Well, I've had some time to reflect
on the past 2 months. What an insane part of history
for our province.
This website's purpose has truly
come to an end. And it is truly hard to find the final
words for its final post.
We have a team, a GM, a coach,
a sold out arena for years to come, a home on the radio
(ahem) and now a logo and identity. I always thought
that the final post would include our new logo and sure
enough the timing is right. All of the negative notions
we fought day-in and day-out all turned out to be wrong,
every single one of them. The corporate support, the
ticket prices, the fan base, the NHL approval, the ownership.
It's incredible really. For those people to be THAT
wrong is astounding.
This dream was something I always
truly felt would come true. It is why I pushed on so
relentlessly even in the face of being exploited, at
times, for my pipedreaming, especially early on but
even right up until mid-May of this year. The fact of
the matter is, in 2003 I felt Winnipeg was on the cusp
of a re-birth. Now, in 2011, we already have Canada's
newest arena and newest NHL team and are about to open
its newest stadium, airport, national museum and IKEA.
I heard all of the talking heads
like Rob Warren tell me over and over that we couldn't
sustain such a resurgence, yet here we are. I heard
others tell me the NHL would never come back to Winnipeg
and would only use us as leverage for eternity, yet
there is a Winnipeg Jets webpage up on NHL.com right
You see I always, we always,
had to justify our beliefs and back them up, but "they"
never had to the do the same. Their stance was based
on 1993esque rhetoric and the same old local AM talk
radio jargon that hyptnotizes people into believing
we are a "can't do" city.
No more mosquito talk, pothole
complaining, or wind chill chatter. All of those things
come with living here. And now so do NHL goals, assists
and sellouts. Yes sellouts...in ink for years to come
with a waiting list that stretches well into the next
But we can't afford it, remember?
But lets move to the positive.
Quite simply we knew we would see this day. If you didn't
know it, you could at the very least come here to believe
it without being made to feel like an idiot. If I provided
that for you, then I am happy.
I have taken my fair share of
criticism over the years (why I'll never know) but mostly
people have been nothing shy of incredible and so supportive.
I appreciated all of it and will cherish this journey
for the rest of my life, not only because we succeeded
but because of all of the incredible people I had the
pleasure of meeting from the spring of 2003 right up
until the draft last month in St. Paul. That experience
by the way was outstanding. From all of the journalists
that covered my quest to Mark Chipman himself, who has
become a great friend of mine. Shaking Mark's hand right
before he made yet another monumental announcement,
that of our team name being Winnipeg Jets, was a proud
moment for me. Being greeted by Steve Yzerman, meeting
Dustin Byfuglien, and Mark Sheifele and his family.
Painting the town white in a 16 seat Hummer limo. What
a cap-off to the greatest month in Winnipeg history.
June of 2011. Will we ever forget that month?
I don't need to go on in-depth
about all the ideas on this website that ended up being
correct. You know that already. You've been on here
for a long time. You've been ridiculed for believing.
You get it.
Regardless of whether you believed
or not, we all get to enjoy NHL hockey now for years
to come and, with the front office that we are forming
and culture we are creating, a Stanley Cup championship
is certainly something we can truly conquer as well.
And together we will enjoy every
minute of it.
Thank you from the bottom of
my heart for hanging with me all this time. Dream big,
achieve big. I hope you all follow me over to "The
JetStream" at the Winnipeg
Free Press, the best chat forum for everything
Winnipeg Jets including my commentary that will also
be found at DarrenFord.ca come this fall. The boards
will be extensively moderated and a whole lot of fun
too! Also, follow JakesTickets.com for all of the updates
about the kids my son Jake will be sending to NHL hockey
by giving his tickets away in partnership with True
North and their foundation, still to be named. The Winnipeg
Free Press provides a very credible platform for me
to take this to the next level and True North provides
Jake's Tickets with deserving kids that can't otherwise
afford to get to live NHL hockey and are maintaining
their grades and school attendance.
I debated for a long time on
what path to take with JetsOwner.com. There was a compelling
argument to keep it alive and yet also one to lay it
to rest. I ultimately chose the latter. I wanted to
let this website stand alone in history and be remembered
for what it set out to accomplish rather than re-invent
it into something that it was never intended to be.
It will remain up on the net, as will the boards, to
view but never to be updated again.
I am sad and happy all at once.
My very first media attention
came when a short letter to the editor was printed in
Sun in May of 2003. The comment from the editor
after my piece was "don't hold your breathe, Darren".
And so I built a half-assed website and the rest as
they say is history.
I did hold my breathe, and over
8 years later, I finally exhaled as I sat down in my
newly chosen, centre ice seats to Winnipeg Jets NHL
hockey at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
I just sat in my seats and stared
at the arena for about 5 minutes. And then I smiled.
See you at opening night!
June 5, 2011
Last Chance for T-Shirts!
Miss out on the big party? Still want a Mission:Accomplished
Collector's T-shirt? Well thanks to Popeye's Supplements
this week will be your chance!
Due to logistics and the postal strike, Popeye's has
agreed to distribute the shirts at their Winnipeg locations
(if demand is high enough, Brandon as well) starting
Monday, June 6th. It's your last chance to grab one
of these rare t-shirts and help Jake's Tickets to send
underprivilaged kids to NHL hockey!
It's really simple. $20 cash and carry. That's it!
No strings. Simply pop into one of these locations and
grab your way to show people that you believed all along!
WEST WPG - #C130, 666 St. James Street
EAST WPG - Unit B, 930 Nairn Avenue
SOUTH WPG - Unit #170-1600 Kenaston Blvd
June 1, 2011
8th Anniversary, End Of The Road
I suppose this photo says it all. The naysayers who
said the NHL would never come back here, YOU WERE WRONG!
I personally thanked and shook the hands of David Thomson,
Bill Daly, Gary Bettman and of course Mark Chipman who
personally escorted me into the biggest press conference
in history. That I will never forget.
What a day. Lots of photos and video to share soon.
See you at 4Play on Friday, the biggest party in town!
3pm until close!
May 24, 2011
Yes, it is surreal to type these words, in fact I am
shaking, but JetsOwner.com is making it official. The
Return of the Jets to Winnipeg has become a reality.
We did it! We are back!
The NHL has landed back in Winnipeg!
I repeat, MISSION: ACCOMPLISHED!!
After an 8 year journey of "pipedreaming"
and being deemed as lunatics, the National Hockey League
will once again call Winnipeg home. We have proved the
naysayers wrong. Everything that this website and campaign
laid out as steps to bring the NHL back has systematically
come true. Now here we are, awaiting a season ticket
drive to fill MTS Centre to the rafters and show the
world that the best hockey fans on earth are back! And
we're gonna be loud and we're gonna be proud. And we
will not lose this team again.
Special thanks to Mark Chipman and everyone
at True North Sports & Entertainment for
their vision, patience and persistence. Our dream was
indeed Mark's dream as well. I told all of you faithful
followers to trust me. I hope you will all remember
this well into the future. That is all I ask. I have
learned so much and met so many great people along the
way and it has truly been a remarkable experience for
I will have further closing words in the coming weeks,
but for now we party.
Specifically at a MUST-ATTEND event
that will serve as the official JetsOwner.com celebratory
extravaganza. Sleeman Breweries presents the Mission:
Accomplished bash at 4Play Sports Bar,
Friday June 3rd, 2011 starting at 3pm and running
all night. The event will help support Jake's Tickets,
a new idea I am heading whose goal is to send under-privilaged
kids to an NHL hockey game. Many different kids and
a guest will enjoy NHL hockey when they otherwise may
not be able to afford to. NHL too expensive? Well Jake's
Tickets will help that many more kids be able to see
their NHL heroes on the ice, live at MTS Centre each
year. This event will help reach this goal to purchase
NHL tickets specifically for this reason. Entry will
cost only $20 which also gets you an official collector's
Mission: Accomplished T-shirt, a complimentary pint
of Sleeman beer and other cool Sleeman swag plus there
will be a limited supply of refreshing Freixenet Cava
to toast later in the evening. In additon there will
be an incredible Jets memorabilia auction with loads
of autographed jerseys, photos and more! Sorry, no tickets
in advance, just show up ealry and file in!
We expect many key members of the media and politicans
to be in attendence.
Join me in celebrating this monumental achievement
and greatest day in Manitoba's history. It will be fantastic
to finally meet all of you and for you all to meet eachother
after all these long and waiting years.
Don't forget. 4Play Sports Bar. Friday, June 3rd. 3:00pm
to the wee hours of the morning! You can't miss this
night...See you there!! Date subject to change depending
on official announcement by TNSE and the NHL.
May 21, 2011
Brunt: Deal Is Done, Thrashers to Winnipeg
Well the world didn't end today, so that is good. Wouldn't
that just be our luck, we're on the verge of getting
our NHL team back and Armageddon strikes!
Speaking of eruptions, all hell did break loose on
Thursday when Stephen Brunt of The Globe and Mail declared
it official that True North Sports & Entertainment
had struck a deal with Atlanta Spirits to sell and relocate
the Thrashers to Winnipeg, Manitoba. It's a story he
stands by still today yet others refute. Are we dealing
with Semantics? Quite possibly.
The fact of the matter is, this deal is, at the very
least, so far along that it need only be signed and
delivered to the NHL Board of Governors who will be
quick to give approval. The deal is one that has been
in the works for some time, hence my "eyes in two
directions" comments months back. Atlanta was always
Plan A, and Phoenix was always the "well I guess
if we have to" kind of situation, one that used
Winnipeg as leverage and also, may I add, took the spotlight
off of Atlanta's issues which was a very good thing
for us here in the hockey hotbed of the world. TNSE's
purchase price is likely set, but how the money is divided
among the NHL and Atlanta Spirit group may be a remaining
Meanwhile it has also been reported that next Friday,
the Manitoba Moose will relocate to St. John's, Newfoundland
to become our very own AHL affiliate while the Vancouver
Canucks will look elsewhere for an AHL partner, quite
possibly the Chicago Wolves who will have been left
stranded by the Atlanta Thrashers impending departure.
True North has been quiet, underground and by the book.
Just the way the NHL likes it. Sticking to this protocol
only increased our chances of seeing this day come to
Thanks to the incredible number of media requests to
cover the story that I dealt with the past couple days
(over 25 by the way) and I apologize to those whom I
could not accommodate. And a special thanks to everyone
at The Hustler & Lawless Show and Illegal Curve
show on 1290 Sports Talk Radio for having me as a guest
the past few days. I truly appreciated the comments
I received from all callers and the treatment I received
from all staff down at the BOB/FAB station.
Once JetsOwner.com feels confident enough, the meter
will reach its maximum level. And it will echo 'round
As always, stay tuned while the key players get this
done and make it official. Only then will Portage &
Main swell to tens of thousands, not hundreds like Thursday
night. Only then will we line up to grab our seats to
the hottest ticket in town and the cinderella story
of the decade in Canada.
May 16, 2011
With all the media attention our dream receives now,
it isn't often I single anything out anymore. In the
beginning, a tiny letter-to-the-editor would justify
But this is not 2003 and Frasier has been off the air
for some time now.
Friedman has reported that NBA Atlanta Hawks and
Phillips Arena are to be sold separately to local interests,
leaving the Thrashers franchise for Winnipeg's taking.
The soon-to-be new owners of the Hawks and Arena have
no interest in hockey and all of the red ink that comes
along with it, upwards of $32 million last season alone
according to several reports. Add to that the dismal
future of now needing to rent the building off new NBA
owners and owning an NHL franchise in The Big Peachtree
seems anything but peachy. The 41 vacant dates could
be much better served with concerts and other events
that actually generate revenue.
It has also been widely reported that the NHL are not
fond of ASG and therefore would like them to be out
of the hockey world. Whether this is true or not still
doesn't change the fact that no new suitors are stepping
up as replacements. Well not anyone that does not have
a 204 area code anyway.
As my hints for a long time have suggested (eyes in
two directions, hurry up Phx you are holding things
up, the 'ol 99% meter reading debacle) our sights were
never aimed at Glendale to begin with. Mind you, that
is a team we very well might have ended up with.
But now we hang tight while True North continues their
underground approach. It's gotten us this far so I'd
say it's safe to bet on it just a tad longer. Like I
always tell people, I've run this marathon for a long
time, I'm not tripping at the finish line.
I said I would not mis-lead. And I have not.
Thanks for the insane amount of kind words on the boards
and in personal emails. I try to reply to them all but
I haven't invented an 8th day of the week yet.
Stay tuned for details of a great event at 4Play Sports
Bar sponsored by Sleeman Breweries and Freixenet Cava.
We can all meet once and for all!
April 29, 2011
Revised Ticket Pricing
All the sudden everybody wants to be JetsOwner.com
now! Oh the irony.
With all the recent rumours surrounding anouncements
at Portage and Main and other myths, I'm here to make
sure you keep your feet grounded. Have a quiet weekend
and relax. This thing will heat up before you know it.
Apologies to the many media requests I've had to turn
out the past few weeks. There are only so many hours
in the day.
Thanks to Tom Brodbeck for giving me some love in The
Sun last week. Much appreciated. Gutsy to call out his
I have tried to hint as best as I can at what is going
on for months now. None of this is standard procedure
but the rules to this game have been made on the fly.
Please disregard 80% of what you hear. Maybe 20% is
anywhere near accurate.
That being said, please take a peek at my
slightly revised ticket pricing chart, according
to me. Pricing boundaries are not concrete, but a guestimate
and few zones have gone up slightly, but not enough
to make any significant investment changes.
Talk amongst yourselves to discuss what you can afford
and get your ticket group ready.
April 14, 2011
"It May Be Time To Find That Old Portrait
Of The Queen"
And with that statement from CBC HNIC the national
love affair with Winnipeg will begin. We are in the
final stretch run. Apparently St. James is getting a
team as well because the Atlanta Thrashers will need
a home as well. Maybe MTS IcePlex can be expanded to
This past week I have learned a great deal of information.
It is time to cheer on a Calder Cup Championship, then
work on a Stanley Cup thereafter. The day has finally
come where everyone, almost everyone anyway, believes
in what this website set out to see happen. Some needed
a push, a kick, a time machine...whatever....but they
are here now. It is fun to finally be in this seat isn't
I will call to arms the army of JetsOWner.com supporters
at some point and I hope you all will be ready to answer
the call. A gathering, not to push our cause (that is
LONG over with), but to celebrate. None of this happens
until there is reason, officially, to do so.
Until such a time, get out and cheer on your Manitoba
Moose. If you haven't already, get a feel for the building.
Get a feel for how loud it has the potential to be and
how intimidating it will be when it is full to capacity
of Manitoba hockey fans.
March 23, 2011
Regarding The Message Boards
Just wanted to drop a little note regarding
the message boards. While these are open discussions,
we all have to remember that how we conduct ourselves
on these boards reflects on Winnipeg as a city and us
as citizens of it. While the moderators do a great job
trying to keep the boards clean, there is always the
odd thread or comment that "slips" past the
goalie due to the shear volume of participants. While
the message boards are not directly correlated with
content on JetsOwner.com, they are an extension of the
movement as a whole. Most members are civil and carry
out mature and well-mannered conversations. Unfortunately
some continue to indulge in inappropriate behavior involving
personal attacks, whether it be racial, religious, sexist
or otherwise abusive.
This includes those that reside in other cities that
may or may not be losing their franchise one day. Merely
being a fan of their struggling team should not render
them open to ridicule or abuse. Being a moderator is
certainly not a paid job. None of this is and I do not
have the additional spare time to police an excessive
amount of this sort of conduct. Therefore I ask that
you take it upon yourself to represent this city and
province with class and integrity. You would not believe
how many people log on to these boards now. Most still
only view the comments and obstain from posting themselves.
This should be something you take pride in. Pretend
it is your real name that you use...remember...I have
March 4, 2011
F5 In Full Gear, Sports Radio 1290 Tonight
Hope everyone is enjoying (or exhausted
from) the media frenzy. Had a few of these haven't we;
but none with this significance. And yes, yes I've seen
the Jet Meter that TSN is using on TV and their website.
I spoke with Dave Naylor and we had a good chuckle about
its origin. I told him to imagine 8 years of GRADUAL
movement on our meter. It's been quite the ride.
Speaking about media, our newest radio
station, and key ingredient for an NHL return has invited
me to join them in studio this evening. The
Hustler & Lawless Show on Sports
Radio 1290 will air tonight from 4pm-6pm and
the entire show will be featuring one topic. The NHL's
return to Winnipeg. Join us at 4pm for two hours of
our favourite topic. You can tune in to 1290am or listen
live online at www.sportsradio1290.co
March 1, 2011
NHL's Savior: Winnipeg?
It was once (more than once actually)
told to me that Winnipeg's ideal situation to re-gain
an NHL franchise would be one that included more than
one team being in trouble at the same time. It was a
tall order yet, as JetsOwner.com laid out, one that
What we have before us is a mess of epic proportions
for the NHL. Two franchises, one of which they own,
in dire need of more than a band-aid to stop the hemoraging.
Band-aids aren't cutting it any longer. Reconstructive
surgery is what is needed, and fast.
While the league uses Winnipeg, ironically, as leverage
to push the corrupt deal through in Glendale, the Atlanta
Thrashers wait in line to be the next league-fix. The
NHL isn't about to go into the ownership role again,
not after the debacle in Gongdale. No, that two-year
long disaster was only intended to keep an NHL team
away from the dirty hands of Jim BALLSillie. There have
been several bluffs that have gone sour in the desert.
It now seems that only fiction could come up with the
what has gone on in Phoenix over the past 18 months.
Sadly it is all too real.
For us in the Manitoba capital, we are tired of the
games. We want hockey games. We want this to be over
once and for all. While Gary Bettamn doesn't think of
Winnipeg as the ideal solution, it is one that he will
have to settle on at some point soon. His magic wand
will not likely find a way out of the legal mess that
is the Phoenix Coyotes, nor will it dig up someone wanting
to purchase an NBA team, NHL team and Arena in Atlanta,
What he should be ecstatic about is the idea of having
perhaps the most solid ownership in the league with
Mark Chipman and his partner David Thomson. This is
the kind of reputation the league needs. Smart, well-heeled
owners with top notch front offices...and amongst the
most passionate fan base in North America. Gary Bettman
is lucky to have such patient and loyal people that
want to be part of the club that is the National Hockey
League. Because really, who else is there? In 2011,
Our 15,000 seats will be full, loud and proud. And
the SHED district that will unfold around MTS Centre
will generate more than an extra 2,000 seats could EVER
provide for the overall sustainability of big league
hockey in Winnipeg. Brilliant really.
