The goal: more goals
- The Atlanta Thrashers finished 20th in the NHL in goals last season, averaging 2.66 per game.
- The squad lost 10 one-goal games in 2010-11.
- Two of the team's Top 5 scorers -- Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom -- are defencemen.
- The team's top-scoring centre was Bryan Little, who had 18 goals and 30 assists. Winnipeg's collection of centres: Alexander Burmistrov, Tim Stapleton, Jim Slater and Nik Antropov (who also plays right wing) combined for just 50 goals last season in Atlanta.
- The team's leading scorer last year -- captain Andrew Ladd -- finished with 59 points (29 goals, 30 assists), ranking him 50th overall in the NHL.
The Jets desperately need Blake Wheeler -- along with Evander Kane, Burmistrov, Ladd and the other young talent -- to crank up the offensive production.
"He's going to be afforded the opportunity to play on the top lines right from the start," said Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. "Hopefully we'd like to see how things finished up with the Thrashers last year is how things pick up with him this year with the Jets."
The Jets' philosophy
"What we've been talked to agents and players about is we're here to give these players the opportunity to grow," Cheveldayoff explained. "In our situation we want to give them a chance and see where they can come out. If we went out and signed a whole bunch of free-agent guys maybe those guys wouldn't have that chance to grow.
"We're going to get a chance to see what they have. It's really in their hands now. We can get the contracts done, we can talk about comparables... they'll be given a chance to play and we hope they prove to everyone what they have in them."