Bring Back the Winnipeg Jets

This is not in my words but written by Darren Ford of Winnipeg. You can find all of this information on his website at

Mr. Ford is trying desparately to get an NHL team back in Winnipeg. Being from Winnipeg, I sincerely hope that he succeeds.“With the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) due to expire in 2004, we are prepared to see major changes to an NHL in big trouble. The sport has been butchered beyond belief. This is an issue that needs no elaboration as we are well aware of its current state. This site ( is not designed to create hours of reading for you nor is it set out to rant about political issues and complain about Gary Bettman. It’s purpose is to find the way around these conditions and how to successfully return the Jets to Winnipeg. Many of us are very emotionally driven with regards to this topic. As Canadians, we feel ripped off. And we should. However, what’s done is done and we must focus our time and energy on getting a team back rather than whining about how the NHL and Barry Shenkarow turned on us. The NHL will come crawling back one day soon, begging for a market that will support hockey at all let alone somewhat. It sounds corny but it is not far-fetched. Minneapolis did it. They averaged 8,000 fans a game and lost their team. Now they have it back and sell-out nearly every game.

The support from other Canadian NHL cities will be there too. Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa would love nothing more than to see hockey in Winnipeg again. It creates a rival again, it gives them another layer of security and it reflects a promising future for the state of their teams.

The NHL is seeing the lowest TV ratings in years, falling attendances in most of their American cities and salaries that are out of control. Denver, Detroit and Dallas do well. I should hope so. They have owned the Stanley Cup for a decade. The Phoenix Coyotes are averaging 1200 fans less than our worst attended season in Winnipeg. They are now building them a larger arena. They are supposed to fill 19,000 seats every game now?!? Bill Guerin makes $9.5 million a season. The sport cannot sustain this kind of paycheck for any player of any caliber. I have never seen anything so backwards.

Where is Wayne Gretzky to bring his team (ironically the Jets of old) back to Winnipeg where he, of all people, knows it will have the support and could rally big money in a heartbeat? Where is Mario Lemieux? Does he honestly think he will do any worse in Winnipeg than in Pittsburgh? Does Atlanta really love the Thrashers or do they prefer the Falcons and Braves? Does Columbus really exist or did I have a bad dream? Nashville…need I say any more there. How did these teams end up in these places. Did someone honestly believe it would be easier to succeed in Raleigh than in Hartford or Winnipeg? Absolutely no offense to these cities but how would they feel if Winnipeg took their football teams away from them only to struggle even more thereafter?

Build a huge arena here and we will compare notes with these other cities in a couple of years.”

49 Responses to Bring Back the Winnipeg Jets

  1. Oilspill says:

    Lets hope they bring back the Jets, just to see the Oilers hammer them again.

    and again

    and again…

  2. Junk says:

    I couldn’t agree with you anymore on this one. The teams should be where the fans and the spirit of the game is at, not the corporate dollar. I am from Philly but I used to live (for a brief period of time) in North Carolina and every bar I went into had nothing at all supporting the Cains. In the entire Philadelphia metro area every bar has at least one thing supporting the Flyers. In fact in N.C. most of the people I knew that were local yokles from down there knew nothing of the sport nor could they name another team let alone how the game is played. They could have cared less just as long as NASCAR was there. I am not knocking NASCAR but that is what is cool for them so they have it. Robbing deserving cities of hockey is a joke and a slap in the face. Instead of Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus, Raleigh, and Phoenix having teams that have a moderate to weak fan base I think Winnipeg, Hartford, Seattle, and Portland (ME) should have a team. Hopefully the CBA will cut teams costs in half and somebody wakes up and brings hockey back to the proper cities.

  3. wayne2 says:

    You forgot Qu├ębec and Hamilton.

  4. habs_for_the_cup says:

    ya that would be great, if they can bring back quebec too…. as a habs fan, i would love to see more canadian teams because they all have rivalries between them………..Also, we have only 6 teams on 30 in the NHL and we are the best in the world…colombus, atlanta, florida, anaheim, tampa bay, phoenix, nashville, carolina, new jersey all have trouble selling the game… the solution , move them to Canada……

  5. CaptainCanada19 says:

    The Jets were my first favorite team, and when they moved it tore me apart. I still like the team and the players, but cheering for an american team sends shivers down my spine (Sorry, but its true. Some of you american hockey fans probably feel the same way.)

    I would love for them to get their team back. I’d go through the roof if it was Phoenix (Highly unlikely, because it would piss more than a few people off, building a new rink and all.)

    Winnipeg deserves a hockey team, along with many other Canadian cities. Lets just hope the new CBA allows it.