We just need to fill the seats and generate the noise.
And I think this website has successfully done so for
almost 8 years.
From pipedream to our new team, whoever and whenever
Everyone "gets it" now. That's all I ever
January 31, 2011
Speculation From A Non-Blogger
The NHL has no leverage with Glendale
if the only market in North America that has any interest,
ability and an actual bid to take on a franchise (Wpg)
goes ahead and gets their team from Atlanta.
Then Glendale says "ah-ha, what do we have here...looks
like the NHL has nowhere to turn to now that Winnipeg
has got their team...hmmm, I think we'll need another
year to find an agreement here in Glendale"
What could the NHL do then? They'd be screwed with
owning the Coyotes another year and the entire BoG would
flip out. There would be nowhere to put them with Winnipeg
off the table!
They CAN however, tell Winnipeg that we have to take
the Coyotes off their hands and tell Atlanta they need
to spend another year (or so) trying to find local owners.
Maybe in another year Quebec has their ducks in a row.
Bottom line: Phoenix was first in line at the Shite-Storm
Stand. Atlanta is 2nd priority. Period.
Winnipeg pressure gets Coyotes deal done? NHL is VERY
appreciative and lets Winnipeg in on Atlanta.
Preparations in full swing here at home to welcome
either team? Definitely.
January 26, 2011
State Of The JetsOwunion. AKA:
Worst Header Yet!
Dreger is a pawn. 3-5 years!? I am so
glad I didn't get into journalism back when I was 18
(I was seriously considering it until the Jets left
and the idea ripped my heart out). The profession has
largely become being people's pawns or noting "sources"
that have no name.
Hey, I can't disclude (is that a word?) myself from
that realm, however I can tell you my sources are impeccable.
On that note, I must come clean with all of you because
I have always been straight up with you. While I expected
the PHX thing to crumble, and it likely will, The Choose
Day thing was based off of something entirely different,
if not uncertain to begin with.
There is a lot of posturing going on right now and
this issue is as sensitive as you could possibly imagine.
I have led a privilaged existence thus far and WILL
NOT mess that up.
We here at home, ie True North, have created an iron-clad
atmosphere by which to run and successfully operate
an NHL franchise, yes with a 15,000 seat arena. In fact,
it will blow your mind how little an extra 2,000 seats
would matter when you see how much thought has been
put into creating a sustainable environment for the
NHL here in our smallish, yet hockey-mad prairie city
So when Darren Dreger plays his pawn role on CJOB via
telephone, I Pay No Mind (sweet Beck reference for you
90's kids). Myself, I have to live in this city for
the rest of my life, proudly. Therefore I will hold
back stuff, and ideas, which I've done since 2006. That's
when I learned my goal to find a JetsOwner had come
to an end. I found the guy that thought like I did and
had Winnipeg in his blood like I did....just with a
fatter wallet and saavy business skills, not to mention
a dynamite person in general. It felt amazing. But patience
would have to be the greatest trait. If you couldn't
hack the wait, don't fish and cut bait.
As per usual, I have no idea where I'm going with this
now. But I think I will let things roll as they may,
rather than guesstimate when press conferences will
occur. My respect for the top dog runs too deep. I have
many sources but it doesn't do any of you any good to
lose sleep or decode my cryptic messages (which by the
way have me either howling or shaking my head, but none-the-less
are usually hysterical, but the odd time are bang-on,
you members know who you are )
Anyway, listen, we are in the position that was always
the ideal one...two teams hurting and only one place
on the continent that can adopt one of them in a week's
notice...Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. And I dare anyone
to explain what other city exists. They do not. Quebec
City will one day. But not today.
Today there is one place. And there are two teams and
so we sit in the driver's seat.
Hey, I say St. James and Charleswood get a team each.
We make the Bill Clement Parkway a draw bridge and the
Cheers to all of you. I am not saying I will be silent,
but I will think harder before I click "post message".
January 10, 2011
Thrashers, Coyotes & Our Own Backyard
Things are heating up in the mainstream
John Shannon of Sportsnet (4:22 mark) has reported
that the Atlanta Thrashers are to be sold to the NHL
as is desired by the newly reduced 5-man ownership group
Atlanta Spirit. Since settling their lawsuits it is
believed that the remaining owners are not so keen on
keeping the bleeding hockey team around to leach off
of the richer NBA Hawks. Furthermore, he reports that
once the NHL has control of the team it will be flipped
to True North Sports & Entertainment and moved to
Winnipeg for the upcoming 2011-12 season. This isn't
the first we've heard of the Atlanta Thrashers moving
to Winnipeg but things certainly seem to be heating
up and this will not be the last we hear of it. Since
I refuse to be the guy who starts or breaks the news,
I do feel comfortable passing along mainstream news.
Things are too tight and too close to be messing up
the process now. I will respect that process as I always
Meanwhile in the desert, Matthew Hulsizer still seems
far away from "purchasing" the Phoenix Coyotes
and keeping them in Glendale. In a less-than-ideal bond
market the city still needs to sell $100 million worth
of municipal bonds in order to "buy a parking lot".
Sigh. In other words in order to pay for a majority
of the purchase price of a sports team that garners
little interest even when parking is free.
Right here at home is where the exciting stuff is happening.
Preparations for the big league are coming together
nicely should the NHL have a team (or two) to offer
us. Just know that we will be ready when the call comes.
Some pretty cool stuff is in our horizon.
Just remember at the beginning when this whole thing
was pie-in-the-sky. Now there are potentially TWO teams
to choose from.
Stay tuned to CJOB. They will flip back to a pro-stance
again without a doubt. After all, it's safe again.
The bottom line is we have an extremely smart group
in True North. I love it when a plan comes together.
December 22, 2010
Merry Christmas And A Very Happy New Year!
December 16, 2010
The Neverending Chapter
There is officially a new definition for
the term Horse and Pony Show. In this case, the Glendale
city council and their two city "managers".
Listening to Ed Beasley and his assistant Horatio Skeete
was like politely hanging tight while a 2nd grader says
Grace at the dinner table. This is a massive spend (unheard
of actually) for a tax base the size of Saskatoon on
a dead sport and franchise that has lost triple the
amount of money that is now being pledged to keep it
afloat for 5 additional years. You'd think they could
put forth someone who can public speak. Or a mayor who
was paying attention enough to remember her questions.
"That's what happens when you get old". What?!?
Are you kidding me. Farting accidentally happens too,
and that might have been the only ridiculous thing that
DIDN'T happen during this important council meeting.
What Glendale, Arizona has done is unprecedented in
pro sports. It's beyond absurd. Never mind that this
team should already be in Winnipeg (or never should
have left in the first place, but that's another can
of worms); but two other suitors for the Phoenix Coyotes
have been turned down for wanting less yet
Matthew Hulsizer is getting 59% of the purchase price
covered and 6 years worth of losses covered by the tiny
city of Glendale. For a sport that doesn't belong in
the desert and for a team that has been riddled with
red ink since 1996. A total of $197 million is being
coughed up. That is more than the arena itself cost.
And who are they kidding:
"Purchasing parking lots". Translation: we
are going to pay 59% of the team for you.
"Managing fee" Translation: we are going
to cover all of, or most of your losses
"Crucial tenant" Translation: we don't recognize
that an AHL team could draw nearly the same arena revenue
(larger crowds, third the cost). Can the city not find
ANY other tenant for a brand new arena besides the NHL?
"Parking revenue" Translation: we expect
that the few thousand people who REGULARLY come to games
and park for free, will now pay $20.00 to park. What
about those people on the bubble about going to games?
Gimme a break. Every fan would have to drive one vehicle
to every game and they still wouldn't cover debts.
"Other fees to generate revenue" Translation:
we don't have a clue what fees we speak of. Nobody does,
yet we expect you to assume they will be generated adequately.
Oh by the way, those type of fees are already being
used to pay off the arena construction as it is.
"609,000 people went to games last season "
Translation: we expect you to believe that 14,850 people
went to every game on average. Wow. Any picture I've
ever seen the past few years there has been 3,000-4,000
people. If there was EVER 14,850 people how many were
free? With free food? Where is the revenue stream from
free food?? That's a loss, not revenue!
It is absurd that the NHL would allow this to occur,
but the bottom line is...well...the bottom line. The
other 29 owners (i.e. Bettman's bosses) just want their
$6 million out of this and want to wash their hands.
They couldn't care less that some deer-in-the-headlights
city council in Arizona is getting raped in the process.
They just want out.
And you can't blame Mr. Hulsizer. Hell, I'll take a
crack at owning the team.
With that rant off my chest...
The JetsOwner.com story isn't over, but the final chapter
seems to be lingering on. That being the chapter where
we get our team. We have the JetsOWNER. We've had that
for quite some time, although only recently made public.
The Coyotes returning would have been a fairytale ending
for this quest. A quest that was nearly, as in 20 minutes
nearly, complete back in May. The NHL isn't toying with
us. Okay maybe they are. But they are sincere in being
okay to see us back in the league. The press conference
set-up at MTS Centre that day with the simple figure
"13,000" on the scoreboard proves it. A select
few individuals in this city also have an extreme collector's
item...a 2010-11 NHL schedule where the word "Manitoba"
is seen 82 times.
I can tell you one thing that should be of comfort.
Our buyers remain very positive and patient. I suppose
we should all...gulp...do the same. Nothing that happened
down in the desert could have been influenced by True
North. It was lunacy on live TV.
If you've ever believed in suck-up points. I'll tell
ya, we have a million of them with the NHL
A quick note regarding the Jet-O-Meter. I have had
inquiries as to why it hasn't dropped to a lower number.
The reason is quite simply because nothing has set our
mission back. Maybe timeline-wise it has but not fundementally.
By this I mean a lowering ofthe meter would have to
include some form of blow to OUR end of the equation.
True North saying they are no longer pursuing an NHL
team would certainly qualify. Or the NHL saying there
is no way in hell they are going back to Winnipeg. Luckily
this isn't the case. And so it shall stay stuck at 96%
until we find our final 4% in the form of a relocated
I'll be on The
Fan 960 in Calgary tomorrow (Friday) at 3:45pm.
Happy Holidays and have a safe New Year!
October 16, 2010
More Chapters To This Desert Dog
And the emails flood in.
I want to make a brief comment about the latest (and
merely the latest) news out of Phoenix. Actually, you
can just read Gary
Lawless' article in the Free Press or this editorial
in The Sun to get my stance. Be warned, they sound
like posts from JetsOwner.com from anywhere between
2003-2009, which is wonderful and I mean that sincerely.
Actually both local papers' tone is now that of JetsOwner.com's
from years past. My broken record for the day? How many
times did I say that our ownership was in place and
solid? And that they were taking the perfect approach
with the NHL and waiting patiently at the front door
rather than breaking in the back door window. Or that
the NHL was fine with MTS Centre and its capacity. Or
that Bettman was fine with this market. I know it all
seems like common knowledge now, but remember there
was a time when nobody had a clue who was going to own
this team. I recall David Asper being the constant savior.
Seems funny now.
Okay, so now everybody knows. Now Don Cherry is the
guy who predicts the Coyotes will come here. Sorry Grapes,
but its kinda easy to take that guess now.
Now these sort of quotes are seen every day in the
papers, or as I mentioned in JetsOwner.com at any point
"Don't worry, there are other options and other
"We WILL get a team at some point."
"It's not a matter of "if" but "when"
Sure beats, "Darren Ford is a dreamer and all
of those JetsOwner.com followers are nutjobs" or
"Winnipeg simply can't afford the NHL". Now
people seem to conveniently forget what our stance has
been for years. Every time I open a paper, it's pro-NHL
headlines simply because the cat is out of the bag about
ownership and about Gary Bettman's view of Winnipeg.
I get it. It's safe now to believe...but people shouldn't
forget what WE all knew this entire time. And to some
of you that claim I try to make this about me (how dare
you) notice I said "WE".
This is turning out to be not-so-brief...
I know from how Mr. Lawless writes that he in getting
credible information and know from whom he gets it from.
If you are going to pick one "official" local
guy to listen to, pick him. I know you all have listened
to me here on this website, but a majority of average
citizens will not take what I have to say with any merit,
but rather wait for the papers to get the news. I understand.
No biggie. At least the papers have Jetsowner.com's
I tend to get worked up on this topic. I apologize
and again thank Tom
Brodbeck for his article from a few months back
(which is no longer up on the site due to a glitch,
I'll get it back up at some point).
Now on to Phoenix.
While it would be unfortunate for yet another wealthy
person to throw away good money trying to keep hockey
in the desert, the fact remains that Glendale needs
to find a way for this to work or they have 250,000
voters to answer to. Answers pertaining to why there
are hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on sports
in under a decade and a core facility that may not have
a tenant to use it. As I mentioed several times...it's
either waste more money saving the Coyotes or waste
an obscene amount of money losing them.
Luckily, we will have other options. I know that doesn't
comfort most of you, in fact it probably ticks you off.
It ticks me off.
But as I told The Sun yesterday, I'll believe this
deal when I see it signed. How many times have we heard
the Coyotes have been saved? Heck, how many times did
we hear the Jets were saved in the spring/summer of
1995? And how did THAT turn out?
Hang tight. By design, we are ready here in Winnipeg
to take a team on a moment's notice. Tomorrow morning
we could get rolling. That is how many things have been
put in place. We're at the starting gate if the gun
It's cocked and loaded. Where it's aimed? We shall
wait and see. There are weeks of chapters left in this
September 7, 2010
The Trip Is On!
Due to a ton of interest, the Desert
Whiteout is now live and online for booking! There
is an Early Bird price that will save you $170! If this
trip interests you, be sure to grab your spot now. Talk
to your company or your buddies or even your wife! if
you love golf and hockey and want to make a bit of a
statement of how much Winnipeg loves hockey, this trip
will be a weekend of non-stop fun!
August 26, 2010
Luxury Golf and Hockey Getaway, Exclusive To
Jet Fans Like You!
Your feedback would be greatly appreciated on this.
me or discuss on the chat boards
what you think of the following luxury NHL/Golf trip
for JetsOwner.com believers and all Winnipeg Jet fans
alike. This is a high-end event but I know there are
many members of the corportate community that could
use this as a perfect opportunity to do business as
well as simply a group of pals that want to have a heck
of a time golfing two of Arizona's nicest golf courses
and catch a "Jets" game in between.
We can show the league how passionate we are about
hockey by filling an entire block of lower level seats
, clad in the same white jerseys. Winnipeg will be seen
A weekend of golf & NHL
hockey in Phoenix, via private Jet
Exclusively for Winnipeg Jets Fans
An exclusive opportunity to see the Phoenix Coyotes
play the Pittsburgh Penguins Nov 6th 2010
The "Desert Whiteout 2010" package would include:
- PRIVATE JET CHARTER in a Boeing 737 from Winnipeg
to Phoenix and transfers to the Hotel
- One night at the 5-Star Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
- Two rounds on the outstanding 18 hole Troon North
and Kierland championship golf courses
- Block seating and white gear for Jets fans in lower
level at Jobing.com Arena
- Plus gifts, dinner and golf prizes on the return
- Coach transfers to and from airport, hotel, golf
courses and NHL game
- Roughly $1800 per person (includes all taxes ) based
on double occupancy
- Single occupancy and non golfers welcome also
- November 6-7, no weekdays used
This trip will be put on by a key national charter
flight company and up-scale golf tour company and promoted
via the radio as well.
August 24, 2010
MTS IcePlex: Final Piece Of The Puzzle
Took a VIP tour of the new MTS IcePlex
last week. Operations Manager Dean Court
took me through an in-depth walk through of the facility
that has quietly slipped onto the Winnipeg landscape,
barely, on the western edge of town. Not surprisingly
it is on Chipman family land just north of Pointe West
Auto Park and just south of Assiniboia Downs.
It is shaping up to the be the final peice
of the puzzle to succesfully house an NHL franchise
here in Winnipeg. As I've mentioned before, don't get
too comfy with "Winnipeg" or "Jets"
as a new team name. As much as I feel it needs to be,
there will be a strong case made to start fresh, with
The four-sheet ice palace is state-of-the-art with
no corners cut. Some key features include:
- All four rinks feature heated seating for spectators
and can be accessed and viewed from the 2-storey main
- One 1500 seat rink, three 250 seat rinks
- 2500 sq ft training facility (that included Jonathon
Toews having a workout as I walked through)
- Gigantic fully licensed sports bar and restaurant
with 8-foot viewing glass of two of the rinks
- Pro style dressing rooms for "a pro team"
(currently the Moose) as well as the Winnipeg Blues
with extra wide hallways throughout
- Fully loaded pro shop with NHL calibre skate sharpening
- Multitude of hockey school programs
- Pam Am Sports facility leased within
- True North offices
- Hockey Canada offices
- Three Zambonis with internal dumping facility
- Future goaltending school facility to come including
extra ice surface to be built
- Top notch concessions
- Best ice in the city
IcePlex takes a huge burden off of MTS Centre ice conditions
as it has enough to combat with concerts and other non-hockey
events. Now all practices can take place at IcePlex
and leave MTS Centre ice to harden for game nights.
This is what any good pro team has in their city. And
now we have one too, and just 5-10 minutes from the
new airport, and 30 seconds from The Oaks, the new swanky
(and likely hot spot for players' homes). This is a
brilliant concept. Practice and home in less than a
minute or hop on the team plane in 7 minutes.
There is no doubt this is the final touch of the grand
plan. This along with land acquisition around MTS Centre
makes the True North movement nearly complete. Only
an actual NHL franchise is left to go.
IcePlex is a true hockey mecca at all levels. From
9-year olds to our future pro team, this facility will
be the hub of everything that is needed and more. It
is a must-see so be sure to check it out when it opens
in mid-September. Thanks for the tour Dean!
August 21, 2010
Hot Line Inducted Into WHA Hall Of Fame
J.Daley, A. Hedberg, B. Hull
It was quite a night
at the WHA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and documentary
release. It really proved why this was the golden era
in Winnipeg sports history. It was great meeting all
of those who approached me to introduce themselves.
