Jets 2.0

Prior to the 2011-2012 NHL season, Winnipeg, Manitoba once again regained an NHL franchise. The Atlanta Thrashers were thrashed out of Atlanta, Georgia when True North Sports and Entertainment bought the franchise and moved them up north. (Interesting trivia: Atlanta became the only American city with the distinction of having not one, but two teams leave and move to Canada, the Atlanta Flames/Calgary Flames being the first one, and the only American team ever to lose a team to Canada - as many Canadian franchises have moved down to the USA, including the first incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets). Unlike most new teams, the Jets didn’t have to build up a fan base, as there was already one waiting there for them, still mourning over losing the Jets the first time. In fact, season ticket sales started on June 1, 2011 after the announcement of the move, and by June 4 they were all sold out.

The Jets 2.0 made their 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. Not the best way to open, but the fans were just glad to once again have an NHL franchise.

Being that the NHL couldn’t realign things right away, the Jets in their first few seasons were in the awkward position of remaining in the Southeast Division, inheriting that from the Thrashers, despite being located about 8,000 miles from Atlanta in the true geographic Southeast of the League. But beginning in 2013–14, the Jets moved to the Western Conference to join the West’s Central Division, bumping its number up to 7.

That was certainly better for them, as on April 9, 2015, the Jets clinched their first Stanley Cup playoff appearance since relocating to Winnipeg, and first appearance overall for the Jets 2.0. They won the second wild card spot and played the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks in the first round. Unfortunately they got swept. The following season they failed to quality for the playoffs. But in 2018 they were back. On April 11, 2018, the Jets 2.0 won the first playoff game in the history of the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise when they won against the Wild 3–2. (The Atlanta Thrashers made the playoffs only once but they were swept.) And then they went on to win that series, with their first playoff series win. They went all the way to the Western Conference Finals. But they lost that series to... an expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights. Yes, an expansion team went to the Stanley Cup Finals that year.

The Jets continue to experience mild success, making the playoffs again in the 2018-2019 season.

Retired Numbers