  6. Hockeyman93 says:

    I was never a Jets fan, but it would be one of the greatest events in hockey history should Winnipeg get another team.

  7. MantaRay says:

    J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets.

    I would love them back in the league.

  8. cwthrash says:

    If a team in Winnipeg could remain financially viable, I see no reason why not.

    Nashville is of course a prime candidate to get the axe. Pittsburgh should be as well, but the league probably wouldn’t allow it. Other teams are a lesser possibility. But if I have to explain once more why Atlanta can realistically sustain an NHL team and have them prosper, I can’t be held responsible to the extent of which I would likely blow up.

  9. aaron says:

    Ok, I’m getting sick of all this dissing on Columbus. I agree on the rest of them, but Columbus has been in the top 10 in attendance since they came into the league. Lay off them, at least.

  10. Habfan1234 says:

    It would be awsome if Winnipeg had thier team back once again. It was not an issue of selling out the stadium in Winnipeg, but it was an issue with the lack of luxury boxes in the arena. Once again it is all Bettmen’s fault because he decided to put hockey franchises into areas that don’t give a lick about hockey (Carolina, Nashville, Atlanta, etc. etc.). Bettmen just gave hockey franchises to the people who could show him the money and he disregarded the long-term interest of hockey in these cities. Of course the teams would sell out in the first two to three years but after a few inept seasons the fans stay away in droves. Most of these expansion teams after five or six years are still inept. These cities only have fans come out and support the team when they are winning, but when they are losing it is all a different story. Remember when Carolina had 4000 to 6000 fans, on average, watching the games in the arena (what an intelligent thing to do). When the PBA or bass fishing has more viewership in a city that has an NHL hockey team it is time to rethink one’s buisness strategy.

    I live out in Vancouver and whenever the Jets came to town it was a festive atmosphere. One incident that I remember most vividly was when Micheal Peca absolutly creamed Selanne at centre ice. It was one massive hit. Whenever Vancouver and Winnipeg played one was assured that it was going to be a great game with goals and many crushing body checks but unfortunatly that was taken away too suddenly for my liking.

    I hope that the CBA is fair contract that would allow cities that truly love hockey (Hartford, Quebec, and Winnipeg) to ice an NHL hockey team. It would be the best thing possible for the sport.

  11. phatrabbit says:

    Sweetness baby!This is how I see the matchups when the jets and Nords comeback to the league:

    Montreal VS. Quebec (More Fights lol)

    Winnipeg VS. Vancouver (Brawl time)

    Calgray Vs. Edmonton (fight Club part 2000)

    Toronto VS. Ottawa ( time to get this party Started)

    Oh yeah Bring back the Jets and Nordiques we need them back badly fans in Quebec , Manitoba and BC aren’t getting there moneys worth without some sort of rivaly happening between the teams I mentioned just before.

  12. brewstar03 says:

    Yeah, go Seattle! I wish some team like Nashville could move to Seattle! Oh man! That would be the greatest.

  13. Hockey_Fan says:

    I would love to see Quebec and Winnipeg have teams again. BUT NOT EXPANSION TEAMS! Move 2 teams to these places. Maybe Lemiuex should move the Penguins to a team in Canada. It would be great is there were less teams but half were in Canada and half were in the US.

  14. habs_for_the_cup says:

    ok.. sorry i didn’t know that fact, but anyway, you can’t deny that there is way too much american hockey teams that are ignored by the public of their region…..

  15. Hockey_Fan says:

    LOL! Remember the Colorado Rockies?

  16. cwthrash says:

    No offense to Lemieux and the Pens, but for all intents and purposes they are an expansion team. Heck, most of the teams new to the league outshine Pittsburgh in many areas.

    If Quebec and/or Winnipeg were to get a team, the fans would be happy enough that they really wouldn’t care where the team was before. It’d be nice for the fans there if they could get a decent team from the start; it would be nice if I made $1M a year in salary. Neither of those things are likely to happen though. Baby steps.

  17. BlueJacketshockey says:

    I can understand you wanting your team back, but to say that Columbus is a bad dream is anything but. Our fans show up to our games, how many teams can say that?

    We have our growing pains, I may be a Jackets fan but I been a hockey fan for many years.

    I remember how horrible Ottawa was for the first couple of years, now they are one of the best.

    Didn’t Gretzky call the Devils a Mickey mouse org at one time?Yet they won the cup 3 out of 9 years.

    Weren’t the Detroit Red Wings called the Detroit Dead Things at one time?

    It takes time to build a team, and we are not going anywhere get used to us.

