Our goal is to broaden the leadership base within our hockey team. We have high expectations for our core players and want to provide them with the opportunity to take on these larger leadership roles as a group. «

Bowness and Wheeler will hold a noon press conference to discuss the changes.

Wheeler, 36, was named the team’s second captain on his 30th birthday, Aug. 31, 2016.

He replaced Andrew Ladd, who was named Thrashers captain in 2010 and retained the title when the team moved to Winnipeg. Ladd was distributed in Chicago at the 2016 trade deadline.

The Jets made the playoffs three times with Wheeler as captain and advanced to the Western Conference Finals in the 2017-18 season. They also made the qualifying round of the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season, but lost to Calgary in four games.

The Jets finished sixth in the Central Division last season and missed the playoffs.

Their season was marked by the departure of head coach Paul Maurice and some players, including star Mark Scheifele, who questioned the direction of the team after the campaign.

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