Over the last two seasons, we’ve heard a lot about the culture of the Winnipeg Jets. Most of it, frankly, has been derived from the media, and by extension, echoed through the fanbase. And the perception of it is not always favourable.
Of course, there have been moments when players — Paul Stastny being the most poignant — provided a glimpse inside the players’ world, and with it, a small understanding that not everyone was, perhaps, pushing the puck in the same direction.
But for most of the last 12 years, the environment inside the dressing room has been as private as the inner workings of the movement known as Scientology. However, it appears that reticence has changed in both the vibe and transparency this year, and the move has come unsolicited.
Recently, the word “culture” has risen again around the Jets, only this time being used by the players themselves, including assistant captain Josh Morrissey, veteran Dylan DeMelo, and newcomer Gabriel Vilardi — all in a positive tone, as if subtlety letting us know about the change in environment within the team’s four walls, something that would never have happened previously.
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And based on how they’ve played this season, unarguably connected for most of it, you can sense it and you can see it. Especially since the second-year coaching staff has repeatedly voiced the message that their group is a family, and that the mantra of “you fight one of us, you fight all of us” is more than just words.
The fact that the players are now comfortable in using the word “culture” publicly is a revelation that there’s been a big step taken toward improving it and, in turn, the health of the team overall.
For the Jets already this season, discussing culture is no longer taboo, and it’s no longer coming from outside their room, but from within it. And considering the short time it’s taken to change it, the puck moving in the same direction, collectively, could likely follow as quickly.
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