The Sin Bin
June 1, 2011
It's Official. Thrashers to Winnipeg. The city has gone without the NHL since the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes in 1996. The 90s and early 2000s saw a southern expansion for the NHL as cities like Winnipeg, Minneapolis, Quebec City, and Hartford lost their teams while Miami, Dallas, Phoenix, Anaheim, Nashville, and Tampa gained teams. Today's announcement could be just the beginning of a return to the North.
Winnipeg has lobbied for a team to move north of the border for years. Today they got their wish. Ideally the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes would have moved back to Winnipeg and the Jets franchise could have picked up where it left off. Atlanta beat them to the punch, sending their second expansion team packing. The Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary in 1980. Atlanta has been burned a third time.
So now the big question is what the Winnipeg Thrashers (or "The Winnipeg NHL team formerly known as the Atlanta Thrashers") will be called when the season starts up in October. Fans have been clamoring for a return to the Jets tradition.
In the wake of today's announcement, the Winnipeg Thrashers announced that a fan vote will decide their new name. It seemed a lock that the Jets would live. There's just one problem. The Jets aren't on the ballot. This is clearly not an oversight. Write-in campaigns have sprung up already, but the franchise will most likely ignore their pleas. This is a new team and a new era.
Here are the choices (courtesy of www.winnipegthrashers.com)
This is the current favorite. The Moose have been Winnipeg's AHL team. With the NHL back in town the Moose will be headed to Newfoundland.
This seems like a decent option, though the proximity to the Michigan Wolverines may not make this optimal.
This is the dark horse. At first it might sound like a team name from a video game, it actually grows on you. Imagine the team skating out onto the ice while they blast "Ride of the Valkyries."
An okay option, but again a nearby college has beat them to it.
Boring but feasible.
Manitoba Ice Barons
No idea what an Ice Baron is. Sounds like a villian in a Mario Bros. game.
This name would retain some of their Atlantian heritage but without being as obvious. Although Atlanta got the Braves from Milwaukee who got the Braves from Boston. (The more I read that sentence the more it sounds like I'm talking about STDs)
Surely nobody wants this. Not even Atlantans wanted it. And it seemed like such a great team name back in 1999. It is the state bird afterall. (Manitoba's Provincial Bird is the Great Gray Owl)
Somebody had to suggest it. Let us all hate that person forever.
They love alliteration in Canada. Imagine a really drunk guy saying Winnipeg Warblers ten times fast.
Winnipeg Dirty Birds
Are they just trying to piss off Atlanta?
My personal favorite. It's alliterative. Horribly insensitive seeing as Japan is in the midst of a nuclear crisis and we all know where Godzilla came from.
I say we all write in Winnipeg Coyotes just to screw with their heads.