Tags: hockey


Coyotes Relocating to Hamilton?

OK. I know, this is a post that only I care about, but I have to speak up about this, just this once and then I'll shut up about it, maybe.

Once upon at time (1972-1996) Winnipeg had an NHL team, the Winnipeg Jets. Actually the first few years they were a part of a different league, but whatever, they were an NHL team. We loved them. I loved them. They rarely made it past the first round of the playoffs, but it didn't matter. We got to watch some amazing hockey. Then, the Jets were sold, and after a year long campaign to keep the Jets in Winnipeg, they were moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes. Gary Bettman didn't seem to mind moving teams so much back then. A few years before the Jets left Winnipeg, the Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas and became the Stars. A year before the Jets left, the Quebec Nordiques moved to Colorado and became the Avalanche.

Now, I am a realist. I understand that Winnipeg cannot financially support an NHL team. Winnipeggers are notoriously cheap. We don't like to pay big money for tickets on a regular basis. Once in a while, sure, but not season tickets.

However, it still bugs me that we don't have an NHL team. We have the AHL Manitoba Moose, who are doing rather well this year, but they are a farm team, which means whenever our guys are doing well, the parent team can call them up, which is great for them, not so great for us. It is a farm team. The players don't want to be here. Being sent to the farm team is punishment for bad performance. Starting on the farm team means you're not good enough, yet.  The quality of hockey is not that great. It pains me that my nephew is growing up a Moose fan, and not a Jets fan.

Now, the Coyotes have filed for bankruptcy and Jim Balsillie has offered to purchas the team on the condition that he move them to Southern Ontario, most likely Hamilton. This is going to get bogged down in all kinds of legal issues, and I have a strong feeling this sale is not going to happen. Gary Bettman doesn't like the guy, and he likes the idea of another hockey team in Canada even less, and he loathes the idea of moving a team out of the Southern U.S. even if loses more money than the National Reserve holds. Of course Bettman says that he doesn't support relocating teams. That didn't seem to be a problem for him before.

But it is the idea of moving the team, MY team, to Hamilton that irks me. Shouldn't he be moving them back to Winnipeg, or Quebec even? They belong back home with us, not Hamilton. Get Hamilton their own team.

Right. enough about that. Not bitter at all that we lost the Jets. Nope, not bitter at all.
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