There’s a leadership vacuum on the Winnipeg Jets, and it needs to be filled.

After a sleepy summer by general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, new head coach Rick Bowness barged into town this fall to shake up the status quo.

Last week, in a move that was a massive indictment of Blake Wheeler’s leadership skills (or lack thereof,) he stripped the veteran of the Jets’ captaincy, and replaced him with… no one.

Instead, the Jets will be one of seven captain-less teams and will go with three or four alternate captains. Under NHL rules, teams without a captain can have three alternates dressed in a game, but can rotate through alternates throughout the season if they wish.

It was announced Thursday, as training camp opened prior to a pivotal 2022-23 campaign, that Josh Morrissey and Mark Scheifele will retain their As. That means there’s one or two more players who will get a letter on their sweater and the added responsibility that goes along with it. Here, we’ll take a look at four candidates for new alternates.

 

Adam Lowry

If Bowness and company only name one new alternate, Adam Lowry is the most logical choice.

The 29-year-old was the Jets 2.0’s second-ever draft pick (67th overall, 2011) and has spent his entire eight season, 539-game career with the team. While he is not a massive points producer (he has 168 in those 539 games,) he has been a highly-effective third-line centre.

The big-bodied Lowry is a hard-working, gritty guy who does whatever it takes to win, whether that’s throwing a hit, blocking a shot, or dropping the gloves.

The Jets finished 6th in the Central Division and well out of the playoffs last season and would have done better if they followed Lowry’s example. He’s been noted for a number of seasons as a strong voice in the room and has committed to Winnipeg long term, under contract through 2025-26.