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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

True North testing appetite for WHL team in city

Survey 'first step' to check viability

Posted: 04/6/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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TRUE NORTH, the company that owns the Winnipeg Jets, is doing some research with fans until Tuesday about interest in a Western Hockey League team for the MTS Centre.

About 10,000 surveys are being sent to present and former Jets and MTS Centre customers on the subject.

"This is a first step," True North and Jets director of corporate communications Scott Brown said Friday. "Our organization is doing due diligence to learn more about market and its appetite about the WHL.

"I don't know if anyone out there can answer with any accuracy if Winnipeg can support the NHL and WHL. And just saying that Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton do it is not the same thing as saying Winnipeg can do it."

Brown was asked if a WHL franchise was in play for the fall of 2013.

"It's actually premature to say we're even talking about that," he said. "What you should know is that this discussion has been going internally for years, whether to explore it.

"We've decided that we should try to have those answers on hand if the opportunity arose."

-- -- --

After sitting out 11 of the previous 13 games, defenceman Paul Postma was back in the lineup for two games earlier this week.

He scored twice in Tuesday's 5-2 loss against the Islanders but he tempered his enthusiasm for those stats on Friday.

"It's frustrating not being able to put up any wins right now but from a personal standpoint I think I've been playing a lot better, playing with a lot more confidence," he said. "That's something I have to take and get better with that.

"I feel better with the puck, feel I'm making better plays and as long as I keep getting better hopefully the team can continue to get better and we can mix in some wins."

JETCETERA: Winger James Wright, who has been out since March 21 and missed eight games with an upper-body injury, is an option for the Jets today. He was a full participant in Friday's optional practice... Winnipeg is 2-6-1 this season in games that don't have a normal evening starting time. Their only wins? A matinee in Ottawa and a 5 p.m. ET start in New Jersey.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 6, 2013 C3

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