Barn Burner: TSN’s Jamie McLennan on what has made the Winnipeg Jets a success this season

Photo credit:© Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Mackenzie
29 days ago
On Wednesday’s episode of Barn Burner, Boomer, Pinder and Rhett had TSN analyst Jamie McLennan on the show to talk about what the Winnipeg Jets have done this season that has them towards the top of the list of Stanley Cup favourites.
After a second half meltdown in 2022/23 saw the Jets plummet from first in the Central Division down to the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference only to get bounced in the first round by the Vegas Golden Knights in five games, the Jets don’t look like they are slowing down anytime soon this season. Their 44-19-5 record sits a top the Central with first place in the conference in their sights.
“It’s amazing how the team can be the same with a lot of the same make up, but you take one personality, one something, and the mix just changes. Everybody finds a different role… I feel like that’s happened in Winnipeg.” McLennan indicated that the departures of Blake Wheeler and Pierre-Luc Dubois have had a positive effect throughout the lineup. “If they’re a body, they look like a healthy body… They play well together. They stand up for each other. They got a little bit of everything. They got some bite, some toughness, some top end skill, and they got the best goalie in the league whose going to give you a chance every night. I don’t see a lot of weakness in that lineup.”
In the segment, McLennan also expressed his fondness of the two moves that Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff made at this years trade deadline, bringing in centreman Sean Monahan and winger Tyler Toffoli.
“I love the moves at the deadline,” said McLennan “Toffoli and Monahan, those are two little grabs there that add some skill level, some depth, some veteran savvy to a group that already has some veterans there. I think [Kevin Cheveldayoff] has done a great job.”
Winnipeg, like Calgary, hasn’t been known as one of the premier destinations for players to sign in recent years. By locking up Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck this offseason to matching seven year contracts worth $8.5 million a piece, it sent a message to the rest of the players that the Jets believe they have what it takes to win.
“It’s massive when you look at it. Winnipeg, I would guess, is on every guys no trade list if you go in with guys who have got those lists. No ones going to Winnipeg. Those two guys were waiting for unrestricted free agency. Both of those guys could get paid and get their spot. They both picked Winnipeg,” said Boomer. “You need guys who want to play there so to have two marquee guys choose to stay there is, I don’t know, one in a million it feels like.”
“For me, it sends the right message,” said McLennan on the Jets being able to resign their two superstars. “We all talked about it this summer. If Scheifele and Hellebuyck are gone, now what the hell is Kyle Connor thinking? What is Nikolaj Ehlers thinking? You know, guys that have committed. Schiefele and Hellebuyck commit and it was almost like ‘hey, the bands back together. We’re doing this.'”
Watch Wednesday’s episode in full here:

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