Winnipeg Jets: Was the 2011-12 Season a Success or a Failure?

Anthony CapocciContributor IApril 20, 2012

SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 31: Evander Kane #9 of the Winnipeg Jets is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers on October 31, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

There have been ongoing debates and discussions on whether or not the Winnipeg Jets had a successful return-season to the NHL. I’m going to dig a little deeper on this topic and tell you why their past season was a success.

Success is relative. What’s successful for one team could likely be considered disappointing for another. For the Jets, I don’t mean it in terms of we should all go out and celebrate as if we just experienced the most spectacular season of all time. However, we shouldn’t be disappointed with the season, we should be happy and confident.

Missing the playoffs is disappointing; however, fans should not be disappointed. 

The projection on where the Jets would finish in the standings were low before the season even began and many people believed the Jets to finish the season as a lottery team.

Sure the Jets were in a playoff race for the better part of the season, but that shouldn’t sway any expectations and give off higher, unrealistic expectations.

Being in the playoff race for that long, if anything, greatly exceeds expectations. Although the Jets eventually fell out of the race, they lasted long enough to challenge for a playoff spot until the very end.

The Jets didn’t finish in the lottery as many projected before the start of the season, but they finished in bottom 10 of the league. The Jets finished as the ninth worst team and will be drafting ninth overall in the upcoming 2012 NHL draft.

Regarding expectations, the Jets exceeded them in terms of not being a lottery team and competing for the playoffs for so long. It should be considered a successful season in that regard alone.

It’s more than just a one-way street, though. Exceeding expectations gave hope and reassurance, but it wasn’t the only thing that made the 2011-12 season a success for the Jets.

The Jets are a very young team and all eyes were on their young players to see how they’d develop. Player progression was a huge part of why the Jets had a successful season.

We got to see players take the next step in their career, reach new career highs, and still leave room for improvement. These young players are on a path to perfection and are set out to reach their potential. This past season surely boosts confidence and not only for the players, but for the fans also.

There weren’t any setbacks or question marks when the season ended. Virtually everybody on this team, especially the young kids, developed or furthered their game.

Player development and progression went just fine. In that regard alone, the Jets had a successful season.

Every fan of this team should be filled with hope and confidence for the future of this organization.

Sometimes it comes down to more than just winning or losing, making the playoffs or missing the playoffs. Each team can be successful in different ways. For the Jets, the 2011-12 season was certainly a successful one for them.