|NHL||02/12 03:00||-||WIN Jets vs CHI Blackhawks||-||View|
|NHL||02/15 01:00||-||WIN Jets vs SEA Kraken||-||View|
|NHL||02/17 00:00||-||CLB Blue Jackets vs WIN Jets||-||View|
|NHL||02/20 00:00||-||NJ Devils vs WIN Jets||-||View|
|NHL||02/21 00:00||-||NY Rangers vs WIN Jets||-||View|
|NHL||02/23 00:00||-||NY Islanders vs WIN Jets||-||View|
|NHL||01/31 01:00||-|| STL Blues v WIN Jets ||W||2-4|
|NHL||01/29 00:00||-|| PHI Flyers v WIN Jets ||L||4-0|
|NHL||01/27 01:00||-|| BUF Sabres v WIN Jets ||L||3-2|
|NHL||01/25 01:00||-|| WIN Jets v NAS Predators ||L||1-2|
|NHL||01/23 00:00||-|| WIN Jets v PHI Flyers ||W||5-3|
|NHL||01/22 00:00||-|| WIN Jets v OTT Senators ||W||5-1|
|NHL||01/20 00:00||-|| WIN Jets v TOR Maple Leafs ||L||1-4|
|NHL||01/18 00:00||-|| WIN Jets v MON Canadiens ||L||1-4|
|NHL||01/16 00:00||-|| ARZ Coyotes v WIN Jets ||W||1-2|
|NHL||01/14 00:00||-|| WIN Jets v PIT Penguins ||W||4-1|
|NHL||01/13 00:00||-|| WIN Jets v BUF Sabres ||W||4-2|
|NHL||01/11 00:00||-|| WIN Jets v DET Red Wings ||L||5-7|
The Winnipeg Jets are a professional ice hockey team based in Winnipeg. The team competes in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Central Division in the Western Conference, and is owned by True North Sports & Entertainment, playing its home games at Canada Life Centre.
The Jets were established as the Atlanta Thrashers on June 25, 1997, and began play in the 1999–2000 NHL season. True North Sports & Entertainment then bought the team in May 2011, and relocated the franchise to Winnipeg prior to the 2011–12 season, making them the first NHL franchise to relocate since the Hartford Whalers became the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997. The team was renamed the Jets after Winnipeg's original WHA/NHL team, which relocated after the 1995–96 season due to financial issues to become the Phoenix (later Arizona) Coyotes.
On December 27, 1971, Winnipeg was granted one of the founding franchises in the World Hockey Association (WHA). By 1979, many of the WHA's teams had folded, but the Jets were absorbed into the NHL along with the Quebec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers and Hartford Whalers as part of the WHA–NHL merger. Team owner Barry Shenkarow sold the team to American businessmen Steven Gluckstern and Richard Burke. Burke and Gluckstern originally planned to move the team to Minnesota (which had lost the North Stars to Dallas in 1993), but eventually reached an agreement with Phoenix businessman Jerry Colangelo that would see the team move to Arizona and become the Phoenix Coyotes. The original Winnipeg Jets played their last game on April 28, 1996.
The city of Atlanta was awarded an NHL expansion franchise, named the Atlanta Thrashers, on June 25, 1997. It was the second NHL franchise for Atlanta (their first being the Atlanta Flames, established in 1972, who departed for Calgary in 1980 to become the Calgary Flames). The Thrashers began play in the 1999–2000 season.
In the 12 years in Atlanta, the Thrashers qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs once, during the 2006–07 season, and never won a playoff game. Partially due to their lack of playoff success, the team had difficulty drawing fans to attend their games in their final seasons.
Although they moved for financial reasons, the Coyotes have never been profitable in Arizona. Mounting losses eventually compelled the franchise to file for bankruptcy after the 2008–09 season. The team was taken over by the league before the next season began. As early as October 2009, there were rumours that True North Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns both Winnipeg's Canada Life Centre (then known as MTS Centre) and the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Manitoba Moose, had been invited to bid on the city's former franchise. TNSE submitted a series of bids for the Coyotes, which were taken seriously enough that the league drew up a tentative schedule with Winnipeg in place of Phoenix. The NHL shelved the bid after securing a large subsidy from the Coyotes' municipal government. In contrast to aggressive, public bids by Jim Balsillie (who had unsuccessfully attempted to use bankruptcy laws to skirt NHL rules and move the Coyotes to Hamilton), the low-key approach by TNSE and its chairman, Mark Chipman, was praised by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and other owners, raising their profile when the question of the Thrashers' relocation came up.
On May 20, 2011, the Winnipeg Sun confirmed that an agreement in principle had been reached for True North to purchase the Thrashers, while Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz announced that he was confident that the Thrashers' relocation to Winnipeg would soon be officially announced. On May 31, 2011, at a press conference at the MTS Centre, Bettman confirmed that the Atlanta Thrashers had been sold to True North and would relocate to Winnipeg for the 2011–12 season, pending the approval of the sale and relocation by the NHL's Board of Governors, which came at their June 21, 2011, meeting. The reported purchase price was $170 million, with $60 million going to the NHL as a relocation fee. After the announcement, True North made preparations to move the Moose franchise to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Season ticket sales began June 1, 2011, with Manitoba Moose season ticket holders having priority. The team sought to sell 13,000 season tickets in an effort to prove its viability. Within the first three and a half hours, the new franchise sold 1,870 packages to Moose season ticket holders. Season tickets opened to the general public on June 4 and sold out in 17 minutes. Once the "Drive to 13,000" was completed, True North started a season ticket waiting list, which was shut down after 8,000 people signed up in two hours. In July 2011, tickets for October 9 home opener against the Montreal Canadiens were listed for an average price of $1,711 on StubHub, with an average selling price of $713.
