The Winnipeg Jets defied the odds this season with their never say die mentality, overcoming injury and hardship on their way to edging out the defending Stanley Cup Champions and clinching the franchise’s first playoff appearance since its return to Winnipeg. The return of playoff hockey after its nearly 20 year hiatus from Winnipeg has reignited the burning passion of the fan base, making one thing clear moving forward: simply making the playoffs is not enough anymore.
The Winnipeg Jets broke the mold this month, making the team’s first major trade in their short history – a massive seven-player deal that saw franchise top-five picks Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian head to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux, and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
The Buffalo Sabres have not won a game in the 2015 calendar year, but all eyes are on the future, as the rebuild continues. A string of injuries and poor performances by the Sabres’ veterans opened up opportunities for some of the organization’s top AHL players to showcase their skill in the big leagues, and although the results have been mixed, generally speaking the franchise is in good shape for the future.
Despite the return of their top scorers, an influx of new talent, and the continuing development of their top players, the Rochester Americans are having a disappointing season. After making the AHL playoffs in three consecutive years, the Amerks sit last in the North Division and 14th in the Western Conference. The team has just two wins in their past 10 games.