The year was 1995 and the outlook was not good. The deal to build a new arena wasn’t going to happen and no one felt that hockey could be profitable in town. Fast forward to today and while the Coyotes have a great arena no one has stepped up to buy the franchise and keep them in Phoenix. No one believes they can be profitable.
What most Winnipegers don’t know, or don’t believe, is that there are some very passionate fans in Phoenix. They’re feeling exactly how we felt back in the mid 90′s when we fought to keep our team. The fans have defended their team and city all over the internet especially to Canadians, particularly those from Winnipeg, who claimed that Phoenix didn’t deserve the NHL.
Perhaps the only people who were just as happy when Atlanta moved to Winnipeg were the fans of Phoenix because they thought the “vultures might stop circling”. While some have, others have continued the quest to have Phoenix relocated to a more “deserving” city like Quebec City. While I for one would love to see a team back there, I’m not sold it needs to be Phoenix.
My opinion was changed during the filming of JET FUEL as I got the chance to speak to some of those passionate desert fans in person and saw that they were every bit as passionate as we are for our Jets. That’s why I’m urging Jets fans to be the respectful Canadians that we normally are and restrain ourselves from mocking the Coyotes and their situation. After all if anyone knows how unpleasant that feels it’s us.
You may still believe Phoenix doesn’t deserve a team, but you can at least relate to the fans of their team that will mourn their loss if/when that happens. Show some compassion and cheer for the Jets but don’t mock the Coyotes. Let’s give Doan a warm, Winnipeg welcome and put his uncertainties to rest.
Cheer loud, cheer proud, lets show the sporting world that we don’t hold grudges and why we are called “Friendly Manitoba”