True North said the team's name would not be announced until after the successful completion of the season ticket drive at the earliest. The team was not to be named the Thrashers, since True North did not acquire the name in the transaction, and the rights to that name and the Thrashers logo were retained by the ownership group in Atlanta.
There was considerable support in Winnipeg to reuse "Winnipeg Jets", the name of the city's original WHA and NHL franchise, though rumours spread that True North preferred "Manitoba Moose". "Whiteout" and "Falcons" were also considered, but the latter was quickly rejected in deference to Atlanta, which has another professional sports team by that name. True North kept their selection secret until the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 24, when Chipman introduced General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to "make our first pick, on behalf of the Winnipeg Jets."
Before the franchise relocation was officially completed, True North bought out the remaining years of General Manager Rick Dudley's contract on June 4, 2011. Thrashers President Don Waddell, who had been with the franchise since its inception, had earlier announced he would not be moving with the team. Kevin Cheveldayoff, a former GM of the Chicago Wolves and former assistant GM of the Chicago Blackhawks, was hired to replace Dudley four days later. The team also retained Marcel Comeau, the director of amateur scouting. On June 12, 2011, Cheveldayoff had Thrashers Head Coach Craig Ramsay reinterview for his position, then formally dismissed him as head coach eight days later. Claude Noel, who had been the head coach of the Manitoba Moose, was named head coach four days later; the other finalist for the job had been Chicago Blackhawks Assistant Coach Mike Haviland. Charlie Huddy, Pascal Vincent and Wade Flaherty, formerly of the Dallas Stars and Blackhawks, were named Noel's assistant coaches.
The Jets made their formal regular season debut on October 9, 2011, when a sellout crowd at the MTS Centre saw the visiting Montreal Canadiens defeat the Jets 5–1, with Nik Antropov scoring the first-ever Jets goal. The opening ceremonies featured a concert by Winnipeg-based rock band Bachman–Turner Overdrive, who performed "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" with the title sung as "we just got back the Jets". Other highlights on the first Jets schedule included a home-and-home set with the Phoenix Coyotes, Winnipeg's previous NHL franchise (including a December 1 game in Winnipeg, the Coyotes' first regular season appearance in Winnipeg since vacating the city), as well as a December 17 home game against the Anaheim Ducks, which was former Jet Teemu Selanne's first playing appearance in Winnipeg since being traded from the Jets in February 1996.
During the summer of 2012, the Jets added Perry Pearn to their coaching staff. Larry Simmons was appointed assistant general manager, the same position he had held with the Thrashers. As the Jets inherited the Thrashers' position in the Southeast Division since the 2011–12 season, the NHL and National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) were prompted to consider realignment of teams. Beginning in 2013–14, the Jets moved to the Western Conference and play in the new-look, seven-team Central Division.
The Jets fired Noel and Pearn in January 2014, with the former being replaced by veteran coach Paul Maurice. On April 9, 2015, the Jets clinched their first Stanley Cup playoff appearance since relocating to Winnipeg following a 1–0 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche. They clinched the spot after the Calgary Flames defeated the Los Angeles Kings later in the night. Finishing the season in the second wild-card spot, they played the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks in the first round. In the first playoff series that involved a team from Winnipeg since the 1996 playoffs, the Ducks swept the Jets in four games.
The season following their first playoff run was a disappointment, as the Jets finished 25th overall, well out of the playoffs. Management was forced to deal with expiring contracts of two star players, electing to sign Dustin Byfuglien to a five-year extension while trading team captain Andrew Ladd to the Chicago Blackhawks at the NHL trade deadline. Despite finishing with the sixth-worst record in the league, the Jets managed to win the second overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft through the draft lottery, which they used to select Finnish prospect Patrik Laine. Later that summer, the team appointed Blake Wheeler as their new captain.
In the 2017–18 season, the Jets clinched their second playoff spot since relocating from Atlanta, with the help of starting goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck. On March 25, 2018, the Jets beat the Nashville Predators 5–4 in a shootout, and clinched a spot in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. On April 11, 2018, the Jets won the first playoff game in the history of the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise when they defeated the Minnesota Wild 3–2. On April 20, 2018, the Jets won their first playoff series in franchise history (and the first series victory in 31 years for the city) with a 5–0 victory over the Minnesota Wild in game five of the First Round series, winning the series 4–1. On May 10, 2018, the Jets made further franchise history by advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time, defeating the Nashville Predators four games to three; Nashville were the defending holders of the Campbell Bowl Trophy from the previous season and holders of the President's Trophy for most points in the league during the 2017–18 NHL season. This would also mark the first time that either iteration of the Winnipeg Jets had advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs. Facing the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Finals, the Jets defeated the Golden Knights in the first game of the series 4–2. However, the Jets went on to lose the Western Conference Finals, with the Golden Knights defeating the Jets in the following four games in the series. In 2019, the Jets clinched the playoffs, but lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in six games in the First Round.
The Jets struggled in the 2019–20 season due to the departure of many high-profile defencemen such as Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers and Dustin Byfuglien, but were still in contention for a wild-card spot when the league shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Jets were awarded a playoff spot as part of the expanded format, but injuries to star forwards Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine in the first game of their series against the Calgary Flames in the Qualifying Round handicapped the team and they were eliminated three games to one in the best-of-five series. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was also awarded the Vezina Trophy for being the league's best goaltender. The Jets won their fourth consecutive playoff berth in the 2020–21 season and swept the Edmonton Oilers in the First Round but were themselves swept in the Second Round by the Montreal Canadiens.
In the 2021–22 season, the Jets finished a disappointing sixth in the Central Division, missing the playoffs. At the start of the 2022–23 season, forward Blake Wheeler was stripped of the team captaincy.