Quote of the night
goes to Bobby Hull as he leaned into me just before
grabbing the Avco Cup and said:
first time we picked it up the f#%!@ thing broke into
Classic Bobby Hull.
Thanks to organizer Timothy Gassen for this great event
(and for the pic below!)
my newly autographed Hull jersey
August 12, 2010
WHA Event: Hull, Hedberg &
The enormous 4Play Sports
Bar would like to invite all JetsOwner.com
followers to the Hot Line Reunited
event on Friday, August 20th where
the screening of "WHA Legends: Remembering
The Winnipeg Jets" will take place. Most importantly,
Bobby Hull, Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson will all
be in attendence along with many other special guests.
The event is in support of the Amadeus Steen Foundation
and tickets are now only $50!
I will be there to support and I hope to see all of
you there as well.
for more info
to view Free Press article
June 29, 2010
Why Not Canada?
This is the title of an upcoming mini-series produced
by Dave Naylor of TSN/Globe & Mail. The 6-part series
will commence Monday July 5th during SportsCentre and
run until the following Monday. Winnipeg will
be featured on Tuesday, July 6th. The series
will be podcasted on TSN.ca as well as be seen on The
Globe & Mail online and in their print edition.
This production is of big-budget calibre and I was
fortunate enough to be included in the piece that enlists
Mark Chipman and Gary Bettman as guests as well. In
fact, they spent 4 hours at my home in St. James.
Other cities featured include Quebec City and Hamilton.
Be sure to catch it!
June 3, 2010
A Birthday Present For All Of Us, Courtesy of
Despite what a small, slightly insane, group of people
might think, I don't need my ego stroked. Hey I think
I've earned the right to call these people the nutbars
For those of you who didn't see it today, Tom
Brodbeck of the Winnipeg Sun did a follow-up piece
on a June of 2003 article he wrote, the very first week
I had JetsOwner.com on the web. The 2010 version sports
what seems to be a jab at not just naysayers, but maybe
even some of his collegues.
Tom gives all of us the vindication that I feel is
due. As I state in the article, we're not there yet,
but the checklist of things that peolpe told us were
impossible is now completely checked-off. Nothing remains!
Think about it, here is the checklist that was once
- An NHL calibre arena
- A new NHL economic landscape
- A strong Canadian dollar
- A strong corporate community
- An incredibly well-healed ownership group
- The backing of the NHL and Gary Bettman
- The failing teams that were destined for failure
Even a new, amazing football stadium! This city is
positioning itself to be THE sports meca of Canada in
the next couple of years. It's something I always dreamed
of and something I knew could happen.
So what Mr. Brodbeck is saying is, good for us for
sticking with the vision. We don't look so crazy anymore.
Thanks to Tom for pointing it out.
What an ego I must have to do something so crazy. Sigh.
June 1, 2010
Happy 7th Birthday JetsOwner.com
Almost had a fantastic birthday gift last week. 20
minutes away from it. Lucky number 7 may have to be
lucky number 7 and a half.
May 29, 2010
Bettman Confirms Winnipeg's "Bona-fide"
Offer As "Gratifying", Slams Southern Ontario.
Bettman Press Conference
Since I can't seem to embed the video onto this page,
I will give you 3 key points in which to view after
you click on the above link.
16:30-19:00 - Bettman addresses Coyotes
situation and confirms Winnipeg as viable owner and
28:15- 30:00 - Bettman slams Toronto
reporter about Hamilton talk and endorses Winnipeg (and
Quebec) as a priority
30:00 - 31:00 - Winnipeg Free Press
reporter Randy Turner asks about our patience and timeline
Maybe all of the naysayers can now go away. They have
to now. Some have already switched their tunes (ahem
Rob Warren of Asper School of Business, all the sudden
Winnipeg's economy over the past 6 months has changed
so drastically that we can now support a team?, gimme
a break). And there are many more flip-flops, yet no
shout-outs to this campaign for seeing and believing.
We all should be proud of our stance and the fact that
our research was legitimate, not dreamed up to suit
our desires. The media likes to claim they just report
the facts, but those "facts" have far too
often been incredibly wrong. I've got the facts, and
now they are reality.
If I sound bold, it comes on purpose. So many of you
write to me and suggest that I be a tad less diplomatic.
Diplomacy is always the correct path, but there comes
a time when respect is warranted too. I get it from
those that matter. We are ALL united in this cause.
JetsOwner.com isn't just one person. It's tens of thousands
strong. I speak for all of us here.
Recently all concern about who would front the money
for this dream were put to rest with the public confirmation
that True North were willing to lead the charge (via
Mark Chipman and David Thomson). JetsOwner.com told
all of you not to worry about ownership for the past
four years and that was validated with this official
news. Now, the only missing piece of the naysayers puzzle
was the NHL's recognition and interest in True North
as a buyer of a franchise. Well finally yesterday this
was confirmed as well via Gary Bettman's press conference.
JetsOwner.com told you to watch this conference as there
would be substantial reassurance coming from it.
And reassuring it was. Words like "bona-fide offer"
and "gratifying" were used in reference to
True North's interest and offer for an NHL franchise,
specifically the Phoenix Coyotes in this case. The word
"focused" was also used when speaking of Winnipeg
as the market the NHL would look to first if relocation
becomes a necessity. And where did we hear this so many
The commissioner seemed encouraged, almost pleased
and impressed, by our patience with this process. And,
as we all know, we were this close to getting that team
last Friday, twenty minutes away in fact.
For the first time, the names Mark Chipman, David Thomson
and True North were used in direct relation to an offer
to purchase a team. Winnipeg was finally a welcomed
topic rather than an avoided-at-all-costs one.
Bettman also defended our arena as NHL calibre while
throwing cold water on the notion of a team in Copps
Coliseum in Hamilton. He seemed irritated by the shear
ignorance of the Toronto reporter who suggested that
Winnipeg didn't have an NHL building. But of course
he may be from the same camp as Fan 590's Bob McCown
who for some unknown reason clearly has an agenda for
McCown insists that Winnipeg is a bandaid solution
and that David Thomson is not part of any group trying
to bring NHL hockey back to Winnipeg. Yeah and Gary
Bettman just confirmed it to a national audience. He
must have been lying Bob. He must have been lying about
the wealthiest man in Canada being partners with Mark
Chipman. Virtually the only two owners of True North
now by the way.
Bob McCown also emphatically insists that a team would
only move here for a few seasons and then be bound for
Southern Ontario. Give it up Bob, you are sounding more
silly by the day. Yeah, Mark Chipman wants to try for
6 years to get an NHL franchise, tease the citizens
of Manitoba for a few years, then rip their hearts out,
move the team out of the province leaving no tenant
for MTS Centre as the Moose would be gone, then try
to show his face and continue to do business here. That
sounds like a plausible route to take. And don't say
that David Thomson is the guy that will move the team
because he isn't in the ownership group remember?
Sorry Bob, but those shades are clouding your judgement
and your sources need to be replaced. Get me on Prime
Time Sports....I'll explain
May 23, 2010
Time To Relax and Reflect
Take a deep breath.
There is mass panic it seems that the NHL is changing
the rules as they go to make it impossible for Winnipeg
to get back into the league. The NHL did not and will
not "screw" us around.
They need us more than you think. There are no other
viable markets to place teams in. Even if they wanted
to, they couldn't ignore us anymore. The fact is, no
matter how arrogant Gary Bettman may come across, the
truth is that he has been very aware of True North's
intentions for 5 years now and realizes the strength
this city can have for the league. Imagine that.
True North were always told to be patient, as I have
passed along to you. We are not jumbo money, even though
David Thomson has it, he isn't about to spend $400 million
to get an NHL team. That is why the Phoenix situation
is ideal. It comes with a wholesale, break-even, owned
by the league price tag on it. It's not some wealthy
person selling it to another wealthy person and trying
to make a killer profit.
True North have been patient, have never played by
their own rules, started ticket drives, launched websites
or blurted soundbites to any media outlet that will
listen. They have also been well calculated in their
meetings and spot on in their approach, not to mention
systematically buying out each and every equity partner
that was initially involved with their group. The "group"
is virtually two.
One is a very well respected hockey team owner and
the other an international business mammoth with a helluva
lot of cold hard cash.
This equals the absolute wet dream we would have soiled
ourselves with in 2004 when we were hanging our "hopes"
on Dan Vaandal in a Jets uniform writing a letter to
the Pittsburgh Penguins.
So lets put all of this into perspective. Yes, we were
that close to the Jet-O-Meter reading 100%. But it remains
at 96% until hopefully a wonderful Christmas gift comes
our way and the countdown to New Year's 2011 has a more
important celebratory ring to it.
There is a third partner in all of this...US! And we
will need to do our share when the time comes.
May 22, 2010
Clock Expires For Relocation For 2010-2011:
New Deadline Revealed
As was suggested here last week, the chances of the
Coyotes moving here for next season were next to nil.
A formal agreement between the City of Glendale and
the NHL has been drawn up which states that if the
city cannot find an ownership group willing
to purchase the team and keep them in Glendale by December
31, 2010, the NHL is free to sell the team to waiting
buyers...that of course being True North Sports &
Entertainment. Further info is still to come.
Despite the fantasy antics by annonymous people on
the forums, there is little hope that the Coyotes will
be here next season. The only glimmer of hope lay within
the outside chance that the city of Glendale refuses
this agreement and lets the team go or
the Goldwater Institute ruffles so many feathers that
the NHL bails on its obligations in the agreement. Basically
the agreement is written in such a way that gives the
NHL incredible power. That same power is the voltage
that can spark a move to Winnipeg. This can be finalized
before December 31st in the event that Goldwater fights
hard the $25 million gift bank account. After December
31st, the NHL is clear and free to move the franchise.
And also noteworthy, the NHL can refuse any offer to
buy the franchise they deem unsuitable. Talk about a
nearly impossible resolution in Phoenix.
I cannot believe the city of Glendale have put themselves
in this situation. Bearing a miraculous fan support
and attendence boom, they will be on the hook for a
year's worth of losses and an arena for a team that
is leaving anyway.
This agreement more than fulfills the obligation of
the bankruptcy parameters to try and keep the team in
Glendale. More importantly it virtually solidifies the
NHL's interest in Winnipeg as a market, and so those
skeptics can finally pipe down. Finally, there is an
official offer on the table from Winnipeg! Think about
it...we have waited so long to hear those words. Now
the whole world knows.
I think this story has many more twists and turns to
go, Leave a 1% chance for next year.
In the meantime...get your seats long in advance, for
Moose tickets call 780-PUCK!
May 13, 2010
The Final Countdown For Coyotes To Move To Winnipeg
For 2010-2011 Season
Once again, you had it here first, yesterday's post
seen below stated what is being reported today, that
there is a Friday deadline (ahem 48 hours) set to getting
a relocation complete. I went a step further on the
boards and suggested that Monday would be the ultimate
drop dead date for the 2010-2011 season, because we
all know deadlines are destined to bend a bit. A weekend
gives an extra hidden two days to finalize things. Whether
this is a self-imposed deadline is uncertain, but it
is likely coming from True North's end. They are the
ones that would need to scramble to get ready for next
Don't get too caught up in it, but it is possible.
To quote yesterday's post "Here's for hoping something
crazy happens in the next 48 hours".
Lets stay tuned to find out...
May 12, 2010
What The Vote Really Meant: Time Has Nearly
Run Out For 2010-2011.
Barring something miraculous in the next 48 hours,
it is too late for next season, whether the Coyotes
situation falls apart or not (which it most certainly
will either in a month or 7 months).
Just to clear up one poster's comments, I am very much
"in the loop" and I had a 20 minute conversation
about what happened as I was heading to the KICK FM
radio show. People were skeptical of me when I kept
saying I knew our ownership was in place and I knew
who it was, and how did THAT turn out? True.
Now back to the issue.
The bottom line is the NHL didn't think Glendale would
blink at such a risky proposition. They did....7-0.
Gary Bettman looked agitated because quite frankly he
The good news is, yes there is good news, we are even
higher on the NHL's good books than we already were
for not opening our traps during all of this. True North
learned a lot in the process and MOST IMPORTANTLY, they
remain VERY MUCH interested in plugging away at bringing
a team here. I'm talking 110% interested. They can't
control, however, what happens, and that disfunctional
city council in Glendale have just raped the citizens
of $25 million for a team that is likely going to move
anyway. Possibly here to Winnipeg still, but there just
isn't enough time anymore for it to occur for the 2010-2011
season. The schedule needs to be finalized, ya know
that one that put us in the NW division (sigh), tickets
sold (good luck Phoenix) and sponsorships confirmed
One more year to wait gives True North plenty of time
to make any necessary upgrades and prepare thoroughly,
rather than race around frantically.
I don't want all you guys freaking out about this.
Does it suck? Yeah kinda. But it could be waaaay worse.
True North could tell us they are done seeking a team
and move on. That news would shoot the Jet-O-Meter down
to 1% in a hurry. Instead, it will remain at 96%, probably
for some time, like I said unless something miraculous
occurs by the weekend.
That vote in Glendale has essentially bought them some
more time. For what I'll never know. I do know one other
thing...had it fallen apart there like it was supposed
to, the team was headed to Winnipeg, that's a fact.
We were so very close. That vote still really meant
nothing in substance, but it meant a ton with regards
to the clock running out for next season. Think back
to what happened to Minnesota when they were about to
get the Jets in 1995, last minute buying of time screwed
them, and we failed anyway but it was already August
and too late to move.
Hope that clears the suspense up a little. Hey, nobody
wanted to see this happen more than me, plus I could
gain some of my life back from this campaign. What I
will tell you is there are media that would die to get
the texts and phone calls I get. But they won't. Please
don't doubt my committment to doing this the right way.
I should have never leaked the NW division thing, I've
learned my lesson there. But it really wasn't rocket
science for anyone to draw that conclusion anyway, and
any smart league would need to have come up with a division
alignment just in case, so I don't really see why that
created such a stir. The media just needed a story that
wasn't there and so they grasped at anything, because
again, True North won't speak with them. Good thing.
Here's for hoping something crazy happens in the next
48 hours, but after that it's just too late to move
on next season. Waiting is brutal, but we have no choice.
The NHL should have pulled the plug when they had the
chance. Instead they gambled and we don't have the NHL
for next season because of that.
May 10, 2010
Buy Pol Roger Champagne, But Don't Chill Yet
This is by far the most exciting night of this campaign.
Well, second for me. The most exciting night for me
was the first night I went to sleep knowing who was
behind our ownership group.
I'm trying to keep my BlackBerrry charged!
It is believed that not only has Winnipeg been included
in the 2010-11 NHL schedule, but we are likely to be
in the NW division while Colorado moves into the Pacific
division. This would make our rivals, Calgary, Edmonton,
Vancouver and Minnesota. Believe me, it is surreal actually
typing this, not as fantasy but as a likely reality.
Makes sense really.
The Jet-O-Meter will not move until this all becomes
Even MTSC seems to be prepping for a face-lift. But
I won't dive into that just yet.
It's been a long ride but like I told all of you back
in June of 2003, WE WILL HAVE THE LAST LAUGH.
Anything can happen down in Phoenix still but lets
hope common sense prevails and we get what we deserve.
I hope I soon get to write the post I have been waiting
to upload for a long, long time. Caution: It may ramble
on for eternity.
Nothing is done until it's done. No one knows that
better than us...and so we wait...just a wee bit longer.
ps - Manitoba Homecoming is May 15th at the convention
centre...can you imagine??
May 7, 2010
Smoke Starting To Clear
With things starting to fall apart in Phoenix, the
smoke should clear shortly, and Winnipeg will be left
standing. It comes as no surprise that Jerry Reinsdorf's
deal has hit a snag. It was a bad deal. For him and
As for Ice Edge, they don't have the liquid capital
that True North has and seem content with taking the
Manitoba Moose and placing them in Thunder Bay. And
who do you think the other 29 owners would rather see
as owners in the NHL, a billionaire group in a hockey
starved market or an amateur group scraping the funds
together from banks and who have no track record in
sports ownership? No offense to Ice Edge intended but
the answer is obvious. The other teams want this problem
dealt with and don't dare want to have to write another
cheque to anyone in the desert ever again.
The fact is, the Coyotes are a charity case and the
league needs a success story with a strong market and
deep pockets. Their initials are T.N.
The NHL is saving face and has to make it seem like
they have exhausted all measures to save the franchise
in Phoenix, and truthfully they probably have, to go
along with their mandate that they don't "give
up" on markets.
But this market in Phoenix is done. Cooked. Sizzled.
People shouldn't expect any announcements any time
in the short term (ie, next week) as nothing is official
until it's official.
That True North released a
statement virtually admitting to the process, shouldn't
come as a surprise as much as a relief that they are
finally dropping the "we are committed to an upcoming
season of AHL hockey" and "David Thomson is
in no way behind such a movement". Not that I don't
fully understand why they went that route, quite simply
they had to, after all, Mark Chipman and Co. have been
steering the ship smoothly thus far, why rock the boat
right near the finish line.
Chipman is not spelled with the word Balls or Silly.
And quite frankly it is the Moose organization that
has helped put us in the hockey spotlight all this time.
They are run like an NHL team in almost every capacity.
Kudos to them and their possible new careers with an
Let me be clear, nothing is done. But start waving
your arms around to clear the smoke. We're in there
somewhere, deal in hand.
I told you last fall to start saving your money. I
hope you all have done so. I would love nothing more
than for this website to have the greatest 7th birthday
bash EVER! June 1st is our 7th birthday.
I look forward to meeting you all one day at various
games as I will proudly post where my seats are.
Until then, as always, stay tuned. A little bit longer...
April 5, 2010
Coyotes Ideal For Winnipeg, But Not The Only
As we await the outcome of two lease proposals to the
city of Glendale City Council it is important to note
1) This is not the end of the road for our quest to
grab a franchise.
2) This is ENTIRELY in the hands of the NHL right now,
make no mistake. If they want Reinsdorf as the owner
of that team badly enough, it will happen. The other
owners will like it as they will gain a proven sports
owner and they will be rid of the financial burden that
Phoenix has been to them.