    I get tired of people bashing Columbus, Nashville etc just because they do not have the loud mouth fans like the leafs,That does not mean they are not loyal or follow the game any less then a Leafs, Flyers or Rangers fan does.

    And as for Pittsburgh they need a arena asap. That place is a dump, next to the Islanders arena as the nhl’s worse.

    Ignite the Night!

  18. Avalanche114 says:

    Alright, i agree that there are some serious geographical flops in the NHL, but as of last season, Anaheim isn’t one of them. They just made it to the finals, they have one of the hottest goalies in years, and they are about two weeks shy of re-signing Teemu Selanne..(or so we are led to believe)

    I really don’t know where hockey can be sold anymore, I think the problem is not where the hockey is, it’s the fact that how it is, is straight up boring 75% of the time, change the sport, then think about moving teams. However I will say that if teams were to be moved, I’d like to see Nashville and Columbus taken out of the West, because they make no sense, attendance or no one gives a damn if the Columbus Blue Jackets make the playoffs, should they ever do so. At least the Wild are in Minny, where hockey is worshiped more than Jesse Ventura. I guess in the East, it’d have to Atlanta, Carolina, Florida or Buffalo. I’d like to see Canadian teams in Quebec and Winnipeg, but can you name any other Canadian cities capable of supporting an NHL franchise?

  19. Habfan1234 says:

    Or the Kansas City Scouts or the Cleveland Barons.

  20. bruinfan37 says:

    I don’t think hes saying that the fans would care in that way. I think he feels the same way as me. I would love to see the Jets. But we don’t need more than 30 teams in the NHL. Thats a big reason that the trap is here, and the Devils.

  21. bruinfan37 says:

    well written there

  22. Rampage_Winger says:

    I think what people fail to realize is that regular ticket sales isn’t the driving force of what keeps teams in a certain location. It’s luxury boxes! Guess who gets luxury boxes. Super freaking rich people! The United States is just up to the brim with them. I mean, when I was cleaning house, there was a nest of them in the air vents. I had to call pest control. Dear, me. What an episode.

  23. Rampage_Winger says:

    I have a similar post regarding luxury boxes only because I got impatient and didn’t read all the posts. Had I read this one, I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it. But I have a joke with mine, so it’s not entirely lost.

  24. devfanman4 says:

    Good comments! I agree whole heartedly! I wish the NHL wouldn’t have expanded so much, but there are hockey fans in those areas and they are die hard fans. The teams just aren’t as popular as the Leafs or Rangers or Flyers. Last I checked, though, hockey isn’t a popularity contest.

  25. Oilspill says:

    don’t count on Gretz to sleddog the ‘yotes back to Winterpeg…phoenix is one of the BIGGEST canadian vacation destinations, at least as far as western canada is concered. Thousands of canadians own condos or property there in some form. An NHL city there is vital. How can I golf 18 at some of the nicest courses in North America, then go to a hockey game later that night, in Febuary??

    lets hope they restructure hockey when the CBA runs out to allow small market teams to have a fair chance.

  26. MossRocks says:

    We are all a bunch of nostalgic idiots. It’s not even possible. How many people live in Winnipeg? A half million. Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary are all Canadian markets that are twice the size and struggling already. What could Winnipeg’s chances be honestly? Do you think the new CBA will create an NHL economy of ten years ago, whereby the Jets actually have a chance? The answer is no – the CBA will probably result in the status quo and preserve the situation we have grown accustomed to for the last five years. The salary cap will be a joke (the NHLPA will ensure that it is toothless) and revenue sharing will be minimal. (the Rangers et al. will kill this side) Greed will prevail and little will change. Everybody would like to see the Jets, but it is a pipe dream of epic proportins.

  27. MossRocks says:

    Nobody does go to games there. You can’t count on Snowbirds to provide your source of income – especially when all they care about are Canadian teams.

    The Phoenix market is the most over-stressed sports market in North America. It is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the USA, but it is growing because of immigration and an influx of senior citizens. The spending power of the bulk of Phoenix population is minimal and not sufficient to support every major sport. The people in Phoenix can’t afford to enjoy the sporting events they have and that is why the hockey team is a bust and nobody goes to watch football either. They are kidding themselves if they think Glendale Arena will help. It will just be more expensive and further away – maybe the increased suburb traffic will compensate, but it won’t make it any better.

  28. mikster says:

    Ok, maybe not Winnipeg but bring in another Canadian team where fans will actually appreciate the team.

    Get the Devils out of NJ….the “””parade””” was pathetic but i loved the booing at governor McGreevy.

  29. canucklehead says:

    Ah, great the old Canuck whipping boys back in the league, I Love it!

