Winnipeg wants the Penguins

The Toronto Sun Reports that Winnipeg is interested in aquiring the penguin francise. heres the article:

The deputy mayor of Winnipeg has asked Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux to consider moving his team to Manitoba. In a letter to Lemieux, Coun. Dan Vandal points out that the NHL is facing “difficult decisions” with an imminent labour shutdown, and says Winnipeg is poised to welcome the struggling club if it can’t make things work in Pennsylvania. The league is expected to suffer a long shutdown because of a strike or lockout when the players’ contract expires in September, as teams which face spiralling multi-million-dollar salaries deal with flagging attendance.

“If and when a whole bunch of different things happen” to bring in team revenue sharing or a salary cap, Vandal says, Winnipeg would be able to again ice a big-league franchise.

“We have to be cognizant of the changing issues in the NHL, and position ourselves to capitalize on those changes,” Vandal told Sun Media in explaining his inquiry to Lemieux, which is dated Dec. 9. “The quality of the fan here is second-to-none — so consider us.”

Vandal’s letter, which is not an official city inquiry, has received no response from Lemieux or the Penguins. A Penguins spokesman did not return calls for comment yesterday.

Winnipeg lost the Jets to Phoenix in 1996. Since then, construction has begun on a 15,015-seat arena which will open in November.

Former Jets ownership partner Randy Moffat says Winnipeg would be able to support an NHL club only if the league’s financial structure changes “considerably,” and he doubts that will happen.

Link to where story was found:

http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/TorontoSun/Sports/2004/01/01/301405.html