It is baffling that anyone would want to try (for the
4th time) to make a go of pro hockey in Arizona after
the staggering losses they have endured there over the
past 14 years. But if the concessions are good enough
someone like Reinsdorf, who has no shortage of cash,
might just take a crack at it. He may ask for clauses
ranging from being able to break his lease in two years
to something more solid like a gaurantee from the league
that if certain numbers aren't met the NHL will buy
back the team for no less than he purchased it for or
assure him they will find a buyer that will do the same.
This way he assumes no risk of a financial loss on the
Of course this is based off my imagination, but honestly,
wouldn't you ask for these kinds of things if you were
being asked to buy into a complete failure of a business
True North and Winnipeg offer the NHL another intriguing
option, but one they can explore with another troubled
team (there are more). Personally I think the Coyotes
(ahem, Jets) offer us an ideal situation, not only because
they are actually our old team, but because the NHL
owns them and can set the price as a break-even proposition,
and therefore wholesale rate.
And we all know Winnipeg loves a coupon.
Coupon expires June 30, 2010. Limit one per billionaire.
March 22, 2010
Kickin' It Up A Notch: Winnipeg "A Deal
Well, it's time to kick it up a notch. The rumours
are no longer merely in blogger nation, they are now
in mainstream media outlets and they are about to explode
to degrees we haven't seen yet.
To be honest I just love watching all of this fall
into place just like I knew in my heart (and in my mind)
that it would. I don't mind that the mainstream are
just catching on now to who our ownership group really
is (something known to me since 2006) because it would
have only hurt the cause.
As this dream nears closer to reality with each passing
day, it is astonishing that two-and-two weren't added
up long ago but because they are finally equalling four
now, we are better off. The process needed to be kept
underground as long as possible and I wasn't about to
be the guy who surfaced it just to grab the spotlight
for the week. I am just a guy who saw how this could
happen and wanted to lay out exactly how to the world,
or whoever would listen. Thanks to all you listeners
I created a voice and a cause. The cause has gone very
well and since the Jet-O-Meter read 8% I have endured
every pessimistic comment known to mankind about the
return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg. Something I know far
too well how to deal with as I was born and raised here.
And I will raise my son here and take him to games too.
Since 2006, things changed substantially for me. This
is when I not only thought it could happen, but I KNEW
it would happen. How I led this campaign had no choice
but to change. I became privy to certain information,
and when I say certain, by no means do I mean all information.
I have had the pleasure to meet some incredible people
over the years. Some of which we are very fortunate
to have as dedicated Winnipeggers and who it is a pleasure
to be considered an ally of.
Now back to why things are about to get a little crazy.
It all started Saturday night when Don Cherry decided
to go on a tirade (one we are more than happy to hear
him belt out) about how Winnipeg is the best place for
the Phoenix Coyotes to relocate to. As ironic as this
would be - as it would come under almost identical circumstances
as how we lost our team to them and how they would be
returning it to us about 25 ranks higher than when we
gave them up - the key message was WHY Winnipeg would
be the best option. Quite simply: ownership!
The name of this website is JetsOwner.com because the
idea was to seek an owner for the Jets. Well this time
Grapes didn't follow the usual path of citing Winnipeg
as a generic contender, but rather the specific names
of the group, David Thomson & Family as a partner
with True North Sports & Entertainment. Cherry went
as far as to say where he learned of our emminent re-birth
by stating that former premier Gary Doer told him all
about the plans. I can gaurantee Gary Doer was (and
likely still is) in the loop on this. For complete tirade
here to watch video from Hockey Night in Canada
(thanks P. Bonomo for the video rip).
Next, almost as a complete reaction to the waters now
being safe to spill beans, Ken Campbell of The Hockey
News reported that "there is an agreement in principle
in place to sell the team to Canadian billionaire David
Thomson, who will move the team to Winnipeg before next
here to read full article. Ken also finally portrays
what we have been saying for years about capacities
and paid tickets as opposed to reduced or freebie tickets
in bad markets and the fact that attendence numbers
are smoke and mirrors in many places.
These aren't bloggers. These are now credible sources.
I know that JetsOwner.com is a credible source, more
so than any, but that will never be the belief by the
average reader. Again, you may not hear a rumour here
first, but I can gaurantee you'll hear a confirmation
here first. Don Cherry and Ken Campbell can grab the
headlines, they don't have relationships to maintain.
I do. I don't care if people think I know things or
not. That is not my concern and I don't care to prove
them wrong. All I care about is where I am going to
sit one day for 41 games a season.
Some key reasons why the Thomson family would be key
to a successful Winnipeg franchise:
- First one is a no-brainer, very deep pockets.
- Major influence for corporate support out of Toronto,
home to many Winnipeg business headquarters.
- Endless television and other media support. Afterall,
he does own TSN and CTV among many other outlets.
Winnipeg would have ample and prime network positioning.
- Top notch marketing capabilities of the "Jets"
brand all over the world.
- Respect among NHL brass, something Mark Chipman
has maintained from day one.
- Complete control of MTS Centre and the land it sits
on, which generates obscene amounts of money through
concerts, other sports and other events.
Imagine having the deepest pockets in all of professional
sports here in the smallest market of all professional
When Don Cherry said a Winnipeg team would be the most
successful team and one "everyone could be proud
of", he was right. It is ironic to think that a
city that nobody thought could be part of the NHL again
might just be the Cinderella story of the NHL very soon.
Couldn't be a day too soon for me.
The Jet-O-Meter will rise again. Just wait and see.
February 24, 2010
Keilback Among Highlights of Jets Dinner
The first Remembering Our Jets Dinner went off without
a hitch last night at Earls St. Vital. Thanks to all
the beautiful Earls Girls for their help throughout
the night. They looked even better in Jets gear. The
highlight of the entire night, which included a great
4-course meal and wine, was the very first minute I
It was in this first minute that the one and only Curt
Keilback told me he had been following this website
since the beginning and checked it regularly while in
Phoenix. He felt that the content has always had a head-on-straight
feel to it. He also told me that, a ways back, he wrote
a long email to me but decided not to send it for various
reasons. He seemed as glad to meet me as I was him,
which you can imagine felt pretty amazing.
Curt shared some incredible Jets stories including
how close we were to aquiring Mike Modano for Phil Housley
straight up, memorable fan-made signs in the playoffs,
memorable player interviews after games (a-hem, Freddie
Olausson), antics of the North Stars GM in our press
box and many, many more.
Also with some interesting stories was former NHLer,
Carey Wilson of Flames, Whalers and Rangers fame who
sat with me at my table. I'm always up for some Whale-Tales!
A huge congratulations to Gordie Tumilson and the rest
of the ROJ committee who pulled off a great night packed
with amazing auction items and free schwag. Thanks to
Scott Taylor for introducing me at the event. It certainly
wasn't necessary. I had many wonderful conversations
with various people after I was identified.
All the Jets footage which I had courtesy of a guy
whose name I can't even remember (been a while) was
goosebumpy, as can be expected.
A friend had texted me during the event to ask the
score in the Olympic game...to which I replied...3-2
February 15, 2010
On Track For Our Goal
That would be to see the Jet-O-Meter hit 100%, which
of course means we have accomplished our mission.
Amongst all the speculation that the Atlanta Thrashers
have been purchased by True North Sports & Entertainment
(aka Mark Chipman and David Thomson) and are moving
the team to Winnipeg for the 2010-2011 season, comes
a renewed sense of hope for NHL starved fans in Manitoba.
The trouble is there is just no truth to the rumour
at this point.
I will not put my name on it. Anyone that does may
be risking their credibility.
While I maintain that no deal is done, I do remain
extrememly optimistic that Winnipeg is in a better position
than ever to regain a franchise.
Top 5 things that I have heard that are NOT
- Gary Bettman was in Winnipeg recently
- MTS Centre is expanding 3000 seats
- The Atlanta Thrashers have already been purchased
- The Moose are headed for Saskatoon
- Kovalchuck refused to play in Winnipeg, so he requested
a trade upon news of the team's departure
Gary Bettman has not seen our beautiful Sargent Ave.
entrance into town from the airport. MTSC may only require
additional press box space and MAYBE additional luxury
and regular seating, possibly bringing it to 16,500
which I think would be perfect for Winnipeg. The Thrashers
are owned by their existing ownership group, for now.
The Blades will remain Saskatoon's hockey team and Kovalchuck
doesn't even know where Winnipeg is, let alone let us
influence his trade requests.
Will these things become reality? Lets hope so. But
as of today they are not.
This is the danger of getting wrapped up in this stuff....the
letdown. Keep level-headed and you will maintain composure.
The process is complicated and requires the need for
extreme caution. As I have said a hundred times, we
should sit back and wait for the key individuals to
iron this out as needed, in the timeline that is needed,
without media distraction. I know in this day and era,
that seems virtually impossible, but for my part, I
will not play the rumour game. I will play the confirmation
You'll never hear a rumour here first, but you can
bet you'll hear a confirmation here first.
I've always said, save your money and I still say save
your money. Enjoy the Olympics, stay grounded and stay
I'm not saying this won't become reality, I'm just
saying it isn't there yet. But how exciting if it did
get there! Lets let the process take its course.
February 14, 2010
Remembering Our Jets Dinner
Please click on this invite for complete details of
Remembering Our Jets Dinner
at Earls St. Vital on Tuesday,
February 23rd. Should be a fun-filled evening
of nostalgia and great Jets footage (as well as live
Olympic hockey!) on the Earls screens. Tickets are $100.
Gordie Tumilson has worked hard on this as well as a
planned series of radio and TV shows hosted by none
other than Curt Keilback!
February 14, 2010
Love Is In The Air, Rumours Too!
I have never gotten so many phone calls from people
I speak with usually once or twice a year.
I have also never seen a rumour snowball out of control
It has taken me a few days to digest the rumours and,
for the most part, dispose of them as fast as they got
started. But they sure are fun to read and watch evolve.
There is no one that wants to believe them more than
me, but the truth is (how do I word this) I have no
reason to believe the specifity of these rumours. That
is not to say Winnipeg is not on track, because we most
certainly are. You have to remember how easy it is to
come up with a story and let people run with it, especially
with so many things in place.
Now it is quite possible that I am being kept in the
dark too now, and to that I say great! I just want my
team back. So if March 2nd rolls around and True North
steps up to a podium, I will be the happiest of Winnipeggers.
I understand that this kind of situation would call
for an extreme gag order, and "nobody" owes
me anything, despite how open "they" have
been with me for nearly 7 years now. Wow, has it been
So my official stance is that while these recent Atlanta/Phoenix
to Winnipeg, Bettman in town, papers drafted, announcement
in March, Moose to Saskatoon rumours are false RIGHT
NOW, it doesn't mean we are not working towards making
them a reality IN THE FUTURE.
All I can hope for is that I am being misled on purpose.
I have never wanted to be misled so badly in my life.
The Jet-O-Meter remains at 92%...for now. Hey, it started
at 8%, so we're doing okay!
February 5, 2010
Ay Carumba. I am finally back on Dreamweaver after
installing Windows 7 on my computer.
I have not gone away, nor have I lost ANY passion for
this campaign. As I've said before there is little to
do at this point but sit and wait.
We know Winnipeg is in line, we know Winnipeg has the
ownership group, we know Winnipeg has the arena and
the most certainly the fans.
I'd like to overhaul the site but to be completely
honest, the time just isn't there right now (as you
may notice from my lack of blogs on TheHockeyWriters
Right now the NHL has the Easy Button. But they have
full control. If the owners had full control, teams
would already be up for sale and gone. The NHL will
try every conceivable measure before leaving a market,
even if they know it is doomed to fail. That doesn't
mean those measures won't run out. They will.
October 12, 2009
Adjusting to Lower Altitude
After being in Denver for 12 days I am settling into
all that is going on here at home now and thankfully
the thick air we have here at 800 feet above sea level
as opposed to 5200 feet in the Mile High City. (Broncos
On a quick side note, the Joe Sakic retirement ceremony,
which lasted an hour, was the most classy event I have
ever seen in pro sports. Sitting at row 16 dead centre
ice didn't hurt either. The Avalanche organization sure
have been 180 degrees different than what our team turned
And after watching my Broncos beat Dallas and New England
(and watching the Rockies lose the NLDS in a freezing
cold, record setting night at Coors Field) it was time
to head back to Winnipeg.
I have a whack load of media requests, anywhere from
Red River College to Newsday in New York City, as well
as some key lunch dates to fulfill while I gather my
thoughts about what is going on. All of this while running
my own company and preparing for an addition to our
family. Please bear with me.
We are amongst interesting times and possibly the most
exciting times of this 6.5 year campaign. Just like
that, it is Winnipeg and Quebec City grabbing the headlines
and the attention of NHL brass. No longer do hear the
words Kansas City or Las Vegas uttered in relocation
We have the fan base, the arena and the ownership group
in place. Always have. I told you not to worry. Like
I've always said, just start saving your money!
Over and out....stay tuned
September 25, 2009
Sour Grapes? More Like Sour City
Thank you Grapes. Thank you for the echo of my sentiments
regarding this city's attitude when it comes to NHL
talk. Yesterday, Don Cherry made it clear that Winnipeg's
biggest fault is our negativity on the subject of an
NHL return. It puzzles him. It has always puzzled me.
Thankfully it is only a minority, but it still rings
loud and clear to outsiders.
As Paul Friesen writes in the Winnipeg Sun that the
prediction of a team landing here for the 2010-11 season
is "outlandish", I have to wonder how it is
that anyone can STILL maintain that the idea of an NHL
team returning to Winnipeg, even that soon, is anything
but possible, if not likely. It boggles my mind and
it should come as a wake-up call to those negative 'Peggers
that people from outside the perimeter take note of
The writers in Winnipeg continue to lack an understanding
of the issue. I completely understand the issue, and
deeper than most would think. And while I actually think
it is healthier for mainstream media to be out of the
loop for the sake of due process, it would still be
nice to drop the negativity towards this topic.
For the record, Grapes was NOT speaking merely "from
his gut", I can assure you that.
Another year, another NHL exhibition game. No campaign
stunt carried out. This is because the message is strong
now and there isn't much left to explain to people,
that is the people who will listen. To be honest, I
am growing tired of two other cities coming to town
to play at full NHL prices for us. The message is clear
now that Winnipeg can support the NHL once again. We
are already on the right path to see that happen. Now
it's time to go watch OUR OWN team at MTS Centre.
There have been several struggling teams that have
already had a first hand peek at what their new home
might be like one day.
September 7, 2009
City Pulse, Bobby False
Winnipeg did a piece (17:00 mark) on the NHL returning
that aired this evening and though it was somewhat balanced
it was disappointing to hear the quick, easy-out replies
given by the Golden Jet, Bobby Hull.
What is Bobby Hull even talking about?
1) "15,000-16,000 season tickets plus a few thousand
That would make our building seat 19,000+ seats. He
clearly has no idea of what the capacity of MTS Centre
2) "Something extraordinary would have to happen
for the NHL to LET us back into the league"
The NHL and their commish have already stated that
we should be the next place offered a team.
Legend given all due respect, but Bobby Hull clearly
has no "pulse" on this city any longer and
no recent background on this topic. He rambled off some
negative, cliche rhetoric and moved on. It would have
been nice to even hear him say something like "not
sure if it is possible but this community sure has the
spirit and passion for the game so you never know".
It would have been a cop-out but still would have given
some love to the city that made him hockey's first millionaire.
And if half this city now thinks we can afford NHL
hockey (way up from years past) that means 360,000 people
think we can afford it. I'm not certain where the negative
can be drawn from that.
Editor's note: the poll conducted by Global consisted
of 411 people. Draw your own opinions.
June 26, 2009
Jets Talk in Denver
As some of you might know, I am a freakish Denver Brocnos
fan. That's why when I was asked to be a guest on DenverSportsRadio.com
I jumped at the opportunity. I will be on the Dino
Costa Show at 1:40pm CST today. It is one of
North America's first online only radio network and
therefore you need to listen online to the live streaming
June 24, 2009
Already On The Right Path
Well, an interesting summer is ahead of us. I think
we are about to see a real shake-up in franchise stability.
It's a house of cards in so many markets down south
and a real gust of wind is about to blow.
Winnipeg is a very desirable destination for any team
that may need a new home in a year (next season is far
too soon). We have the building and the fans. And we
most certainly have a very well-healed ownership group
in True North Sports & Entertainment. Now I know
many of you want to discuss (to death) the specifics
of that, but I would like to simply leave it at that.
I believe in the path we are taking with the NHL and
I want to see a franchise return via smart business
decisions rather than through a local media circus.
As of late I have been asked to join forces with several
movements that have sprung up out of the blue. For the
most part I will steer clear of merging with another
movement mostly because I have spent over 6 years carrying
out this campaign and I cannot afford to slip. That
is not to say that all others are unorganized or lack
credibility, but I have to protect what has my name
stamped on it. There are those that are always looking
for me to slip as it is. Still not quite sure why.
Should something be very worthwhile I would visit it,
as I do with all requests. But quite frankly, it comes
as no surprise that these things are springing up now.
That's because now there is much less doubt and much
less pipe dreaming. Therefore a person is protected
from being called nuts because this idea has become
very attainable and all the pieces are falling into
place very nicely.
I completely respect anyone who feels they want to
do something or start rallies or events. And all the
power to them, really. But I don't feel that JetsOwner.com
and the original Return of the Jets Campaign needs to
organize anything right now. I know people are dying
to speak up and get excited. But the truth is, we have
been heard and we need to focus more on saving our money
to buy tickets one day and less about how this might
all go down. Lets let the key individuals carry on with
their due process with the NHL. So far it has been the
June 1, 2009
Happy 6th Birthday JetsOwner.com!
Although some of the original content from 2003 and
2004 hasn't been loaded onto this site from the old
site, it is incredible to look at the news back then
to the news now. We're well on our way. Thanks to the
thousands of people who logon, from once-a-monthers
to the daily viewers!
May 24, 2009
Tides Have Turned As We Go On Six!
Ah, the local media are finally getting on board. Yesterday
marked the first time that the Winnipeg Free Press,
via Randy Turner, took a look on the bright side, if
not both sides, of the issue of the NHL returning to
Winnipeg. It was a fairly comprehensive piece and it
looked at the things that have occurred to set the landscape
for a re-birth of the Jets.
As for the long time supporters of this campaign, which
turns an astounding six years old next week, it is nothing
you haven't all been hearing JetsOwner.com lay out since
the beginning. You've been on the right path all along.