  30. Goldenscud says:

    Oh yes – I think they are the ancestors of the Stanley Cup Champ Devils!

  31. Goldenscud says:

    good ones. Any other ones? I can’t think of anymore.

  32. Goldenscud says:

    McGreevy sucks – my wife works for the state and they put a freeze on raises for two years!!

  33. titans says:

    Joe Namath ruled!!!!

  34. mikster says:

    No offense to Democrats, but that’s how stupid they are. People are stupid. They see “ah, a Democrat…i am one and i should vote for him” Yet those ignorants probably did not even hear this guy’s plan to increase taxes and such.

    Losers….idiotic losers, and ignorant.

  35. mikster says:

    Back to abnormalcy. I missed those pointless comments.

  36. cwthrash says:

    I agree.

    I mis-understood what he said about expansion teams. At first, I thought he was alluding to one of the current expansion teams. I realized he was then talking about a totally new team.

    I’m with most everyone as well, even though I support an expansion team. For me, 30 is too many teams right now. But trying to get rid of 4 or 6 teams would put the nail in the coffin, the NHL couldn’t recover from something like that. Losing two teams is an outside possibility.

    But I’m just curious if the comments towards contraction would be toned down if there were a few more Canadian teams, and some of them had such tough times keeping in operation. I’m gonna speculate a little and say the comments would be toned down a lot. A double standard if you will. But I’d probably be crucified if I brought that up to the general public, so I’ll let that sleeping dog lie.

  37. titans says:

    Only pointless to those who miss the point!

  38. habs_for_the_cup says:

    hey, im not saying that the ducks were a flop on the ice, i was talking about the stands and the fans….. nobody cared about the ducks in anaheim before tehy swept the wings in the first round

  39. Avalanche114 says:

    Alright, true, but all I was trying to say was that the Ducks will draw fans next year. So moving them would be finanically stupid, personally i think it sucks that the Ducks even exist in the first place, but they made a good run at it this year.

  40. OilersRush says:

    I have to admit the Blue Jackets fan is correct. The Jackets have been in the top 10 of attandance, and that area has been starved for a major pro team.

    I mean all they have out there as for pro teams is the Crew (MLS)&The Clippers, (Yankess AAA minor league team).

    I agree about the die hard fan’s, just because they are not seen on this site, does not mean they are not real.

    You made your point Jackets fan. Lets see if you can continue to sing the praises of the Jackets like Panther boy does with Florida, and CWthrash does with Atlanta.

    You just may educate people around here about Columbus after all.

  41. OilersRush says:

    Julius Erving Ruled!! Good old “Dr J”

  42. BlueJacketshockey says:

    Ill do my best.

  43. TC_4 says:

    and again, and again, and again!

  44. TC_4 says:

    Yeah, and the nucks NEVER ONCE got whiped on back in those days!!!

  45. TC_4 says:

    HOW IN THE FREAKING HELL DID NASHVILLE GET A TEAM IN THE FIRST PLACE??? I love how “Batman” thinks. “Hmmm, in what city in these United States are there ZERO sports played or seen…..Nashville! Perfect, they’ll HAVE to like us!!!” I bet he was THRILLED when the Houston Oilers decided to move there. Why did Atlanta get a team back when they failed once before, when they’re CLEARLY the worst sports town in North America? Why did we expand to TAMPA??? Could the guy be ANY MORE RIDICOULOUSLY STUPID??? I know I know, Tampa wasn’t his idea, but he had numerous chances to move them in the late 90’s. I bet they go TAMPA on the league and don’t make the playoffs for another 5 years. If we aren’t going to contract, then for gawd sakes, put these teams in cities where attendance and interest will be sky high(ie Winnipeg, Quebec city, and Portland), and the players will have an urge to play hockey, not the guitar, or wake up one morning and decide to head to spring training. I don’t like what was said about Columbus. This town is going to be a hockey town(after the college football season is done), and hopefully develope a fierce rivalry with the Wings.

  46. defenestrate says:

    “We only have six teams on 30 and we are the best in the world”…..

    Hello? Yep, that’s a stunning dynasty of Cup runs your Canadian teams have been putting together lately……

    Oh, that’s right, I forgot – there’s a CONSPIRACY against you………

    So – the solution is to move all those teams to Canada – where they will be about as economically viable as “Martha Stewart Home Essentials” are at K-Mart right now.

    Thanks for clearing that up for me, Damocles….

    SCTP – “Where every day is Bastille Day”….

  47. defenestrate says:

    It’s easy to miss your point when you’re wearing a hat….. did that heat bake your brain even worse?

  48. defenestrate says:

    So did Emerson Boozer……

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