Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The Jets shoot, we score

  • Print

Winnipeg hockey fans are fierce in their devotion to the game and sophisticated in their knowledge of it. So it was not much of a surprise to most of us that the Winnipeg Jets did not make the National Hockey League playoffs this year. This was, after all, pretty much the same team that used to be the Atlanta Thrashers, and, in that much longer incarnation, had hardly ever made the playoffs.

Being a sophisticated fan, however, does not make being a loser any easier -- everybody wants to win, and, although the Jets did not make the playoffs, everybody did win this year in one way or another. The hockey team found a new home in a new arena where the seats were sold out as soon as they went on sale. Despite the team's spotty performance, the fans have been extraordinarily enthusiastic. The MTS Centre has become famous -- or infamous, if you prefer -- as the noisiest arena in the NHL and that fan noise is reflected in the way that the team's home record is so far superior to its record on the road.

So even if the last game of the season on Saturday night against Tampa Bay didn't even matter except statistically, Winnipeggers win. They have the pride and the pleasure of an NHL franchise that they have always wanted and certainly deserve.

The biggest winner in all of this, however, is the city itself. The branding alone benefits the city as people across the country -- across the world, wherever hockey is watched -- follow the games and the team and learn a little bit about Winnipeg

More importantly, the return of the Jets, if you want to call it that, has given new life to Winnipeg's long-desolate downtown.

When it is hockey night in Winnipeg, there are actually people on Portage Avenue in the evening, something that has not been seen much in recent years. The bars and the restaurants are booming as 15,000 people come in from the suburbs to see a hockey game.

Most importantly, perhaps, the Jets have given a renewed sense of confidence to a city that has too long been doubtful about itself. It is an odd thing that something as seemingly simple as a hockey team could do that, but it is clear that it can -- you can feel it in the sense that the city now has of itself and its identity.

One can only imagine what might transpire if the Jets become contenders -- next year in Winnipeg, maybe.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Gerald Flood, Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 9, 2012 A10

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jim Flaherty remembered at visitation as irreplaceable

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • KEN GIGLIOTTI  WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / July 23 2009 - 090723 - Bart Kives story - Harry Lazarenko Annual River Bank Tour - receding water from summer rains and erosion  damage by flood  and ice  during spring flooding -  Red River , Lyndale Dr. damage to tree roots , river bank damage  , high water marks after 2009 Flood - POY
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 090728 / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS White Pelicans belly up to the sushi bar Tuesday afternoon at Lockport. One of North America's largest birds is a common sight along the Red RIver and on Lake Winnipeg. Here the fight each other for fish near the base of Red RIver's control structure, giving human fisher's downstream a run for their money.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google