Sometimes others' quotes are so similar to what is on
JetsOwner.com is makes me wonder.
But still, it is good to have mainstream media "getting"
the picture. I seem to recall the terms "pipedream"
uttered quite a bit over the past six years and as for
the names I've been called personally? Well, lets just
leave that alone. Thankfully, 95% of them are supportive
and humbling. To be honest I never understood why people
didn't see how this could all happen. People smirked
in an uber condescending manner as if to say, "aww,
what you're doing is so cute little fella". Or
"what, are you after 15 minutes of fame"?
Time and passion? Definitely.
But here we are in 2009 and so much of what I was pipe
dreaming has come to see the light of day.
Yesterday's Free Press special feature contains statements
that are found all through JetsOwner.com's initial content
and blog entries from 2003 to 2009. The similarities
are staggering. From words to number crunching (and
no Randy, not on a napkin, but rather in the office
of high places).
In another Free Press article the same day, an economics
professor in Alberta raises my same analogy of large
population markets like Atlanta and a hockey hot beds
like Edmonton (or Winnipeg) almost word for word. How
Atlanta may be a significantly larger city but there
are more people in Winnipeg that will buy hockey tickets
and therefore it is actually the better HOCKEY market.
Even pointing out that there are so many more sports
in these US cities to compete for people's disposable
income. Now, I know I'm no economics professor, but
really, do I need to be? Two years ago and certainly
five years ago this same guy would have almost certainly
been found quoting that Winnipeg simply couldn't afford
the NHL and that we're just too small.
But you see, what did I tell you? Once the pendulum
swings to our side by at least 51% we then become the
majority thought pattern and then it's all uphill from
there. Well, the pendulum has swung and we're in full
gear now. Mainstream thought is now that this can realistically
happen. Took long enough eh? All I ever wanted form
our local media was a balanced look at the issue but
too often got the negative, stuck-in-1995 song and dance.
Welcome to 2009. It's brighter here.
Now it can be expected that a handful of others will
come out of the woodwork and start a movement of their
own. After all, it's easy now. Nobody thinks they are
nuts. Nothing needs to be envisioned any longer. It's
all set up, ready to roll. Turn-key.
It is an exciting time for all of us believers. We
have been proven correct in all areas of this dream.
Pat yourselves on the back for sticking this out. And
to those that are just starting to believe (and your
emails have been overwhelming), welcome aboard. You
were skeptical, but now you are hopeful. Hope isn't
scary or dangerous like some would have you believe.
Hope is what keeps us going. We are tough, us Winnipeggers.
So start saving your money, if you haven't already.
There is one major step to go. Finding and landing our
The following has been accomplished or checked off
the list since 2003:
1) A new arena for Winnipeg
2) A new league economic structure for the NHL
3) A complete failure of at least "4 or 5 American
4) A Canadian team led NHL gate revenue
5) A steady Canadian dollar
6) A proven MTS Centre revenue model for NHL sustainability
7) A ROTJ campaign appearance on HNIC and hundreds
of television, radio, newspaper and magazine coverage
from all over North America.
8) A ROTJ t-shirt e-store, website, forum, booster
events and PR stunts.
9) An estimated over 2 million hits to the website.
10) A successful six year old campaign that is closer
to the issues than any other source of information.
11) A turning of attitude in Winnipeg about the possibility
of the NHL returning.
12) A "so far, so good" set of predictions
Thanks for being with me for six years. Happy Birthday
JetsOwner.com! I can't believe this all started with
an email to about 20 people after one late night game
of Risk with some friends.
But seriously, I don't want to do this much longer!
Cheers everyone! Here's to attaining the final, and
largest, step of our goal.
Here are a few articles from the past few weeks. CBC
Sun, and The
Hockey News among others. Thakns to CBC Radio for
having me on and taking calls from listeners, to CBC
National for their piece last Sunday night and to CBC
Newsworld for repeatedly trying to schedule me for a
live spot. We'll get it done one of these days!
And of course be sure to check out my blog at The
May 17, 2009
CBC Sunday News Coverage
CBC National did a decent piece tonight on the fact
that Winnipeg is high priority for the NHL should a
team need to relocate.
A quick comment from myslef dealt with how Winnipeg
is going about things the right way with the NHL by
waiting patiently to get in the front door, through
due process, rather than trying to sneak in the side
door, a la Jim Balsillie.
A Calgary professor was included in the comments, but
unfortunately he only had the same old "in 1995
Winnipeg couldn't bla bla bla" type of things to
say. No substance, no back-up, and stuck in the past
with no mention of WHY the Jets left town. As I say,
it's always to easier to spew negativity with nothing
to back it up than it is to spread positivity with proof.
He stated that the NHL was a billionaire's club and
that Winnipeg was too poor to be part of that. Yeah,
a lot of good these billionaires have done the past
15 years. What a success story.
The real fact is that the NHL is a niche sport that
requires a fan base to survive. Winnipeg is the ultimate
fan base. We fit the mold perfectly. More people will
buy hockey in this city of 720,000 than will in Atlanta,
a city of over 4 million. And so with nobody watching
on TV in Georgia and no real TV deal anyway,Winnipeg
is more ideal. The NHL is a gate driven league. Winnipeg
can sell the gate, and at regular price. No gimmicks,
But if he insists that the league is that rich and
we can't play in the big leagues, all I ask is permission
to contact him in 18 months.
Remember, we're not a major market in North America,
but we are a top HOCKEY market in North America, billionaire
Other contributors to the CBC piece were Mayor Sam
Katz and file footage comments from Mark Chipman.
May 16, 2009
Winnipeg To Get Team First
Finally I don't need to ask people to take my word.
It's finally there in writing. Gary Bettman has finally
declared that Winnipeg, not Hamilton and not Toronto,
is the NHL's preference for a Canadian relocation. I
have been trying to get some peolpe to believe that
we are the highest in the pecking order for a few years
now. This Globe
and Mail article confirms it.
We are playing by the rules of the club. We are letting
the NHL broker a future move of a franchise. We are
not bullying our way in through he back door. We are
waiting in line paitiently at the front door. Kicking
and screaming out back won't get us anywhere. It hasn't
gotten Jim Balsillie anywhere on three seperate occasions.
So you had better "Make It Eight" Mr. Balsillie,
because #7 will be in Winnipeg. And sooner than people
May 7, 2009
What a busy 48 hours its been. I have spoken to The
Sporting News, Globe and Mail, National Post, Canwest
Global, Canadian Press and am due for a live TV interview
CBC Newsworld planned to have me on
this afternonn, but timing just didn't work out. I prefer
live TV because I can say what I want to say without
editing. So once again, I'll have to wait for another
I am very busy with Winnipeg Wine Festival and therefore
can't add much right now. Just wanted to give an update.
May 5, 2009
Firestorm Begins, So Soon? More Like What Took
Quicker than expected, but the Phoenix Coyotes have
declared bankruptcy and it only took a North York minute
for Jim Balsillie to sweep in and bid an outragegous
$212 million for the troubled franchise. That is about
triple what Forbes says the team is valued at and for
a not-so-great product on the ice. I guess the CBC will
have comments by the league now, despite it being playoff
time. But time is running out if this team is to play
in a new home by the time the NHL schedule is made in
I don't like that Balsillie inflates these team values,
but other teams that are on the waiting list to skip
town must love this guy. Hey, what can you say? The
guy wants an NHL team. BAD.
What should be interesting while we watch this play
out is the following:
a) Will the NHL stick to its guns and keep rejecting
Balsillie due to his insistance that the team be relocated
to Hamilton, not to mention his tendancies to tick the
league off by playing by his own rules. This of course
brings up the 3-decade old issue of the NHL (and Buffalo
and Toronto) not wanting at team in Hamilton. They still
don't. Is this offer too big and too easy to pass up?
Time will tell. But the Sabres and Leafs will have something
b) Will Winnipeg wait for the next team to move, which
should be sooner than later. Or will we get involved
with this game? I can't us being involved unless Balsillie
is rejected. The NHL will no doubt want Winnipeg to
submit as we are a favoured destination over Southern
Ontario. But $217 million to beat the bid? Almost zero
c) Will this set-off a firestorm of movement this summer?
I think yes. There are teams in just as bad of shape.
They will want to move before there are no longer any
takers. There certainly won't be anymore Balsillie offers.
Of course I can't say for sure, but since nobody has
even come close to the offer for the Coyotes, it seems
that it would ring true. Whatever a Winnipeg offer may
have been I have to believe would be good enough for
Get ready for the wildest summer to date since JetsOwner.com
was established 6 years ago. Stay tuned to the boards
for up-to-the minute articles. The supporters of this
site are masters at placing links to articles that I
don't even think the writers have finished yet!!
April 30, 2009
Coyotes, Meet Irony
After being involved in some good pieces in the
Calgary Herald recently, it looks like it's back
to national news coverage for Winnipeg again. With news
breaking that control of the Phoenix Coyotes has been
handed over to the National Hockey League, none other
than CBC: The National plans to cover this story closely.
Further details should arrive on Friday with regards
to the level of coverage, but it is clear that this
story has extreme relevance to our quest to regain a
franchise. Ironic if it were our old franchise, who
finally got their new arena, but in a poor hockey market
and in an even worse location within that market. It
was reported back in February that the league had indeed
helped the Coyotes through some financial issues, mainly
with regards to their rent and other operating fees
owed to the city of Glendale and Jobing.com Arena. Money
was loaned, but it has not been enough to pay their
bills and a clause stipulated that should such a time
arise that the NHL would take over operation of the
franchise. Apparently that time has come.
I can't help but think this is the ideal situation
for Winnipeg largely in part because it would involve
a price tag that is reasonable as the franchise would
be league controlled. A league-owned team in receivership
would have the possibility of being a bargain-basement
price as compared to what an owner-to-owner transfer
might cost. Much of this depends on how many teams are
up for sale at once of course, but thinking in terms
of just a single team, you'd have to conclude that this
Coyotes situation could be best for Winnipeg. Let another
Toronto team or a Vegas team pay the inflated prices
of an Atlanta squad or a Florida squad.
Winnipeg should get our old team back and fix them
up. Doesn't seem ideal to want to re-build a brutal
hockey team, but it might be fate and beggars can't
Stay tuned to CBC: The National and to JetsOwner.com
for complete coverage.
February 3, 2009
Les Dales Hawerchuk!
Live at The Pyramid on Saturday, February 14th @ 9pm
it's Les Dales Hawerchuk. These guys had to get a shout
out from me. They have been around for several years
now and are ready to rock Ducky's old hockeytown. Click
the poster for their website.
January 26, 2009
Just Go For Broq!
Last year it was Pilot Mound vying to be Kraft Hockeyville's
grand prize winner. This year, the Top Ten list includes
La Broquerie, Manitoba. Be sure to check out their stories
at the CBC
Hockeyville website and cast your vote to see the
home of The Habs reach one of the top five finalists.
This year La Broquerie needs your help! The grand prize
includes hosting a NHL® Pre-Season Game as well as a
CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast plus $100,000
in arena upgrades from Kraft. Your votes will decide
who will be crowned Kraft Hockeyville 2009! Each of
the other 4 lucky finalists will also win $25,000 in
arena upgrades from Kraft plus host a CBC Hockey Night
in Canada broadcast from their community.
January 17, 2009
Covering Winnipeg for TheHockeyWriters.com
I have recently been asked to cover our cause for a
growing hot new blogspot called TheHockeyWriters.com
based out of Montreal. It aims to cover all 30 NHL teams
as well as a handful of other hockey related categories,
such as one I dubbed "Winnipeg 2.0". I have
turned down other blog offers in the past but this one
was intriguing because of the scope of coverage they
aim to tackle. I even designed the logo and tagline!
I had a few ideas and designs but the administer, Bruce
Hollingdrake had the final choice.
I will not simply double-up my postings on JetsOwner.com
but rather link to the blog as it will be more of an
editorial style. Plus, while JetsOwner.com gets another
facelift, it will serve as a great destination. Although
topics on JetsOwner.com may sync up with the blogspot,
posts will never be word-for-word.
A new JetsOwner.com will take some time and I could
have held off telling you about it, but I thought some
feedback would be healthy. Be patient (we're all good
at that right!) things will get snazzy! Especially with
my pal Lauren Robb on the job. Just remember he has
to put his paid gigs top priority.
Anyway, check out the latest
blog at TheHockeyWriters.com.
January 9, 2009
Is It Time For Another Overhaul?
Fellow believers...has it become time for JetsOwner.com
to re-invent itself again? It has been nearly six years
since this campaign began. It just may be time for a
3rd, and brand new, version of this website. Please
voice your opinion on the forum portion of this site.
This website is very slcik, I must say, and was quite
an improvement from my initial atempt in 2003, when
I merely wanted to show the world that I was nuts (apparently!).
But now, with some patience, I believe it can become
even better, but only with Lauren Robb's invaluable
I have chosen reccently to make a link to Manitoba
Mythbusters, rather than to include its content on JetsOwner.com.
This certainly had nothing to do with the website's
content, or the fact that those involved with that website
(Chris and Phil) have done a magnificant job digging
up info and providing insight on the content of that
info. For months, they begged for JetsOwner.com to host
this info and I, admittedly, could not provide the up-to-date
articles that arose from the related topics. They wanted
the articles read, and I completely understand that
desire. So now JetsOwner.com becomes larger in scope.
It becomes larger in depth. It just becomes bigger.
What's happened? I'll tell you what has happened.
Two guys decided that this cause was bigger than one
person, as much as they gave kudos to me for launchng
this whole ordeal. Two guys decided to, rather than
create their own seperate force, join forces with an
already in-place entity. They created a webiste whereby
followers of JetsOwner.com could furhter their education
of many related topics pertaining to the return of the
NHL to Winnipeg.
As one, JetsOwner.com will proudly link to Manitoba
Mythbusters, a seperate yet joint venture with the original
Return Of The Jets Campaign.
We will also aim to re-invent ourselves to yet another
version of this website, the third stylistic change
in six years. Be patient, but I can envision a new look
in the coming year.
To be honest, I want this to be my last verision, becasue
I fully intend for the Jet-O-Meter to reach 100% sometime
I long for the day when JetsOwner.com's headline reads...
" MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"
December 26, 2008
Well CJOB is at again. Don't get me wrong, it is always
great to have positive energy behind this idea, but
to listen to Bob Irving the other day from a link someone
sent me (believe me I wasn't listening to it live) was
like reading from JetsOwner.com in 2003! Listen
here (13:00 minute mark).
Some noteable moments were when Mr. Irving declares,
"Mark my words, the size of MTS Centre will not
prohibit Winnipeg from regaining an NHL franchise".
"We will have a chance to get a franchise".
"Four teams will fold in the next few years"
Weren't these actually my words 5 years ago? Even his
ticket prices reflect JetsOwner.com's. Weren't these
my same words when Mr. Irving would not have me on CJOB
despite my level-headedness throughout this campaign?
They were the only major station not to have me on,
both radio and TV, in Winnipeg. Why is that?
What is so hard for that station to just give me some
credit? I have crunched the numbers to justify my beliefs
and I have maintained my inside spot with regards to
information regarding this hot topic. I may have just
answered my own question.
Maybe that is the reason for the refusal to acknowledge
me. I simply have the info before they do. I'm not trying
to toot any horns here, but I would like to give CJOB
listeners a grasp of reality with regards to the Jets
coming back to Winnipeg. I have never misled people
down an overly positive path nor have I flip-flopped
to a negative stance at any point. I have always maintained
a realist viewpoint. Unfortunately, CJOB feels that
a realist view is the negative view.
Or maybe they just really don't know the difference.
Either way, glad to have them on board. It's been a
VERY slow journey for them.
December 10, 2008
Hurray Economic Crisis?
I know it is becoming too much of a CNN tagline, but
this "economic crisis" should speed up the
process of finally doing away with these horrible NHL
markets down south. I know our dollar has dipped some,
but surely not to the level that would jeopardize an
NHL team for Winnipeg. I arrive at this conclusion because
I can only assume that market values for franchises
must be plummeting much like the Dow ticker, therefore
more than off-setting any dollar weakening. The NFL
might be the only league that will come out of this
unscathed, mainly due to extreme popularity, high TV
revenue and a short and affordable schedule.
As for the NHL, could this be the final nail in the
coffin for a league that has been kidding itself for
far too long now? It has become almost scarily evident
now that the economics of this league, which relies
so heavily on gate revenue, does not work in just any
market with population, but rather only in markets that
fully embrace the sport to begin with.
I recall when I was a "nutjob" in 2003, but
the time has come where there are few who don't believe
an NHL can come back to Winnipeg and thrive. Those who
still don't believe it is possible are obvisouly blindly
negative or ignorant to the situation. Notice I said
"possible". If there are those that think
that it will not happen for whatever reason, then fine.
But to say it isn't possible is just plain out of touch.
All that is being written about hockey right now is
its miserable attendance (like that's anything new to
us) in so many of its non-traditional markets. Markets
that never should have had a team in the first place.
Does this really come as a shock to people? Apparently
Phoenix, Atlanta and Tampa are seeing 6000-8000 "fans"
in their brand new arenas. S-i-x T-h-o-u-s-a-n-d!
At some point the doors of these arenas will just simply
When the fat needs to be trimmed from sports fans wallets
in the sports world, hockey is the one of the first
to go. It is a niche sport at best in at least 10 American
cities. Niches don't weather an economic storm very
well, especially when compared to sturdy structures
like the NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, NCAA among many others.
Even true hockey fans will be trimming back as is evident
in "HockeyTown USA", Detroit.
The fact is, this crisis may be a blessing in disguise
for little 'ol Winnipeg. That up-front cost I speak
so much about should be coming down while available
teams should be going up. That kind of storm is exactly
what Winnipeg needs. More supply than demand. The footprint
needs to be across Canada, not across the Bible Belt.
I think you'll see several teams looking to our fair
city for new owners soon enough, although never soon
enough for us. As for another exhibition game next fall?
Don't be surprised if a different struggling team, not
named Coyotes, shows up to check us out. Mark my words.
October 26, 2008
Going to the Hamptons
I am pleased to be a guest on NYI
FYI, a show dedicated to the New York Islanders.
