Monday, 30 May 2011

Rumours Say Tomorrow

While it may be a holiday in the USA with Memorial Day upon them, apparently the lawyers for the Atlanta Spirit are not getting the day off. The lawyers for True North Sports and Entertainment reportedly signed off on a deal to move the Atlanta Thrashers north, and all that the deal needs is the rubber stamp from the Atlanta lawyers to set this relocation procedure in motion. That means we're looking at an announcement most likely this week, but it sounds as though the wheels are turning for a midday announcement tomorrow. Of course, this means it's party time in the Manitoba capital, so let's look at some of the great NHL history of which Manitoba has been a part.

Dale Hawerchuk scores 50 goals - the first Jet to reach that mark.

Teemu Selanne ties Mike Bossy's rookie goal-scoring record.

Teemu Selanne breaks Mike Bossy's record later in the same game.

Don Cherry loves the Whiteout in Winnipeg!

Look, there are a hundred clips that I could pull that speaks about the love for the Jets that the people of Winnipeg have. But the fact of the matter is this: the NHL will return to Winnipeg this week, and possibly as early as Tuesday. Where will you be when Winnipeg gets an NHL team?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Online Marketing Consultant said...

To put this in perspective the last live game I got to see Byron Dafoe was the goalie, Vitali Yachmenev was the future of the franchise and Larry Robinson was the coach.

Photography Expert said...

You need to put a consistently good product on the ice. You also need stars people can gravitate to (e.g., Chipper, Joe Johnson, Matt Ryan, etc.). The Thrashers didn’t really promote their stars like they should have. The Dany Heatley incident didn’t help matters, either.

Anonymous said...

Dale Hawerchuk was the first Jet to score 50 goals???

Er...Perhaps you've forgotten The Golden Jet , (aka Bobby Hull), without whom there would be NO Winnipeg Jets in the first place. Hull's first 50+ goal season was the Winnipeg Jet's FIRST season in 72-73. It would be Hull's first 50+ goal season of four in a row. That streak would include the 75-76 season where he scored 77 goals (in a 78 game season) and 142 age 36...with the added responsibility of being head coach of team locked in a playoff race. For those counting, that's 1 more goal and 10 more points than the great Teemu Selanne got in his best (84 game) season.

I know the WHA has been covered here, which is GREAT and much appreciated. But it angers me that there's still this Orwell-esque "Memory Hole" approach to the World Hockey Association. Almost nobody under 40 has even heard of it. Folks who were, not just alive, not just fans, but hockey professionals who played/coached/refereed/owned teams seemed all but ball-gagged when it comes to the WHA. But I'm here to tell the youngsters out there, the WHA actually existed and it was fun as hell! Wild, crazy, exciting and totally unpredictable. Oh, and no "trap"! The 80's NHL everyone raves about owes damn near everything to the WHA, but it acted like it never existed.

And Winnipeg was one of the strongest WHA teams, able to take on anybody in the NHL.(Other than the 76 Habs. Nobody on Earth could beat that damn team.) The Jets were probably the "classiest" team in the league, but were still pretty wild & crazy. Hell, they even had a goalie who played without a mask! That's how much character the league had. If today's hockey had 10% of the character, I'd still be watching.

It was great to hear hockey returned to Winnipeg after it's completely inexcusable departure . Sadly, I must remind folks that, like the NFL's Cleveland Browns, this isn't actually the same team. The Jets aren't returning. They're just the failed Thrashers with an expensive re-packaging campaign. The Jets flew to Phoenix. But enjoy your booby prize and don't drink the NHL Kool Aid!

Anyway....I'm sorry. I just had to correct the small-but-significant historical oversight about the Jet's 1st 50 goal scorer. (Mind you, Ducky was great! Saw his 10 point night in person. Although it was against the lowly Leafs, it was still remarkable.)

Teebz said...

Hull did all his work in Winnipeg in the WHA which you've pointed out. This article was about the NHL and the NHL Jets.

No one is taking anything away from the WHA and how good the Jets were before the NHL ripped apart the WHA. Dale Hawerchuk was the first NHL Jets player to reach 50 goals - a significant achievement.

Anonymous said...

Teebz, you're right. Ducky was FANTASTIC with the Jets. Especially considering the truly ABYSMAL state of the team when he arrived. From WHA's 1st to NHL's worst. And NOT by accident. (Although for the anal-retentive record: Between back spasms, old man Hull managed 10 more points in 18 NHL-Jets games before going to Hartford & finishing up with an even older Gordie. (Damn impressive decade for a couple of geriatrics.)

Sorry if I came on too strong. I do understand the context of your story. My comment was intended as a sarcastic joke. It just got out from under me. It certainly was NOT meant to criticize this place, as I've noticed the WHA has gotten proper respect here. My irritation comes from the NHL's rewriting/omitting of history to the point where even a legit hockey blog (What dat?) aware of the history wouldn't automatically treat the Jets as one continuous, decades long, entity. It just shows how incredibly effective the NHL's propaganda campaign was. By comparison, nobody thinks the Raiders were anything different before/after the AFL-NFL merger. Nor has AFL history been erased. Hell, almost 50 years later the AFL is still right there in the basic league structure!

I know I'm not the forgiving type...But decades later, I'm not just still angry how eagerly the NHL threw the Jets (& other WHA survivors) to the wolves in the 90's (Coyotes, surely???)...It still burns my ass how badly the NHL treated the WHA before, during and especially after the merger. It's one thing to "win". It's another to be vindictive & cruel to the point where you punish yourself. (ie Birmingham-Atlanta might have been another Habs-Nords. Instead, Birmingham was forced to become struggling Atlanta's minor league bitch and both burned down.)

I'm sure you're very aware, but the NHL's "terms of surrender" were intentionally designed to make WHA teams look like complete jokes, thereby destroying the idea that they were peers. Six million bucks in exchange for keeping 2 skaters and 2 goalies? Hell, it took a fan "beer strike" just to keep pro-hockey in Quebec, Winnipeg & Edmonton. Years later, an attempt to rescue the dead St Louis franchise (aka Saskatoon Blues) was shot down. Not really on merit, but because it was led by Wild Bill Hunter, a WHA mucky-muck.

Considering how much the 80's NHL benefited from the WHA's players, coaches, new hockey cities, Euro-players and fan pleasing hockey style...the NHL should still be kissing WHA ass. But they continue to do the opposite. The merger was probably the best thing that ever happened to the (post-67) NHL. People forget how shaky the NHL was back then. Outside of the Original 6, only Philly was a proper success. If they didn't have such strong teams, Buffalo & the Islanders would've constantly been on the edge too. People just don't remember anything anymore and are really easy to manipulate.

Anyway...this bitter old man needs to shut the hell up now....and take some "medicinal brownies". Sorry if my ranting was out of place/context. Keep up the good work.

Teebz said...

LOL! No offence taken at all!

I actually have a story about how the Blues almost came to Saskatoon thanks to Purina, the pet food manufacturer, and Hunter up on HBIC.

The thing about the merger was that it was designed to discredit and weaken the WHA teams from the start. As you may remember, the Jets beat the Soviets and were, at one point, considered the best team in North America during their heady days in the WHA. The NHL wouldn't let that stand if they just merged with the WHA, so this was the most hostile of takeovers that they could conceive.

In the end, it really ruined what could have been a glorious era of hockey in Winnipeg.