Winnipeg Jets: Will the Jets Ever Be a Free Agent Destination Team?

Anthony CapocciContributor IJuly 27, 2012

WINNIPEG, CANADA - APRIL 7: The scoreboard encourages Winnipeg Jets fans to get loud during a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in NHL action at the MTS Centre on April 7, 2012 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)
Marianne Helm/Getty Images

Kevin Cheveldayoff has shown how aggressive he will be in present and future free agencies with the ownership backing him the whole way.

With the desire to win on mind, Cheveldayoff won't shy away from the big-named free agents. But will Winnipeg ever be the destination where players would actually want to pursue as their next team?

I think so.

High-end free agents, and most free agents in general, only want one or two things when looking for a new club: money and winning. Not only can the Winnipeg Jets supply both of those demands, but they can also provide a lot more key essentials that many other teams lack.

As far as money goes, the Jets have a lot of it to spend. The ownership isn't afraid to spend the money, and Cheveldayoff isn't afraid to pursue a high-end free agent. As long as the price is reasonable, the Jets will be in on many free agents in the coming years. Money isn't an issue.

Most free agents also want to sign with winning teams while still getting paid the big bucks. The Jets have that covered as well, or so it seems.

The Jets are quietly building a stable foundation with the goal of becoming a team that wins every year.

With top prospects and roster players that continue to grow into franchise players, it's hard for them to not be recognized by other players and teams around the league. The overall goal is for the Jets to grow into a team where winning is expected. We could see them lift off as early as next season.

Here's where the Jets differentiate from the rest of the league (or most of the league). Not only can they supply free agents with the two most necessities, but they can provide them with a lot more, starting with one of the best fanbases in all of sports.

Loyal, loud, appreciative...just a few words that sum up the fans of Winnipeg. The atmosphere during games, which is arguably the best in the entire league, is something that all hockey players can appreciate. Even in losses, the effort the players put out on the ice doesn't go unnoticed. Simply put, you won't find true fans like these in many other markets.

Pair the fanbase with the Jets aspirations for becoming a contender and the dedicated owners and management, and you should have players flocking to Winnipeg to play there. The recipe for success is in place.

I'd venture to say that hockey is the number one religion in Winnipeg. With that in mind, what more has to be said? Players will feel loved by the fans all 365 days of the year. Hockey goes on every day of the year for us.

What are some of the cons of playing in Winnipeg? So what, it's cold outside. Put on a jacket.

When it comes to hockey, you won't find many other markets that can compete with Winnipeg.