True North Sports and Entertainment

With the NHL returning to Winnipeg for the 2011-2012 season, the topic of the team's name has become a hot topic for discussion. Some have said that a "fresh start" with a new team name is favoured by True North Sports and Entertainment (TNSE).

While we cannot understate our gratitude to TNSE for making this even possible and respect that they may wish to go in a different direction, we believe a new name for the team would be a mistake.

Some of us were lucky enough to have been around to actually see Bobby Hull (the Golden Jet) play live in the Winnipeg Arena while others were only able to see pictures of him or watch video of him play here. There are those of us who were around to witness the Jets parade the Avco Cup around the ice at the old barn. We remember the NHL rejecting Winnipeg three times in merger talks before finally being accepted to the senior circuit in 1979. The headline in the Winnipeg Tribune on March 30, 1979 was “NHL Officially Accepts Our Jets”. What a glorious day that was for us back then!

The Winnipeg Jets have a wonderful and meaningful history which should not be overlooked if and when the NHL returns to the Manitoba capital. It was the Jets that forever changed the style of the professional game from one that was straight up and down the ice to one where players criss-cross and zig-zag all over the ice thanks to Winnipeg’s pioneering with European players. Glen Sather, the mastermind behind the mighty Edmonton Oilers teams, credited the Winnipeg Jets as a major inspiration. We were the first North American club team to beat the powerful Soviet National team. We were the first professional team to be invited to, and play in, the Izvestia hockey tournament in Europe. Which North American team was the first to play a tournament in Japan? You bet, it was our Jets!

For those of us that have been around to see these players play in person at the Winnipeg Arena along with the stars of later years like Dale Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen, Teemu Selanne, etc., it is no wonder we bleed blue, red and white for the Winnipeg Jets name. This team has meant so much to us and to our city. The Winnipeg Jets name represents a unique history with loads of great players who represented us and is recognized all over the world.

As the NHL currently owns the Winnipeg Jets name and all associated trademarks, TNSE could regain the rights as part of the deal to relocate the Atlanta Thrashers. An updated logo, jerseys, etc. would also provide plenty of new merchandising opportunities while still preserving our cherished heritage.

In closing, the Winnipeg Jets name represents a lot of pride that we had in those teams that bore our city’s name on their chests. It is largely because of our previous history (though in no small part also due to the efforts of TNSE) that we are once again the home of an NHL team. We would be missing a tremendous opportunity to re-establish a link to our storied past by not reviving the Winnipeg Jets name. It would only be fitting to continue the history of a franchise that was like no other!

We, the undersigned, respectfully suggest that our new NHL team should be named the Winnipeg Jets.

The Support naming THE Winnipeg NHL franchise the Winnipeg Jets! petition to True North Sports and Entertainment was written by David Kehler and is in the category Sports at GoPetition.

Petition Tags

winnipeg NHL Jets Winnipeg Jets