Winnipeg Jets won't be called Jets, says city mayor
The NHL team coming to the city won't be called the Winnipeg Jets.
That's what Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz told QMI Agency Thursday. And if his recent statement on the sale of the Coyotes is an indication, the smart money is on the mayor.
"I told you (media) three weeks ago the Coyotes wouldn't be coming, and sure enough the Coyotes aren't moving this year. I can now tell you they will be called the Manitoba something."
That is despite the fact he says the Jets name would be his first choice.
"I relate to the Jets, right from the start when Bobby Hull signed that huge contract on Portage. We had the best line in hockey with Hull, Nilsson and Hedberg," said Katz, "Our hearts were just torn when the Jets left."
It's a sentiment echoed by many fans this week. A published report claiming the official annoucement was coming Tuesday sparked a frenzy of activity online and in the streets of the city.
By any objective measure, the Winnipeg Jets name appears to be a solid favourite among local fans.
Various online polls, including one conducted Friday by QMI Agency, show a majority of voters want the former name to be revived. In the poll on winnipegsun.com, the Jets garnered 58% of the 2,124 votes cast. The next-most-popular suggested name, Winnipeg Falcons, received a paltry 11% of the votes.
Such numbers would come as no surprise to anyone who attended Thursday night's flash mob in the city, where hundreds of fans gathered to celebrate the news of the Thrashers move to Winnipeg. Jerseys, T-shirts and flags adorned with the Jets logo, along with repeated chants of "Go Jets go!" left no doubt as what those fans wanted the team to be called.
Results of an online poll conducted May 20-21 at winnipegsun.com.