Now that the Atlanta Thrashers have been sold and they're on their way to Winnipeg, the debate around them has turned to the new name. Just about everybody agrees that the team must be called the Winnipeg Jets, after the team that played in the WHA and the NHL between 1972 and 1996.
But whether that will happen or not has been up in the air, with some going as far as saying that it strictly won't happen. There have been rumors that True North Sports and Entertainment has refused to use the name, and there have been rumors that the Phoenix Coyotes -- the relocated version of the Jets -- own the team name.
Over the last two days, however, we've learned these things are either A) not true or B) not a hinderance.
On Tuesday in Winnipeg at the sale announcement, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told media that the NHL would allow the Winnipeg franchise to use the Jets name if they so desired. The NHL currently owns the Coyotes franchise, and thus has control of that name until they sell.
Then, on Wednesday, True North's Mark Chipman said they haven't taken the idea of Winnipeg Jets Part II off the table. Via the Winnipeg Free Press:
"(The 'Jets' name) is not off the table," said Mark Chipman, chairman of the board for True North Sports & Entertainment. "We haven't been able to engage in that subject, but we will do that now. We haven't ruled out any names. We've honestly been very, very focused on concluding this transaction."
Chipman also noted that True North has spent a lot of time developing the Manitoba Moose brand, and that the name will definitely be sticking around. The AHL's Moose will be relocating to St. John's, N.L., although it's unknown what nickname the team will have. It's possible they reserve the Moose name for the new NHL team.
Or, they call them the Jets. Or something completely different. It would definitely be silly to name them something other than the Moose or the Jets, but crazier things have happened.