I will be a guest with Sean Croft at 9:15 CST (or 10:15
Long Island time) for those of you interested to listen
online. I know there are already some supporters in
the NYC area, so lets gain some more! Click
here to listen live.
October 21, 2008
TO Talk? You mean Terrell Owens, Right?
Actually I don't want to talk about Toronto or any
member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Another morning, another mini-flood of media phone
calls. I got to three of them out of four. It's funny
because in some instances I am not even aware of why
they are calling. This morning was one of those times.
So when I received messages about coming on the air
or camera I quickly googled "NHL" & "Winnipeg"
to find out what was in the news that was so pressing.
This is certainly not the normal way I find out what
is going on, but this morning it was. And so as I clicked
my mouse up came random references to Toronto one day
having a second NHL franchise. Not Hamilton. Not Waterloo,
Kitchener or Dryden either. The actual city of Toronto.
The sexy topic of the week that the Globe and Mail
decided to plant and watch the country water it until
it blossomed into nonsense. Mission accomplished. I
can hear Lloyd Robertson in the other room right now
plugging the story for the upcoming national news tonight
With many topics like this I decline to comment as
they either do not directly pertain to the return of
the NHL in Winnipeg or I just don't feel it has any
legs. I don't feel this Toronto topic has legs either,
but it did relate to Winnipeg, no matter how off base
it likely is.
Listen, if I had a nickel for every "whisper"
from an annonymous NHL board of governor, I'd have enough
money to buy a team myself, or at least Joe The Plumber's
business in Ohio (whereby I'd tax him higher just for
being on my TV too often).
This Toronto talk is just another topic-of-the-week
just as talk of Las Vegas, Kansas City and teams in
Europe is. The mere suggestion that an already tarnished
prospective owner like Jim Balsillie would be able to
storm into the most powerful market in hockey, ante
upwards of $700 million in expansion fees and territory
infringement costs and spawn a second Toronto franchise
while halving the Maple Leafs market share is almost
absurd. Time to get another AHL team and put them in
the St. James Civic Centre. However, I must note that
one of my CBC radio interviews was conducted on a BlackBerry.
Honestly, maybe this was all just a scare tactic to
get the Leafs to resemble an NHL franchise in the first
Once again, Winnipeg will stay out of the headlines
and stay on the slow-and-steady path.
Sure, Toronto could sustain another NHL team, possibly
two more. But that doesn't give the NHL any more revenue
outside of an expansion fee. Hockey fans are already
feeding the NHL there. Winnipeg is an entire market
that has been virtually untapped for 12 years. And if
people truly believe that the NHL is thinking of expanding
any time soon with the economy the way it is headed
then they just don't understand the true state of the
game right now. Notice how we haven't heard much about
Kansas City lately. Why not? My hunch would be some
pretty cold feet from watching a half dozen current
US franchises failing brutally and waiting for even
harder times ahead. What sane person shells out $200
million to place a hockey team in Kansas City, Missouri
in this economic climate? I know, I know, the same type
of person that puts hockey in the desert. But that was
1996 when there was the excuse of it being uncharted,
breakthrough territory. This is 2008, where the only
territory that makes any sense is once again back here
in Winnipeg or any other place north of the border.
While Toronto is north of the border it is far too complex
of a place to put another team, from market sharing
to venue sharing to country venting. That's right. Canadians
would have a collective cow if Winnipeg and Quebec City
got left out in the dark in favour of this idea.
Lets just all sit back and wait until the hockey talk
carousel spins back around to us again so we can enjoy
listening to people out east fail to know anything about
Winnipeg and our corporate abilities with regards to
supporting a hockey team. My apologies to those of you
out east that do know a thing or two about Winnipeg,
but even you would admit that your neighbour likely
Let this talk fade. I'm sure it will be squashed by
Fun Fact: Ever notice that the most struggling teams
in the NHL are "red" states? Maybe Barack
should use that in his campaign? If Florida goes "blue"
does that mean that BOTH of their NHL teams will move?
September 24, 2008
Another Ex Game
I will be Calgary Flames radio at 5:25pm
today to discuss various topics. One major point I will
be making will be the fact that tonight's exhibition
game will generate nearly triple the gate income that
the Coyotes generate on average in Phoenix during regular
season play. It will also generate close to what the
Calgary flames generate on average. If this game sells
out, it will have taken in nearly $1.1 million in revenue
by my calculations. Earlier I estimated that a Winnipeg
team could rake in an average of around $930,000. That
was with tickets averaging slightly less than what True
North wants for this year's exhibition game.
Another interesting website has spun-off recently from
solid ROTJ supporters called Manitoba
MythBusters. It focuses on the hard facts and goes
further into JetsOwner.com's number crunching with regards
to gate revenue and various scenarios that can be derived
from league data. Be sure to check it out. Always good
to see more awareness and I am honoured to have started
such a contagious movement.
Keep it up!
July 28, 2008
I Finally Made It On The Simpsons
Yes, I do still exist. Despite this Kent Brockman newscast
I caught the other night.
I know being extremely busy or out of country doesn't
excuse not having anything to post for months, however
in my defence, I don't like to regurgitate the same
info and viewpoints over and over again. That being
said I believe it may be time to include links to articles
that supporters like yourselves find in the media (credible
media) to provide on-going updates as to where related
issues stand. There are certain supporters who have
excelled at digging up wonderful articles that go straight
to proving our cause to be achievable. On a regular
basis (I know you just rolled your eyes) I would like
to post these links in the main page's content. In the
early days, I used to scan every single blurb that was
found in the media, mostly local, because it was such
a hot topic. Now there are so many outside media sources
mentioning Winnipeg but not directly mentioning this
campaign that it would be impossible, if not unecessary,
to carry out the scanning process. I only wish we had
YouTube from the beginning to have all the awesome TV
clips about JetsOwner.com in the first two years of
this movement. There were so many.
Anyway, this is something I will have to think about
in terms of how I'd like to present it. Another way
might be to build a seperate page that simply lists
links to articles on an on-going basis. Just a page
filled with links and important data. It could go directly
into the current "In The Press" page where
you currently find YouTube and article scans from the
Now for some thoughts.
I do not plan to do anything for the NHL Exhibition
game for several reasons. Firstly, it's kinda been done.
I have done something for the past 4 games and there
isn't really anything that I feel I still need to get
across to people. That doesn't mean there isn't a use
for doing it, it just means that I don't feel it is
necessary at this point. But remember, this idea of
the return of the NHL doesn't begin and end with me.
It is with all of you. Secondly, True North has been
gracious enough in the past to give full permission
to flyer or hand-out something prior to the game, something
they do not let ANYONE else do at their venue. Though
I could have asked again, I have chosen not to. Thirdly,
I will be away the 10 days leading up to the game making
it extremely difficult to properly put anything together.
Believe me, if I had the sponsors and money I'd be handing
out a white pom-pom and t-shirt to every single fan
that walked through the gate. But if I had that kind
of money I'd be involved with the group of people that
will one day bring a franchise back to this city.
Which brings me to all this talk about expansion. While
reports continue to surface that indicate expansion
money to all 30 teams in 2010 ($15 million each which
would indicate two more teams at $225 million expansion
fees) I still fail to understand how this league can
be improved by adding more franchises without first
fixing the dozen teams that suffer miserably right now.
$15 million doesn't go very far. Just ask the Coyotes
who lose that by Christmas each year. All the money
Jerry Bruckheimer has isn't going to pull these teams
out of the mud. That being said, it does look like the
NHL will strongly consider this option. As stated before,
this will not likely be Winnipeg's ticket back into
the league. Our chances still remain highest with relocation.
The fact still remains, hockey will never be feasible
long-term in Nashville, Atlanta, Phoenix, Miami or Tampa
to name a few.
Despite the repeated hits they seem to take on the
chin every year, these teams will only be able to survive
so long with poor gate draws, no TV audience and a looming
economic downturn in the US. If you live in Nashville
and do happen to go to some Preds games, what do you
think will be chopped from the family budget first?
NASCAR? Titans football? Not a chance.
Meanwhile the Canadian dollar remains strong and at
par with the greenback and our six teams still account
for over 32% of league revenue. A third of money brought
in comes from a fifth of the league and all north of
the border. That is precisely why so many league officials
and players alike see Winnipeg as the land of opportunity
now. We would fill seats and pay for them. More revenue,
more salary cap.
Winnipeg also continues to go about this process exactly
as the NHL desires. Quietly and with strict protocol.
The same cannot be said for the likes of Boots and Balsillie,
whose backroom shenanigans seem to pile up as quickly
as you know what. Shady characters will not get into
the NHL and our group in Winnipeg is far from shady.
It is solid and is in no immediate rush (although we'd
all like them to be). Ideally, Winnipeg will need several
teams to be ready to move, not just one. If only one
surfaces then the price skyrockets as compared to two
or three teams vying for our attention.
I wish I knew how long this intends to go on for. Believe
me, it has already been 5 years since I began this trek
and I would have thought we'd be looking forward to
training camp by now. But at the same time, I knew just
as well that things could have gone sour and there might
be no hope by 2008. So as I look at the progress, I
remain extremely optimistic that things have come along
quite nicely thus far. As I have said many times, the
next step has nothing to do with us. We have made it
known we will support the NHL again, the whole world
knows. They also know we can support it successfully.
Well some people don't know, but whoever still doesn't
see it is a lost cause by now. It is hard to even argue
that it can't be done. A far cry from the beginning
when all I did was fight uphill to argue that it can.
Below is a photo courtesy of Chris Mackie. Quite a
sharp looking banner in the stands at GM Place.
March 24, 2008
Pilot Mound Needs Your Help!
Pilot Mound, Manitoba has been voted in as one of the
top 5 finalists for Kraft’s Hockeyville 2008!
Starting March 29, 2008 at 11:59 pm EST the voting is
again open to unlimited votes by telephone and on-line.
This continues until April 4, 2008 at 11:59 pm EST.
The winner is announced April 5, 2008 on CBC’s Hockey
Night In Canada.
Remember, this is unlimited so please vote as often
as you can to help us achieve the ultimate title as
Kraft’s Hockeyville 2008 champions!!
The town is now guaranteed $20,000 but are hoping to
win the $100,000 grand prize as well as host a pre-season
NHL hockey game in our new complex. This prize would
definitely help us to open our doors in the complex
by this fall.
To vote by phone dial 1-888-843-5604
and follow the prompts.
To vote on-line go to www.cbcsports.ca/hockeyville
and vote for Pilot Mound.
To view their story you may go to www.pilotmound.com/hockeyville.
Spread the word! As JetsOwner.com supporters, any attention
drawn to our province is certainly a positive. And the
more new rinks the better! Be sure to call or go online
to cast your vote for Pilot Mound to be this year's
February 15, 2008
Wow. It seems my e-mail server has glitched since I
changed to Windows Vista. Since August 30, 2007 I had
not received very many e-mails. I figured things had
just slowed down and nobody had reported not being able
to get a hold of me so I thought nothing of it.
Tonight, after my suspicions, I got it all fixed to
the horrifying ring of 271 inbox chimes. That's right,
two hundred and seventy one backlogged e-mails that
I never recieved!
To all of those who were any of those e-mails, I appolgize
and I will try to get to some of them as soon as possible.
I missed media requests, Wear in the World photos, questions
and much, much more.
One big D'OH!
February 6, 2008
CBC's Mansbridge Talks Jets With Chipman
It's no wonder I've always preferred live interviews
whenever I've spoken to the media. You see live interviews
can't be plucked, altered, edited or spun into a negative
context, a la some local writers we know too well. I
refer to a lengthy discussion on tonight's CBC: The
National that aired nation-wide from right here in Winnipeg
(The CBC is en route to Winkler, MB for this year's
"Hockey Day In Canada").
The segment by Mike Beauregard and subsequent interview
by Peter Mansbridge with Mark Chipman was a no-bull,
straight-up and accurate portrayal of where we stand
in seeing the NHL return to Winnipeg. This just days
after I've been ranting about how our local media relentlessly
spin this topic deep into the negative.
Too much. Too small. Can't do. No support. Right?
It's strictly math. Numbers. And the numbers add up.
Which brings me back to the beauty of the live interview.
This type of dialogue lets the speaker get across what
he/she wants to relay to the public, in it's entirety.
It does not allow for interpretations based on personal,
if not mislead, viewpoints.
in-depth segment (thankfully YouTubed by
P. Bonomo) began with a well done piece on the loss
of the Jets and the replacement Moose and moved into
a one-on-one between Mansbridge and Chipman. At no point
in time were the words "NHL Too Much" ever
uttered. Instead, quite a positive reflection was given.
This coming from Chipman, a man who is closest to the
situation in every regard and a man who sits in a tight
circle with every key financial player in this storyline.
I suppose I'm to believe that he looked into the eyes
of Mansbridge, us Jets fans and the entire country,
and lied through his teeth?
Hey, that might just sell papers.
Maybe this site needs a daily JetsOwner Girl. Wait,
don't answer that.
January 29, 2008
It has come to my attention that certain local media
personalities question my credibility. Ironically I
cannot rebut this to any lengthy extent in order to
maintain the credibility that I already have plenty
But what I can say goes something like this.
There is no need to be upset just because for 4 years
this website has been keeping people (albeit less of
the general public I suppose) in tune much better than
the local dailies have. Some of the heaviest hitters
from the business sector to the political arena will
speak with me openly because they have come to realize
long ago that I stand for seeing the highest caliber
of hockey back in Winnipeg and for putting our city
back on the international stage. Not for 15 miutes of
fame that would have ended in the fall of 2003 if that
were the case.
You see, I don't receive generic conversation nor generic
answers. That's because I am trusted.
Furthermore, my figures and information are accurate
and have been verified to be by indivduals I will not
name. JetsOwner.com is ironclad and misleads nobody.
I do not give the public the generic answer and flip-flop
my stance to whatever the vibe of the week is. I understand,
"they" are in the business of selling papers.
If they figure more subscribers want to hear that tickets
are going to be $200 a seat, as ridiculous as we all
know that myth is, then that is what they'll get to
Me? I am in no busness whatsoever and only aim to a)
see NHL hockey return to Winnipeg and therefore b) see
Winnipeg back on the map again with a thriving downtown.
I will not, under any circumstance, get into a war
with local writers who think they're getting the answers.
I am smarter than that and I will keep my eye on the
One day, I'll get my (and all of you will get your)
time to smirk.
Now regarding the credibilty of my numbers, which by
the way were created a couple years ago now.
When compared to these official Forbes
numbers (via RodneyFort.com), you'll see they are
more than accurate, and therefore, dare I say...credible?
numbers arrived at $48 million (ticket revenue)
+ $30 million (other revenue) to form a grand total
of $78 million, which according to the latest Forbes
numbers fall in line with that of Calgary and Minnesota
(markets we can relate to in size and ticket price respectively),
and both of which have healthy payrolls plus "other
expenses" of also near what my numbers arrived
at. This leaves a grand total of break-even, give or
take a few million for both my projections and that
of official 2006-07 NHL season numbers in the above
That's why my numbers were given the green light, that's
why certain individuals were blown away that I arrived
at these before any post-CBA era NHL/Forbes figures
were made public, that's why my numbers compare to that
of other team's books and finally that's why I have,
dare I say....credibility.
Sorry daily papers, I don't need to wait for the whole
world to know and then spew out these numbers as my
own AFTER the fact. And us believers don't need another
generic interview with generic answers from True North
and quotes form Paul Kelly that were read by us days
before. That's because we already know what the deal
is. Hey, click on JetsOwner.com to stay tuned. Or better
yet, pick a stance and stick with it. We're all glad
you finally "get it", but we're just sick
of the roller coaster of positions you all seem to take
depending on what the vibe of the week is. That miserable
tendancy is something I call the Pegger Gene, that is
the gene that seems to make a Winnipegger want to piss
on anything progressive.
None of what is going on in the NHL surprises me. Remember
I started this whole thing precisely because this is
what I knew was likley to occur. Whenever somebody asks
me "did you hear Bettman's latests words, or Paul
Kelly's, or various NHL owners or players etc",
I always respond...."and?"
That's because none of it surprises me and I only wonder
what took them so long. That's also because there still
remains the "and" to the story. The "and"
is a team back in Winnipeg. Until then, there will always
But please, please stop with the "can't-do's".
They are predictable and just plain misleading.
Thanks for listening. Good to have more people on board...or
December 9, 2007
Quiet Season, Thus Far
Though continuous positive comments keep flowing through
the media regarding Winnipeg as the next destination
for the NHL, it has been a relatively quiet 2007-08
campaign so far.
When I first began this campaign there was almost daily
news or weekly at the least. But that was when we were
starting from scatch. So much to prove. So many to convert.
Now the topic has been in the spotlight in every corner
of the media circus in this country and beyond. That
is the good news. But talk is cheap as we all know.
If it wasn't, we'd still have a team with an aging Keith
Tkachuk and Thomas Steen as coach!
There is no doubt in my mind that if a team were 100%
available right now, we'd have an equal opportunity
to grab it. Notice I said 100%. There are so many teams
that are "on the brink" but legal logistics
keep them hanging from the cliff. Financially it makes
no sense to stay where they are. In fact it makes no
sense from whatever angle you look at it. Unfortunately
sports franchises aren't easy to pluck away from their
markets even if they do want to desperately leave.
Inevitably they will cut loose, and we'll be there
to snag them. If I said that the timeline for all of
this isn't frustrating me, I'd be lying. But like the
weather, there is nothing we can do to change that.
It's not as if the big money in town is waiting for
us to prove we're interested. They know we are. And
so ranting about wanting a team will not do anything
further to help our cause. What they don't know is how
much they have to pay up front for a team or when they'll
have the chance to throw that dollar figure at a current
As fans and supporters we know a few things. We know
the dollar is at par and league economics are in favour
of a Winnipeg return. We know we have the support of
the NHL to return and we know we can sustain a franchise
in MTS Centre despite the fact "the average Winnipegger
earns $661 per week" (sorry Scotty T, but I can't
get over that stat). Here's where I get off track a
Firstly, for Manitoba $661 was the figure three years
ago. It stood at $677 for
2006 and is likely closer to or past the
$700 mark for 2008.
