Three ‘more likely’ names for the NHL in Winnipeg

Who knows what the Winnipeg logo will be at center iceThere has been a lot of discussion around the name of the NHLs new team in Winnipeg. We’ve talked about the fact that True North Sports and Entertainment (TNSE) won’t choose a name until after the drive to 13,000 is complete. This leads to a little speculation that they are leaning more towards not having the team named the Winnipeg Jets. It also means that they’re a little nervous on whether the deal will be approved by the NHL board of governors, though we think there’s an unlikely chance that will happen.

We talked about three unlikely names the Winnipeg franchise would get – Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg Thrashers and Manitoba Jets. While the latter one seems to be a possibility, we still feel it’s not as likely as some of the names that appear below.

Winnipeg Jets

Possible new Winnipeg Jets logoIt’s obvious that this is our choice. We’ve talked about it numerous times and that it’s also the choice of the fans. It’s internationally recognizable as a brand name, has a set of passionate fans – which considering the franchise ceased to exist 15 years ago speaks volumes – and merchandise sales that rival many other teams in the league. Any fan poll that has been run over the last few weeks since the rumors of TNSE acquiring the Atlanta Thrashers franchise from Atlanta Spirit Group surface, have consistently ranked at 60% or higher.

The campaigns that fans were consistently voicing were to bring back the Jets, not just bring back the NHL to Winnipeg. Our fan favorite is definitely to rename the team the Winnipeg Jets. As we mentioned that a clause with regards to the free agency aspect of players like Shane Doan could prohibit this transaction, there’s been plenty of proof brought up that this shouldn’t be the case. Case and point is the Cleveland Browns.

Winnipeg Falcons

Not Manitoba Falcons, but Winnipeg Falcons. The Falcon is Manitoba’s provincial bird, and it seems fairly fierce at that as well. While it would make sense to name it after the province, the only NHL franchise in existence that uses a state or province name as opposed to the city, is the Florida Panthers. That’s why we feel it would be the Winnipeg Falcons. In fact, that’s the reason we’ve eliminated any chance of the Manitoba name being used in the franchise name. Of course, we could be wrong.

On the other side of the argument is the fact that the NFL franchise in Atlanta is also named the Falcons. While the sports are different this could be perceived either as a sign of disrespect for the Atlanta population, or a sign of respect in keeping a piece of the Atlanta franchise alive.

The name itself makes logical sense, but based solely on the Atlanta Falcons name, we feel this one is less likely, but still a top five contender.

Winnipeg Rebels

Oh the Rebels. What a name. What a chance for some great logo opportunities. One commenter, Ash Slaughter, indicated they were quite partial to the Winnipeg Rebels name as it gives a bit of a glove tap to some history of the area (by the way, nice integration of a hockey term). His thoughts around this were some of the rebellious events that have occurred in Winnipeg and surrounding area. Events like the General Strike, Louis Riel and more. There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of rebellious spirit in Winnipeg, so this name could work Screaming “Go Rebels Go” from the stands seems a lot more welcoming than screaming something like “Go Warriors Go” or “Go Gold Go.”

There are many other names to consider for the mix as well. Names like the Bears, Monarchs, Ice Men, Warriors and others have surfaced as popular names. If you had to pick one name, any name (other than the Jets), what would it be? Come September when the return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg begins its fifteen-year, pre-season comeback, what are you hoping to scream from the stands?

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Marshall Stevenson regularly contributes to one of the best Winnipeg Jets blogs as an editor and co-founder while also working on JET FUEL – a documentary about Winnipeg Jets fans. Of course he's also behind the only official, unofficial Jets fan gear site. And as if he wasn't busy enough, a co-host on the popular Winnipeg Jets focused Jets Hockey Podcast.