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NHL team should stick with 'Winnipeg' name: Katz

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Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz says "it would be a mistake" for True North Sports & Entertainment to name their new NHL team the Manitoba Jets or Moose or Falcons or whatever the nickname may be, as opposed to the Winnipeg Jets or Moose or Falcons.

"I think that would be a mistake," Katz told reporters this afternoon, referring to the possibility the new club could have Manitoba in the name instead of Winnipeg.

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"You check out any (NHL team) in Canada, they’re all named after the city. No. 2, when you have any star entertainer come to perform in Winnipeg at the MTS Centre, all night long you will hear ‘Winnipeg, how  you doing? Winnipeg, it’s great to be here.’ Those are just facts, and it makes total sense to be Winnipeg."

Katz, however, said nobody has any control over True North’s decision to name the team it has purchased for a reported $170 million. The NHL’s Board of Governors approved the purchase today.

"For those who paid  $170 million, they have the right to name the team whatever they choose and we will support them," said Katz, even though he would prefer Winnipeg, not Manitoba.

"I had season tickets to the Winnipeg Jets. I was there when Bobby Hull signed on Portage and Main to a million-dollar contract, which was unheard of. I was there when we were in the WHA, the NHL. I was there crying with everyone else when they left. And now they’re back. So history plays a large role," Katz said.

"Do I believe it should be Winnipeg? One hundred per cent. Could it be Manitoba? Absolutely."

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