Jets return a missing piece of Winnipeg Not only have the Winnipeg Jets returned to fulfill the physical role of a National Hockey League team in town, it might not be a stretch to argue the Jets have returned to replace a missing piece of the city itself. Photo: Marianne Helm/Getty Images
Dave Bidini: It’s not always the best game you can name This summer, two hockey players died: a record body count. People will tell you that these deaths were the result of fighting and concussions, and the damage suffered while playing a savage sport. All of this is true, but both players were also emotionally troubled, suffering bleak endings to a kind of life that many of us hold in wonder. We may view the terrible demise of Derek Boogaard, the New York Rangers enforcer who died in May, and Rick Rypien, the recent Vancouver Canuck and intended Winnipeg Jet who died earlier this week, as fall from graces. But this is to assume that grace exists — or is encouraged to exist — in a culture that is rarely blamed whenever a player slips off the Earth. How many songs, poems, open-line laments, sports-talk post-mortems or morning columns must we voice before we study that culture for what it really is? How many stories about dead hockey players do we have to tell before they stop dying? (Don Healy/Regina Leader-Post)
A team by any other name … is not for Winnipeg True North was naturally receiving plaudits from around the country on Tuesday for returning a seventh Canadian franchise to Winnipeg, and well they should. But the group also seems oddly fixated on cutting ties with the past. How can this team not be called the Winnipeg Jets? Consider that all the recent stories about Jets merchandise selling out across town also included this coda from retailers: Jets stuff has always sold well. People have, for 15 years, longed for the return of the Jets. Now they are to be told that the prodigal franchise is to be called the Manitoba Somethings? Ugh. Time to put that vintage Hawerchuk jersey away. Same too the vintage Soetaert.
There is nothing wrong with embracing the city’s hockey history, and spare us the talk of a clean start. Yes, the Jets struggled in their first go-round, but the Boston Red Sox couldn’t win a thing for 86 years, and no one tried calling them the Massachusetts Moose.
True North Sports and Entertainment announced Tuesday that it has purchased the Atlanta Thrashers from Atlanta Spirit and will move the team to Winnipeg’s MTS Centre, marking Canada’s seventh franchise.