It is certainly not hard to see how there could be a tremendous amount of frustration that would stem from an early, first round, playoff exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That was exactly the fate of the Winnipeg Jets in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs and when you consider that they were expected to contend for that championship coming into the season, it was a massive disappointment to be sure.
It is often in moments like these that rumors about the team begin to filter out of the dressing room and into the public discourse, and although I must admit I had not heard much in this front in regards to the Jets, it appears they were indeed out there. This week in a piece published on the National Hockey League's official website Mike Zeisberger was able to obtain comments from one of Winnipeg's most prominent players in Mark Scheifele and he broached the subject of the offseason rumors. According to Zeisberger Scheifele "is aware of rumors about internal issues with the Jets" but it certainly does not seem like he lends a lot of weight to that type of talk.
"That other stuff, that's the stuff as a team you block out," Scheifele said as per the league's official website. "You know what's going on in your room. Anything extra is a bunch of baloney."
That is all well and good but the Jets have made significant changes to their roster this summer, including parting ways with veteran defenseman Jacob Trouba and bringing in Neal Pionk via a trade with the New York Rangers, and you have to wonder how those new faces will gel with the current group of Jets' players. Again Scheifele seemed entirely unconcerned and it was again made clear that he does not believe the talk of problems in the Jets locker room has any real validity to it.
"People can claim whatever, but I know we have a tight-knit team," Scheifele said Thursday at Smashfest, a pingpong tournament in support of concussion and cancer research hosted by former NHL player Dominic Moore. "We have great guys in our room. And there's no question in my mind about the character we have in our room, the unity that we have."