Secondly, should it not be mentioned that while Albertans
earn over $100 more weekly on average, Manitobans don't
have to pay the $70,000 more on average for a new house,
in most cases much more than that. Why wasn't cost of
living taken into account when mentioning our weekly
Thirdly, and most importantly, who cares!? What the
average person earns means little to a sports franchise
(besides, a $1400 bi-weekly earning can still leave
you plently of disposable income to catch some NHL action).
But the real key is are their enough people that earn
more than $700? That answer is...of course there are.
If there are 30,000-40,000 Manitobans that earn more
than $700, and by definition of the word "average"
for the labour force in Manitoba there easily that many,
then everything is just fine.
I don't feel like researching every current NHL city
for weekly incomes but I would suspect that the Nashvilles
and Columbus' are in the same average income boat. After
factoring in the cost-of-living index, I'd bet even
big markets compare. And so what does this stat mean.
Thanks for letting me rant a fill some space. News?
No. Fact tracker. Yes.
September 24, 2007
Another Successful Blitz
Thanks to all of you that helped hand out campaign
magnets last Wednesday night before the NHL game. We
got 8,000 of them out to fans attending the game. Also
worthy to note, there were two excellent colour banners,
professionally made courtesy of some loyal supporters,
to hang up in the seating bowl area. As of yet, I have
not received cofirmation that those banners saw the
light of day, or in this case the lights of MTS Centre.
I sincerely hope this was not due to True North staff
dis-allowing them to be hung. At last year's game there
were several extensive banners displayed. We will stay
tuned for that news.
As for the game, to be honest I left in the second
period. A bunch of Leafs fans getting their rocks off
and flashing logos of old Jets rivals to get the crowd
to cheer wasn't my cup of tea. To be honest, I can't
believe we continue to support this game as much as
we do considering the profits go to the franchise that
took our team to the desert and since then have had
nothing much better to do than sue colleges for the
use of the "Whiteout" term and fire the best
play-by-play announcer in pro hockey. I mean really,
the Coyotes should focus more on winning games so they
can actually get to the point where they even need to
use the term Whiteout.
The fact is, this city is so hockey hungry that it
repeatedly shells out any price tag for any form of
hockey that visits that building. From women's junior
hockey to NHL pre-season-going-through-the-motions hockey.
Thanks to The Fan 590 in Toronto for
having myself and Lauren Robb on the air the day of
the game. Good questions, good response time. I love
that because I always have so much to say. Also thanks
to Global TV for covering the magnet
handout. Most importantly...thanks to Trackitback
for their continued support of this campaign!
September 17, 2007
Hand-out Helpers To Meet Before Game
Those who wish to help hand out campaign magnets before
the game on Wednesday should meet at 6pm SHARP outside
the main entrance to Tavern United directly across from
MTS Centre. We will aim to begin handouts at 6:30pm
and run up until game time, or 45 min - 1 hour of handout
me now if you wish to help out. This will be straight
forward and take hardly any time to carry out.
September 10, 2007
Campaign Fridge Magnets: Newest Stunt!
Another NHL Exhibition game, another stunt. JetsOwner.com
is pleased to announce that it has struck a deal to
produce 10,000 fridge magnets for distribution prior
to the NHL Exhibition game between the Toronto Maple
Leafs and Phoenix Coyotes on September 19th at MTS Centre.
We have already received the green light from MTSC
brass to go ahead as we did last year and man the doors
before the game to give out the magnets. Last year we
did more elaborate flyers, this year straight forward
magnets. They will merely include a slogan, the website
name and the sponsor, Trackitback, one of Winnipeg's
up-coming business success stories.
Just like last year, we will need a dozen helpers to
assist in handing out these magnets prior to the game.
All that is required is about 45 minutes of your time,
something I know you all are willing to give. Grab a
friend and come down a little early to help give these
magnets to people as they walk into the game.
"Here ya go, enjoy the game" Simple as that!
Please e-mail me your pledge to help with contact info
as soon as possible! Serious inquiries only please.
You'll be in your seat by the time the puck drops. Although
I know most of you don't care about that but rather
about the cause and continuing to push the message to
anyone and everyone.
July 13, 2007
Asper Weighs-In On NHL Talk
As if we haven't heard this before (but some choose
to keep forgetting), David Asper clearly stated on CJOB
radio that he is there for Mark Chipman if he can prove
that a team is viable in this market and in MTS Centre.
When asked by a caller about whether getting so involved
with the CFL's Blue Bombers and a new stadium hinders
the chances of involvment with bringing the NHL back
Asper simply replied "no". He went on to joke
that his now teenage sons have made it clear that he
is absolutely to be part of bringing the NHL back to
Winnipeg, if given the chance. Listen to the clip on
Audio Vault. Choose July 10, 7:00pm, 14:20 mark.
This website has always maintained that that chance
will come. It has never led anyone astray and remains
a solid, level-minded source for direction with regards
to the Jets coming home. It is quite a process but the
progress that has been made is quite positive. Just
this year alone has seen small leaks of "official"
information from key local investors as well as excellent
vibes from the NHL with regards to Winnipeg as an option
for the league again.
The size of MTS Centre has repeatedly been verified
as a non-issue (though that never seems to stop people
from debating it) and we are taking the right approach
by keeping a low profile and following the steps the
NHL has laid out.
In a nutshell:
Teams struggling: check.
Financial viablilty: check.
NHL's approval of Winnipeg: check.
Verification of MTS Centre: check.
Money in place when opportunity arrives: check.
Overwhelming coast-to-coast support (ie polls): check.
Cost to bring team here: unknown.
That sure beats when the list ended with "unknown"
in almost ever category 3 years ago.
June 28, 2007
Balsillie Out, Boots In?
It is difficult to determine what the deal falling
through with Jim Balsillie means to us. It may sound
strange on the surface, but I believe this is good news
for several reasons. Don't take it as the NHL not wanting
a team in Canada. It is more of an issue of them not
wanting a team in Southern Ontario. You see, the league
wants to grow in fan base and the Golden Horseshoe is
already more than secure in that category. In other
words it does nothing for the NHL to have another team
in that region, they still would have the same number
of fans. In Winnipeg, granted, we also have a great
fan base already but the difference being we don't already
have a team in the region to cater to those fans. We
also fall well outside the Maple Leafs 80-kilometre
So here are the reasons this is good news.
1) A major competitor has been removed from the list,
Kansas City. However much we know this experiment will
fail, KC was being considered for expansion in the future.
2) A major owner has been taken off the list of potential
buyers. This is the second time Balsillie has failed
at gaining membership into the NHL and that likely means
he is now black-listed in the Board of Governors minds.
Although you have to hand it to him, he did fight for
Canada through Hamilton and to that I say "cheers".
It would be great to have him champion a team here in
Winnipeg. In fact I almost gaurantee that it would go
smoothly if it were here he was wishing to place a team.
However, his tactics thus far have ticked too many key
people off and his destination plans only soured the
3) It proves the NHL will never go into Hamilton, removing
yet another candidate. It's not like we scratched one
competition and left another remaining. These cities
are both gone from the list. If a billionaire like Jim
Balsillie, however rebel-like he was, can't get a team
into Hamilton with a $100 million over-bid then it doesn't
look good for this city ever again.
4) The cost of a franchise has come half-way back down
to actual levels. By halfway I mean it still needs to
drop to the $140 million-ish range to be even at the
high end of what these failing teams are worth and to
be at levels any group from Winnipeg is going to cough
up. Luckily, the $190 million Boots DelBiaggio is still
considered to be an over-bid.
We will have to see if any of this story proves to be
true or if it is just a tactic to get Balsillie to offer
a binding agreement to purchase the Predators. You can't
blame him for not jumping at finalizing anything, especially
when the league seems so intent on nixing any movement
to Hamilton. What warm-blooded Canadian who has turned
himself into a billionaire wants to be forced to own
a hockey team in Kansas City, Missouri?
June 15, 2007
Where Are We At?
I have deleted some content from the prior post because
it came across too negative for the liking of many people.
That's not how intended it to sound.
Okay, as for today...where do I start?
Firstly, I have to call out The Fan 590 in Toronto
and others like them who we have to learn not to rely
on. They speculate aimlessly and get "facts"
from multiple "official" sources whose information
ends up contradicting itself. They keep discussing Vegas
like it is some sure shot market (yeah I'm in Vegas
for four nights and I'm from Little Rock, Arkansas and
I'm going to spend one of them at a hockey game that
the casino left tickets to on my bed) and then spend
3.5 seconds trying their best to dismiss Winnipeg. Only
some of their guests via telephone ever have anything
grounded to say, like putting a team in either Kansas
City or Las Vegas over Winnipeg is absurd. Do you think
the NHL feels those markets are more viable long-term
than Winnipeg is? Not a chance. But the fact remains
that there are guys like
Jerry Bruckheimer who want into "the club"
bad enough that they'll pay whatever it takes to get
in. And that's not the kind of recklessness anyone from
Manitoba is used to taking part in.
This is about money. All sports are. It was about money
when the Jets left in 1996 and it's still about money
now. If two billionaires are prepared to throw a total
of $400 million at 30 owners to be part of their gang,
that is where the final two teams will end up. When
I say final I mean final expansion (we've heard that
Just remember one thing, if those two cities are to
land expansion teams, even if that timeline is uncertain
they will know they are likely to get one and therefore
be out of the running for relocation. There are only
a handful of cities interested in being part of a league
that boasts a 1.1 television share during the most important
time of the season. Winnipeg, for one. Then light interest
from the likes of Houston and possibly Seattle or Hartford.
I know this has gotten more complex, but that is something
we have no control over. We have an ideal building that
can generate ample revenue. We have hockey crazed fans.
We have the support of the NHL to have us back. But
they cannot control how much people are willing to throw
at them. Frankly, I having a hard time believing ANYBODY
is willing to pay ANYTHING. I must admit, I never saw
this coming. But our time will come because there are
far too many teams in trouble and they can't all find
a Jim Balsillie to pay $100 million over the appraised
price of their franchise. Leipold got lucky because
he was the first one willing to jump ship and the first
one with the convenience of having an out-clause in
his lease agreement.
Finally, speaking of Balsillie, it will be interesting
to see if he even gets the blessing of the NHL Board
of Governors. He has rocked the boat far too much already,
and is showing signs of being a rebel in a club that
is used to being very much in control and very much
a tight family. Clearly he has overpaid for the Preds
in order to win over the other owners by raising their
franchise values, in theory anyway. But when a guy hasn't
even gotten his membership card yet and already has
had negotiations with a city and arena for plans to
move a team he doesn't even own yet, it ruffles a few
feathers. Those are key feathers. Afterall he needs
75% (not 51% Fan 590) or 23 teams to vote in favour
of his purchase, now well knowing he intends to move
the team on his terms. That means if 8 teams dislike
his vibe, it's at no-go. Stay tuned, Hamilton could
be in for a real let-down once again. If he doesn't
get accepted, he could back-out or look at Kansas City
as an option. Whatever the case, it has become very
apparent the NHL doesn't want a team in Hamilton and
neither do the Leafs, who are essentially the league
anyway. We know this because of the Penguins ordeal
where the NHL placed tight stipulations on keeping the
team in Pittsburgh, mostly because they knew Balsillie
wanted to do the very same thing he is doing now, despite
telling the league otherwise just weeks ago. Balsillie
has also played the "challenging the competition
laws" angle which sends the message that he is
the type to take on the NHL at every turn. Looks like
he may have showed his hand a little too early. Now
the decision for the Preds sale has been bumped back
in light of all of this maneuvering. If this sale also
falls through (a la Penguins) Balsillie will not be
taken seriously anymore and would likely fade away.
This is about to be an ugly game of chess.
Truthfully I kind of admire how ballsy (no pun intended)
he is being but either way it won't have much effect
on Winnipeg's chances. If this guy were from Winnipeg,
we'd have a team today. The corporate support would
be put to the test and once it passed along with the
fan support, we'd have an RIM Centre sign being made
for the outside of our arena. The NHL wouldn't have
an issue because we're not in the Golden Horseshoe's
TV market (hell we're not in anyone's TV market!). Winnipeg
money would only have to buy in as a minority and the
building would be paid for and ready to roll.
Sound too good? Well Mr. Balsillie, ask Gary Bettman
where he might want to put a team in Canada. He'll hook
you up with the right people.
You'll be "intrigued" too.
June 9, 2007
With rumour that the purchase price for the Nashville
Predators is now approaching $240 million, it has become
time to be concerned. While that price does not necessarily
raise the next purchase price, it does increase those
odds and also likley raised any expansion fee significantly.
The mere mention of expansion is bad enough considering
this league needs to re-shuffle where teams are as it
is, but to Kansas City and Las Vegas?! This is an absolutely
ridiculous concept and it is destined to follow the
same failed path as Phoenix, Miami, Nashville and on
and on. I can't imagine how true fans, most of whom
are Canadian or old-school American fans, would react
with anything but disgust and resentment. These fans
are all the NHL has left, after TV contacts have repeatedly
failed to gather new ones and the hockey novelty always
wears off in whatever non-tradtional markets they have
put teams into. Now they want to add two more?
I am nearly beside myself here at the thought of this.
Yes, Jerry Bruckheimer would be a good addition to the
owners circle, but we've seen this story play out before.
Bad hockey markets are bad decisions...every time.
The scary part of all of this isn't the rumoured expansion
cities, but rather the fact that the price tag, that
was already a stretch, has now likely gone way up thanks
to Jim Balsillie and his agenda to gather NHL Board
of Governors' support by raising their respective team
value by over 50% over night.
The first thought that came to my mind was, great,
KC and Vegas get in through expansion, making a clear
path for us to land a relocating team. But now with
the surprising purchase price of the Predators, we are
up against steeper odds. Even through expansion the
fee has skyrocketed into the price range of what was
very recently the ballpark range of a relocation price.
Somehow, someway (spelled Jim Balsillie) the NHL has
managed to increase their memebership value, despite
falling far off the radar in the United States...so
far that re-runs of The West Wing have got it beat.
If we are ignored after all the pro-Winnipeg talk from
journalsits to the league itself, there will be a bashlash
from this sports fan. If there is soon teams with the
names Hamilton, Las Vegas and Kansas City in the title
while we still have the Moose, you should be part of
that backlash as well.
Myself, I'd like to think this is all hocus-pocus,
and that stations like the The Fan 590 in Toronto are
self-absorbed and mis-informed and that they report
stories without concrete proof to back them up. Myself,
I feel Winnipeg has taken the correct steps to staying
patient and following the NHL's route for getting "back
in". I feel we are looked upon as beneficial to
the league again and that our market is repeatedly praised
for its passion for hockey in any form. That's why none
of this expansion talk adds up. We will have to keep
close tabs on the situation and as I mentioned before,
it may be time for the big money in town to break from
their silhouttes and become faces in media.
The vibe is still good, but things are certainly getting
interesting if not bizarre.
June 7, 2007
Congrats to Teemu!
Congratulations to Randy Carlyle and Teemu Selanne
for their Stanley Cup victory. We all wish Teemu could
retire here with the new Winnipeg Jets one day.
June 5, 2007
There should no longer be any doubt that Winnipeg is
considered a hot spot to put a struggling, or shall
we say horribly failing, NHL franchise. That part we
have all proven and need not be concerned with waving
the Winnipeg flag to gain attention. We don't even need
our heavy hitters to make headlines (but read on). That's
because we make headlines on our own, without even trying.
And the media, thank their always-beneficial souls,
have kept on Bettman relentlessly for 3 years now. This
website for four years, as of June 1st may I add.
The national coverage on the recent comments made by
Gary Bettman about Winnipeg were overwhelming. Referring
to a return to Winnipeg as "intriguing" and
"righting a wrong" are huge steps toward not
only a franchise coming back to Winnipeg, but to the
NHL admitting defeat in its footprint across America
plan. They followed the footsteps long enough only to
find out they led back to Winnipeg anyway, like ET following
It is nice to have the NHL on our side, or at least
speaking highly of us, but there is still loads of work
to be done. Like finding another team willing to officially
part ways with their NASCAR-crazed environment and the
dough to buy it. While I do not feel the benchmark for
an NHL team is set at $220 million just because Jim
Balsillie paid that for his ticket into "le club",
it is probably closer to that range than zero. I'd have
to say that for the first time I may have to call out
the heavy hitters in this city. No vague comments via
Mark Chipman, no more "Mark has my number",
no more "we are in close contact with the NHL".
I understand the process and quite frankly feel that
carrying it out underground is the way to go. But giving
the public some sort of indication as to where the process
stands would be nice. We all understand that a team
needs to become available but we need to know what ballpark
the big money in this town are willing to play in. No
need to worry about the emotional rollercoaster, afterall,
we are already on one.
We know MTS Centre works, we know there is the fan
support, the corporate support and the right financial
team to do this. We know the NHL is clearly in favour
of Winnipeg over the blue leaf-controlled southern Ontario
and we know a current team will eventually follow Craig
Leipold's lead. So how much is too much? What deal is
right? How much does the NHL really like us?
Those questions are anyone's guess but it might be
about time we got some further concrete answers instead
of "possibilities" or "conceivables".
One thing I believe is crucial is something a few of
you have e-mailed me over the past few days. That is
to invite Gary Bettman and a national audience to witness
MTS Centre during this fall's exhibition game between
the Coyotes and Leafs on September 19th. Though it won't
be the playoff atmosphere we had in the past, it would
still be full of energy, especially if Bettman attends.
Imagine the noise and signs in the crowd if we were
using the game to showcase our own cause. I know what
mine would say..."We're not in Kansas Anymore,
Toto" or "NHL footprint leads to Winnipeg!"
And for a meaningless exhibition game at full prices.
Sounds like just the right sales pitch to me.
Note: I apologize to the many radio and TV stations
that requested to speak with JetsOwner.com after Bettman's
comments. I was overseas and could not participate.
Thanks to Rob Kerr of The Fan 960 in Calgary for having
me on, yet again. His stance is always fair and from
both points of view and his desire to promote the cause
is always strong.
May 24, 2007
Chalk One Up For Canada
The new era has begun.
The dream of the United States gleaming with NHL hockey
from coast to coast has officially died. "Bet"tman's
hand has been dealt a 2 and a 7 and has now folded.
We have known this day would come for some time, perhaps
since the day the dream began, but we are finally no
longer in the "if" era but now into the "when"
era. When is now.
