When it was announced that Winnipeg would get a team, the clamor for the Jets name was loud and it was immediate. Maybe it is because the Jets moved when I was only 9, or maybe it was because I didn’t grow up in Winnipeg (and indeed have never even been to the city) but while I preferred Jets, I really wasn’t bothered over being a fan of the Moose or Falcons.
But in the end, it just had to be the Jets, didn’t it? Winnipeg fans clamored for a team for 15 years, waited patiently while TNSE waited patiently, and to have brought them back as the Moose does seem a bit wrong. I saw tweets where people said they wouldn’t buy any merchandise if it wasn’t the Jets, and I think that is absolutely dumb, but the sentiment behind it: that this isn’t just a hockey town, it’s a Jets town, resonated with Thomson and Chipman.
Speaking of, a ton of credit must go to those two and everyone at TNSE. I imagine they were leaning somewhere else, both for a fresh start and for the money they could make from selling new jerseys, tshirts, hats, etc. But probably not even they could have anticipated the outcry and public support that the Jets name received. And kudos to them for not rushing a name, despite the jokes about the ‘NHL’ appearing on the schedule, and even more kudos for listening to the fans, their customers. I can’t count how many owners would have either not known what the fans were saying, or heard their pleas and ignored them. That TNSE listened, carefully considered, and in the end made what nearly everyone thinks is the right choice is yet more mounting evidence that this franchise is in good hands. A slam dunk name choice is hardly reason to feel confident about the long term security of NHL hockey in Winnipeg, but the process by which the name was arrived at, and the people undergoing that process, make me believe I’ll be cheering on the Jets for life.