Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Patience, patience, patience: Jets boss

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ALMOST one year into their existence, patience is becoming the new buzzword for the Winnipeg Jets.

At least you'd think so the way Jets management uses the term.

The team missed the Stanley Cup playoffs by eight points in the city's first season back in the NHL.

"I think we're a long ways from where we want to be," Jets co-owner and governor Mark Chipman told reporters at 1 Canada Division Headquarters, where he was presenting a $100,000 cheque to Canadian Forces' charitable and support causes on Tuesday. "We got a decent start and I think we accomplished most of what we wanted to in Year 1 but we're a long way from where I have in my mind where we need to be.

"But that's OK. We were patient enough to get here and we're going to be patient in the process of building the organization."

Chipman said the summer ahead -- without last year's relocation mayhem -- might actually have more stress.

"I don't think it's more relaxing because the level of expectation will be higher," Chipman said. "So maybe less relaxing."

Chipman did say he's enjoying the routine of May 2012.

"Quite a bit different," he said. "Last May was a very unusual month, a good one though, but I'm glad to be sitting this one out."

The team's co-owner said he couldn't address any question about whether there will be an NHL season this fall, after the Sept. 15 expiration of the collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA.

"I don't know the answer to it and I'm not able to answer," he said.

As for what else might be ahead for the Jets, the 2013 draft will not be in Winnipeg, Chipman indicated Tuesday.

"The package is out for consideration," he told reporters. "It hasn't been announced. I think our position on that and other events is that we just want to be a regular member of the league. We've had a lot to get through and digest in the last several months. We're anxious for just a regular cycle.

"Things like the draft and other things will come our way in due course."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 23, 2012 C2

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