With the ongoing ownership troubles in Phoenix and Atlanta making headlines of late, the fervor around a potential NHL return to Winnipeg, Manitoba is at levels unseen since the Jets left town in 1996. People are excited, they're talking and they're ready for the highest level of hockey to return to it's rightful home -- or you know, whatever they say.
Despite the fact that such an NHL return isn't even close to official yet, and that there's still a strong possibility that it won't happen now or ever, plans are already underway. Can't tamper that enthusiasm.
This news might disappoint some, though. According to Dave Wheeler in the Winnipeg Sun, the team won't be called the Winnipeg Jets if they do return to town. Instead, they'll be called the Manitoba Somethings, much like the AHL team that currently calls Winnipeg home: the Manitoba Moose.
I have it under good authority, that a name, jersey scheme, and logo have already been designed and are ready to go for when the team makes our city its home.
The bad news for some fans - it will not be the Jets. From what I do know, the team will go under the moniker of the Manitoba (TBA).
Making it a provincial team makes financial sense for corporate support, bringing in more dollars from outside the city. Same idea as the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who would have nearly as much support if they were the Regina Roughriders. I have heard some names bounced around the rumour mill, but nothing has been confirmed.
I have a feeling that, if there's NHL hockey at the MTS Centre any time in the next few years, people in Winnipeg and Manitoba won't really care what the team's called.