Jets should follow Boston model to build winning team

Jets right-winger Blake Wheeler scored for the first time in 14 games. His goal came into an empty...

Jets right-winger Blake Wheeler scored for the first time in 14 games. His goal came into an empty net Tuesday night in New York.

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:14 AM ET

 

There's a line of thinking from some Winnipeg hockey fans that the Jets are wasting their time being on the wrong side of mediocre.

This team, sitting at .500 again after Thursday's loss in Ottawa, needs to tank completely, the theory goes, in order to obtain the high draft picks necessary to build a Stanley Cup contender.

It's called the Pittsburgh model.

The Penguins, whom the Jets play on Sunday, took advantage of horrid seasons by drafting Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury and Evgeni Malkin either first or second, overall, from 2003 to '05, and haven't looked back.

Those same people will point to Chicago going a similar route, parlaying back-to-back disasters into franchise cornerstones Jonathan Toews, a No. 3 pick, and Patrick Kane, a No. 1.

But to suggest that's Winnipeg's best bet is nonsense.

There's another route to contender status, one not nearly as painful to fans or as trying on their patience, but just as effective.


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