Should the Winnipeg Jets return?
To be fair I can see both sides of this argument. First a short recap. True North has bought the Atlanta Thrashers and that team will be relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba. That city has been without a NHL team for 15 years since the then Winnipeg Jets left town to become the Phoenix Coyotes. The word is the new owners are not very keen on the Thrashers moniker, but also are not keen on a return to the Jets nickname.
There are a lot of sides to this argument. The first is marketing. What would the best way to market this team be? Would it be to name it after the city or the province? I think we can make a strong case that Manitoba makes this team the team of many more Canadians that naming the city after the city of Winnipeg. I think a team is the western part of Canada will be a big draw and naming the team the Manitoba whatever’s is a solid move marketing wise.
Now we get to old school hockey fans (like myself) who are nostalgic for the good old days and want the Jets back. That is a strong move as well as Jets merchandise still sells, and I know that because I recently bought some. However, True North does not want the Thrashers name as it is linked to a failing organization and they may be very hesitant to link themselves to a team that ultimately failed in Winnipeg for a multitude of reasons.
I think True North should take its cues for the United Football League. They want their fans to have an instant attachment to this team so why not let the fans of Manitoba vote on the team name. For better or worse connecting to your fans is always a solid move.