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Wednesday March 31, 2010 10:17 pm

Moving back to Winnipeg is a bad idea

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: NHL, Rumors,

Teemu SelanneThere’s been a lot of talk in the last year about the Phoenix Coyotes moving back to Winnipeg from whence they came; some of it legit, some hopeful ramblings. It seems we’re talking about the former again as Jerry Reinsdorf’s name is once again in the mix as a potential purchaser of the franchise, this time with an out clause that will allow him to move the team. Winnipeg is being named as a potential city to relocate.

The decent thing about Winnipeg is that should they get a team back, even if it’s not Phoenix, they can call the team the Jets if they want to honor their history. The folks in Glendale chose to name their team the Coyotes and the Jets were able to preserve their tradition, unlike in cities like where the Giants or Dodgers in MLB play, or more recently with the Charlotte Hornets. The big question is would Winnipeg even want to be the Jets again? There’s a long list of cities that have gone the other route.

If Phoenix does move back to Winnipeg next season, it would not only give the city one of the better teams in the NHL right now, unless drastic roster changes take place over the summer. But how long would that last? After the honeymoon period in the first year or so, it’s as likely as not that attendance would dwindle again. Winning solves everything, and the first sign of the opposite from the team would be disastrous.

An existing arena in Winnipeg combined with a strong Canadian dollar makes the move look like a good one in the short term. It would certainly help stall the monetary black hole that currently exists in Phoenix, but it wouldn’t last forever. It would only be a matter of years before Winnipeg falls back under the safety line. However, if the league does go back to Winnipeg soon, it at least would give Teemu Selanne a chance to retire where his NHL career began. But don’t count on it.



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