Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Winnipeg Jets Coming Home

Wow it looks as though the Phoenix Coyotes could be moving back to their former home of Winnipeg, according to the Toronto Star here.

The Coyotes fell on hard times and filed for bankruptcy last year which led to the N.H.L. taking over the team. In an odd twist, the Coyotes had a great season - for them - and even made the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

A potential move back to Winnipeg brings back some memories. The Jets were one of eight World Hockey Association (W.H.A.) teams absorbed by the N.H.L. in 1979. Who doesn't remember those great Winnipeg teams that won back-to-back Avco Cup trophies in 1978 and1979? Seriously, though, Canada deserves another N.H.L. franchise.

Some of the team's former players I remember quite well, such as Dale Hawercuk, Lucien DeBlois and Ulf Nilsson. Bobby Hull was probably their most noteworthy star, however, due to the fact that he jumped ship from the N.H.L. and signed a big contract with the Jets in the early 1970s.

I used to have a poster on my wall of former Winnipeg Jet, Teemu Selanne. He scored 76 goals during his rookie year in 1992; a record that still stands. I remember how disappointed I was when former Rangers GM Neil Smith wouldn't part with d-man Sergei Zubov for Teemu. Instead, he paired Zubov with Petr Nedved and got back Ulf Samuelsson and Luc Robitaille; an ill-conceived trade during the ill-fated summer of 1995.


Mr Moonlight said...

Now if only the Colorado 'Avalanche' would head back to Quebec City then all would be right in the hockey world --

I recall going to Quebec on a skiing trip to Mont Ste Anne in January 1996 and staring out the window of my hotel (Loews Le Concorde) at the snowy city streets below, saddened that the Nordiques were now in Colorado and on the cusp of winning their first Stanley Cup ....

Also on a ski trip in 1986 to Montreal, and took a fan-club bus trip to Quebec City to see the Canadians and Nordiques do battle on French ice -- wearing my Islanders jacket, hehehehee (sorry Sean :)

Of course the Canadians won the Cup that year, but man what wars those two teams had with each other, as they were both strong contenders in that era

-- MM

Sean G. Kilkelly said...

You went on some cool ski trips. I guess in '86 it was still safe to wear an Isles jacket.

I agree 100% those Nordiques/Montreal battles were epic. Every once in a while you hear that Quebec could get a team again. Let's hope that happens some day.

Oh and even I will admit that Andy Van Hellemond gave the series to the Rangers in 1995 on that Kovalev call.