Winnipeg is back in the NHL

The Weakerthans probably said it best.

The Guess Who suck, the Jets were lousy anyway [...] I hate Winnipeg!

Now I don’t hate Winnipeg, but the Weakerthans are right about the Jets.

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m one of the biggest Jets fan not from Winnipeg. Plus, the Jets played before my time (I was pretty young) so for me it’s a kind of mysticism attached to the name. It has something to do with almost moving there at one point in my life for school, though I didn’t end up going. The University of Manitoba is quaint campus.

But the important thing about Winnipeg is the fans and the Jets fans are my kind of fans. Selling out 13,000 season tickets in 3 days is amazing. The fact that they had to wait until Moose season ticket holders were done speaks volumes more about how much faster they WOULD have sold out.

These are kind of hockey fans the NHL needs – but doesn’t deserve. Bettman should know better than to force the product down the throats of fans in Atlanta where there is no interest.

Without grassroots hoorah there can’t be any fanbase. Look how successful Nashville is. It has to start small and work itself up.

But it’s a sweet little town that’s like a smaller version of 90′s Edmonton. That’s probably why all these cross-generational Jets fans are still hanging on to ’96 when they should be looking forward to ’12.

I’m a big Jets fan but I have to admit that since they left the WHA and after their subsequent move to Phoenix as the Coyotes – they have been mostly terrible.

This guessing game has to end.

I would be happy if the NHL decided to let Chipman and company call the team the Jets – but I’d be happier if this new team carved out their own destiny free of old grudges and no need for unrealistic expectations. The Manitoba Moose – or Flood – or Falcons – or whatever it is they want to call them, have to define themselves for a new generation of Winnipeg fans.

It’s time for Winnipeg to grow up – and grow out of the Jets. Grow past the Jets.

The NHL is back.

The Jets were a throwback to a happier time but don’t forget what that team represented.

They have to be a new voice for all those hockey fans in Saskatchewan and Manitoba who don’t have an NHL team of their own, who have been lucky enough to default to the Oilers :-) or forced to cheer for the Flames or Leafs. Maybe even the Habs.

The new Winnipeg team can be their team.

So welcome back, Winnipeg.

I interrupt to bring you more words of wisdom from the Weakerthans,

My city’s still breathing (but barely it’s true)
through buildings gone missing like teeth.
The sidewalks are watching me think about you,
sparkled with broken glass.
I’m back with scars to show.
Back with the streets I know
Will never take me anywhere but here.

The NHL was always going to end up back in the mosquito capital of Canada.

But forget about the Jets already. It’s time to build a better team.

A team worth hating.

After Winnipeg plays out their season in the Southeast, it is obvious that they will need to put them in the Western conference.

Another reason why they can’t be called the Jets.

Because if they’re in the West, I’m gonna have to hate ‘em.


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