KEY LOSSES LW Eric Boulton, RW Radek Dvorak, RW Anthony Stewart
THE EARLY word on the Jets' return to Winnipeg is promising. The team sold 13,000 season tickets in the first 72 hours after they went on sale in June. Still, it's one thing to have long-term ticket commitments but another to sustain enthusiasm, and the Franchise Formerly Known As the Thrashers faded badly down the stretch of what started as a promising season. The team allowed the most goals (262) in the East and relied heavily on scoring from its back line. Now the Jets must look to forwards Andrew Ladd, Evander Kane (above) and Bryan Little, who combined for 66 goals last season, to bolster the offense and make up for the defensive shortcomings. "People are watching to see how we respond to the challenge," says Ladd. Another challenge: The team will play a killer travel schedule, with its closest division rival, Washington, about 1,500 miles away. A new start with a new fan base can only help, but there is a long way to go.