For the first time, the NHL has admitted defeat and
come to the realization that Dixieland isn't the place
hockey will thrive, but rather Dairyland (aka southern
Ontario) or anywhere in Canada, where hockey is king.
There are endless conclusions that can be drawn from
this newest development regarding the sale of the Nashville
Predators, but one thing is for sure; Canada is the
new "cool" in the NHL and it's about time.
The sale of the Nashville Predators to a Canadian spells
northbound. Especially considering
Jim Balsillie backed out of the Penguins deal because
he wasn't allowed to move that team north and the fact
that he recently purchased 25 acres of land in the Cambridge
area (aka Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, population: Winnipeg).
Hamilton is likely not in the cards because a new arena
would have to be built anyway and if he has to build an
arena regardless, he is going to build one in a zone where
he doesn't need to pay-off the Leafs and Sabres as well.
Instead of rambling on about of the pros and cons of
this deal for Winnipeg, let me just address some major
issues by taking the negative and spinning a positive
The Waiting List
While Winnipeg may still be on the waiting list, what
the sale of the Predators has done is dis-lodge a huge
piece of timber from the log jam that has been building
up for years now, just waiting to burst. The flow of
water is finally trickling through the gates and more
logs should follow soon. If teams begin to feel their
time is now to get out while anyone wants them, it will
send a ripple effet throughout the league and arena
leases will begin to crumble along with franchises.
As I said, the new era has begun. This next one will
see several teams pack it up and look for better places
to call home. We've got a home. We've got fans. We've
got corporate support. What we don't have is $200 million
US to throw at the first person that wants it.
The Price Tag
Spending $200 million US certainly seems outrageous
but take into considerationn that Balsillie has boatloads
of money and some people will do what it takes to get
into a prestigous club, even if they have to build a
brand new clubhouse as well. In Winnipeg, it would be
a stretch to come up with $200 million US knowing that
money will never be re-couped. It is up-front cost,
never to been seen again, gonzo. Now for the spin. The
bright side is that this $200 million that has seemingly
set the new market value for an NHL franchise isn't
necessarily the new benchmark. That is because Balsillie
didn't outbid anyone, he simply gave Leipold what he
was asking. Period. This doesn't mean that anyone else
was willing to pay that and it means the next team is
only worth what someone is willing to pay. If there
is another Balsillie out there, then there is nothing
we can do about it. But remember, that money man/woman
would have to be a good fit for the NHL and have a plan
to benefit the league. Balsillie is one of those people,
but it's not like there's many of them to go around,
not for this league.
Moving to southern Ontario may be the desired location
for this franchise, but the NHL has certainly warmed
up to Winnipeg as of late and no doubt has allowed our
business leaders inside the loop much like they have
kept Balsillie in the loop recently. There are still
other suitors for Winnipeg. Cross your fingers that
Kansas City gets the SuperSonics of the NBA so we can
scratch them off the waiting list. Should they still
be on the waiting list in the future, don't count Winnipeg
out as equal contenders for the next team to pack up.
Bettman and other NHL officials have been, all of the
sudden, very pro-Winnipeg in various media outlets as
of late. They now see us as a profitable market, especially
when compared to where they reside now. This is something
we have never seen and it bides well for how they feel
not only towards our city and market, but what they
think of our group of potentials investors. You're not
in the loop if you're a joke and we are most certainly
in the loop.
May 23, 2007
Predators Sold! Moving to Canada?
5 News out of Nashville and Bloomberg.com
have reported that the Nashville Predators have been
sold to Canadian Billionaire Jim Balsillie. Terms have
not yet been disclosed but this development can be good
news or bad news for Winnipeg.
Bad...because the sale price is said to be near the
$220 million USD mark. This is the ballpark former owner
Craig Leipold was looking for and he got it which sets
the market value for an NHL team very high. This is
NOT a good figure for Winnipeg.
Good...if Winnipeg is a place Mr. Balsillie is considering
moving the team. This would assume that he wants it
north of the border and that hamilton is out of the
question. It also assumes that Kitchener-Waterloo was
just a whacky dream.
Early polls have 80% of fans in Nashville believing
the team will relocate to another city under the new
Whether it is safe to assume that Kansas City, with their
own group of big money, is out of the running for the
Preds is anyone's guess.
We will have to stay tuned for further developments.
May 7, 2007
Political Arena Not Necessarily Good Building
The morning began with a phone call from Hugh McFadyen.
He wanted to invite me to come down to his grand announcement
regarding a way to help with the purchase cost of an
NHL franchise. All I could think was...here we go. Personally,
I would prefer this topic not be debated in an election
campaign only because that leads to the media, which
in turn leads to mis-communication and far too much
generalization. On the other hand, it does put it in
the headlines again.
The reason I have reservations about using the political
arena as a platform is that it carries a lot of fluff
with little substance. To be honest, I was quite content
with the way things were going behind the scenes.
Then the other phone calls poured in, the media and
the private sector, trying to find out what just went
on this morning. As my day was busy enough, remember
I have a regular job, I had to turn down most interview
requests. For those who care to listen, here is what
I told the few stations I did speak with (Global and
First of all, while it is nice to be thinking outside
the box with ideas like creating "Jets bonds"
and "Whiteout to Win lotteries", we have to
be careful when dangling these types of carrots in front
of our group of potential Jets-owners. It gets their mindset
into the gear that they'll be getting help from government
and our public investments. While I am not against it
by any means, it is a huge step to promise it. I believe
the private sector can handle this venture on their own.
In fact I know they can. Revenue generators like lotteries
are great ideas but lets see what our heavy hitters can
do on their own first. Don't get me wrong, if these ideas
ever came to light, I'd be right there in support of them.
It's just that the process is going on underground right
now and lets also not forget that the Jets left on the
Conservative's watch the last time. I know, I know....that's
the past. Just a reminder.
McFadyen's theme of "Friends Don't Let Friends
Move To Alberta" was effective in my mind and his
focus on halting the out migration of our youth rang
well with me too. All in all, I think it was a good
message and outside-the-box thinking. Then again, it
is an election campaign which could just mean inside-the-box
political manoeuvring. Smart to lure Thomas Steen to
Enter Gary Doer tomorrow who will likely rebut that
he has been involved with many behind the scenes talks
with key players in this fight to get our NHL team back.
He will be telling the truth too. He has been well in
the loop throughout the process. Stay tuned for his
The real story may stem from the price tag of $145
million for the Edmonton Oilers (or $130 million USD).
This is not the $175 million that has been thrown around
and may not sound like news, but it is. This squashes
the belief by some that NHL teams are worth x-amount
of money just because Forbes Magazine appraises them
so. The truth is, teams are worth what someone is willing
to pay for them and the Penguins were worth $175 million
WITH A BRAND SPANKING NEW ARENA ATTACHED TO THE DEAL.
The Oilers, who are successful on and off the ice, have
been offered $130 million USD. The number is going down
and this is good news for Winnipeg. What is a team worth
that is unsuccessful and in dire need of a new place
to call home? $110 million? $120 million?
Time will tell. Lets just hope that time is sooner
than later. The waters remain very warm...with or without
May 5, 2007
Winnipeg Fans Still Legendary
It seems that not only does Winnipeg still find itself
included in current NHL polls with current NHL teams,
but we also win those polls!
When polled regarding the richest playoff fan participation,
Winnipeg fans took the win over Detroit, Calgary and
Edmonton....and we haven't been in the league for 11
years! Sad that nobody could strip us of this title
in all that time. Imagine MTS Centre packed to the roof
trusses with white clad fans and white shakers at playoff
time. The noise in that intimate building would be overwhelming
for any opponent. Can't wait.
April 10, 2007
The Real Record Setting
The NHL announced this week that it set league records
for attendance in 2006-07. The words "set records"
brings a few other things to mind. Like record setting
For instance, the Montreal Canadiens matched their
league record season attendance of 872,193. Wonderful.
Too bad the NHL had already given away more tickets
by January 31st, only a little more than half way through
the 2006-07 campaign. 881,135 freebies to be exact.
That's on pace for 1.4 million complimentary tickets
given to "fans" to come out to NHL buildings.
Wow, no wonder their smashing attendance records!
All of this mind-boggling data can be found in this
ticket report courtesy of The Globe &
Mail (and retreived by supporter "Wagner3")
which analyses complimentary tickets and gate revenues
over the past two seasons. Notice where the Canadian
clubs rank in give-aways.
Edmonton, dead last, only feels they need to part with
207 tickets per game on average. Meanwhile, Atlanta
and Florida need to give away over 2,800 per game. And
that doesn't include tickets that are significantly
reduced in price.
What this says to all of us, and especially to those
who STILL insist on debating MTS Centre's capacity,
is quite clear. Once you tally up the freebies, the
discounted tickets and the empty seats that still remain
after those incentives, what you are left with is a
figure far less than MTS Centre capacity anyway. 17,000
seats less 2,800 freebies, less 1,000 half priced seats
(equivelent to 500 paid), less 2,000 empty seats equals
11,700. Now who has the AHL market?
The report also further validates the numbers that
JetsOwner.com has come up with in regards to gate revenue
per game. $930,000 for a Winnipeg team still sits nicely
with Calgary ($991,252) and Edmonton ($1,020,499). Notice
in the chart how the Canadian clubs now sit high in
the rankings when revenue is the focus.
Quite simply, we're holding this league together. That
will show even more when they realize the TV ratings
with Montreal and Toronto out of the playoffs, the league's
two largest TV markets in real numbers.
As for the Coyotes honouring Dale Hawerchuk? Sad. Sad
because they are desperately trying to pull any stunt
to get people out to Glendale for anything other than
shopping. Unless of course the Cardinals are playing.
Trouble is, they don't know who Dale Hawerchuk is. They
don't know what he did, when he was drafted or why his
number is being hung to the rafters along with those
other guys that wore #25 and #9. Welcome to Coyote country,
home of the longest trail of red ink around.
Werewolf in London
April 3, 2007
Dangerous Idea (That We All Like)
The Winnipeg Free Press recently posed the question
of whether you would support the raising of the PST
by 0.5% for two years in order to raise the capital
to purchase an NHL team. Here's the scary thing with
a proposal like this...
Now the private sector has a taste of not paying a
cent to get a team here and when the idea gets overwhelmingly
shot down (and it will) they can use that as an excuse
to back away from moving forward, even though we all
know that those responding "no" to the tax
idea poll are nearly all non-hockey fans and therefore
have no real impact on the sustainability of a team
Would I pay another 0.5% in PST for an NHL team?.....heck
yeah. But the Free Press should know better than to
give CJOB an entire day worth of negative phone calls
to air. To be honest it's irresponsible. At a time when
health care has so many issues there is NO WAY any government
is going to pass raising the PST to fund the purchase
of an NHL team. If it were that easy, it would have
happened 11 years ago. And if it did happen...where
was that plan 11 years ago?
This is a private sector venture and while I think
government should give breaks to help out a future franchise,
there is no hope of raising taxes for one. That is the
death wish for any project.
We'd all do it in a heartbeat though...wouldn't we.
Now for new streets, a new stadium and a domed St.
James all we need to do is raise the PST 3%.
March 20, 2007
One Week Strike on "Got Fans" Section
Why? It's as simple as this. Apparently I am to believe
that on a Tuesday night in Raleigh the Hurricanes drew
18,639 paying customers to watch them play the Panthers.
And then I am to believe the same paying crowd came
out two nights later vs. the Devils despite the No.
1 ranked Tar Heels playing their first match in the
NCAA Final Four Tournament that night.
Tampa Bay consistently claiming that 21,300 people
pay and attend their games.
Atlanta and Florida telling us that they have over
18,000 paying and attending nearly every game
I feel bad for picking on the same teams week-in and
week-out simply because they provide REAL attendance
figures. Hence my strike for one week.
March 15, 2007
Buffalo Duo On Our Side
You may remember Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell from
their visit to our city during one of their many voyages
to critique pro and amateur sports facilities. Their
critique of MTS Centre can be found on their website
Recently they have launched a different kind of website
that includes a range of blogs and articles. Their latest
installment of their theme Puck
Stop is a focus on Winnipeg and includes interview
clips from myself and Teppo Numminen. Good of these
guys for continuing the push in the US. They get it
I'd also like to take the time to thank all of the
radio stations that have had me as a guest over the
past couple months. I don't report on all of them. That
includes stations in London, Calgary, Montreal, and
Halifax. I will soon be appearing on Saskatchewan radio
and I'll try to up keep you in the loop on that one.
If you haven't yet purchased a t-shirt, be sure to
grab one online! They are in home and away formats and
come in all sizes. For a limited time beginning
March 16th, they will be $5 off. Lets get more
of these on the streets!
February 11, 2007
The Numbers Add Up
Not that my
calculations haven't already been validated,
but something struck me as I read Mark
Spector's exclusive report in the National
Post regarding the NHL's true attendance and revenue
figures. The detailed report spent some time discussing
Nashville's current revenue situation, among others,
strictly regarding gate revenue. It revealed that the
Predators pull in an average of $525,000 US per game
from the gate (ranked 23rd in the NHL), mostly due to
many tickets being given away for free or vastly reduced
in price. What might be scarier is the fact that there
are seven other teams that pull in less! While that
shouldn't come as a surprise to any of us, it did indirectly
reveal key information about our six Canadian teams.
The real interest I took came from Mr. Spector's simple
breakdown of percentages. The article states that the
Predators pull in $525,000 US per game and that was
roughly 50% of what four Canadian teams (which included
Edmonton) pulls in every night and close to 60% of Calgary
and Ottawa's gate. That would mean Calgary pulls in
roughly $875,000 US per game (60% = Nashville) and Edmonton
at least $1,050,000 US per game (50% = Nashville). It
was assumed that Edmonton was the lesser of "the
four" Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Either way,
the figure is close.
My calculations have a Winnipeg team pulling in $931,000
(CDN) per game WITHOUT luxury suite seats. That's nearly
$1 million a game from approx. 14,220 seats. Add luxury
seating per game and you would add $163,000 (CDN). That's
a total of $1,094,000 (CDN).
Making the currency conversion at 0.85...that's
$930,000 US per game, assuming sellouts, which
is what both Calgary and Edmonton enjoy every game.
Surely if they can draw 19,000 and 17,000 respectively
to each game then Winnipeg could draw 15,000, albeit
at slightly higher prices to compensate for less capacity.
Seems to me that my numbers fall right in between, and
therefore in line with, Calgary and Edmonton. It also
looks like my figures just got that much more credible.
Per Game Average Gate Revenue
by Canadian City
Calgary and Ottawa - $875,000 US
Winnipeg* - $930,000 US
Edmonton - $1,050,000 US
Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto - over $1,100,000 US
And remember...this is only revenues from tickets alone,
not the many other sources of revenue that can be drawn
from. Examples include concessions, merchandise, TV,
radio, Pay-per-view, advertising, parking, VLTs, lottery
tickets and non-hockey events at MTSC like concerts.
It also does not account for additional luxury/regular
seating that may or may not be added to MTSC.
Another interesting fact recently discovered was that
the six Canadian teams pull in 33% of overall
NHL revenue (source: The
Toronto Star). That's 1/5 of the league accounting
for 1/3 the ticket revenue, most of whom are paying
the highest prices for tickets.
I will assume that American revenues aren't helped
much from Nielsen ratings of 0.01 which
is what a Devils-Panthers game produced a few weeks
back. Just in case you're wondering, that is a whopping
736 households! In a local TV market
of over 20 million people (source:
New York Times).
January 29, 2007
For The Record
To Nayersayers who claim that $150 average ticket price:
The average ticket price in the NHL right now is exactly
$43.13. The highest average ticket
price is Vancouver with $58.96. The lowest, you guessed
it, Phoenix, which is $25.41...only $1.59 less than
the Jets average ticket price in their last season,
over 11 years ago!! (source: Team
To Rob Warren (Asper School of Business):
How do you arrive at $210 million for a team? The Penguins
are trying to fetch about
that much (CDN) and they are absolutely the most highly
talented team out there. You are also assuming that
Winnipeg purchases 100% of a franchise. How do you come
up with $50 million for player salaries? That would
be the absolute upper end of the salary cap. And finally,
how do you include that salary figure with start-up
costs, bringing the total to $260 million? That's like
saying that since the club can gross over $75 million
a season, that the Jets will make $75 million net. You
can't include year-to-year costs as part of start-up
costs...or take the absolute highest case scenario for
every monetary figure.
Unless, of course, you are trying to skew the issue
far in the direction of negativity. I think I just answered
my own inquiry.
I can play that game. I'll go the other way. Tickets
are going to cost $21.50 on average, a team will cost
$85 million and players salaries will only be $31 million....oh
and all figures are in Yen!
C'mon. How dumb do these people think we are.
You want the facts? Average ticket prices in the NHL
are one-third of what is claimed so recklessly by so
many people that are too lazy to do the research or
want to scare the public into thinking that NHL hockey
is WAY out of their budget. As for Winnipeg, we would
likely need to fall among the higher end of ticket prices,
but that would still be less than half of the $150 price
tag that the skeptics throw around. Yes there might
be a ticket worth $110, but they'll also be a ticket
for $34 or less. If average tickets were $150, let me
tell you, this new Winnipeg franchise is going to make
You want the facts? Simply check out the "How
Much?" section of this website to get an accurate
picture of the economics of a Winnipeg NHL franchise.
How I arrive at the bottom line could fluctuate in one
or more categories but the end result remains consistent.
And no, my figures are not ill-founded or without merit.
How do these people keep getting on television?
January 27, 2007
NHL Gives 'Peg Green Light: But We Must Be Ready
The recent comments made by Gary Bettman on Hockey
Night In Canada during the All-Star Game in Dallas were
monumental. There is no question. The voice of the league
has never so much as even hinted that Winnipeg is on
their radar. In fact that comment was made at the 2004
All-Star Game. "Winnipeg is not on our radar".
Fast-forward to this year and oh, how things change.
Now it's "I believe, in an ideal world under the
partnership we have with the players and the salary
cap, that Winnipeg probably could support an NHL team".
Good on Ron MacLean to pressure that response out of
him, but at the same time, he never would have said
it if it weren't true. Gary Bettman knew the headlines
such a comment would generate hence being sincere when
he said it.
This website has always led you in a realistic and
responsible direction. It will turn out to be correct
in all capacities so long as it remains grounded. We
all must remain grounded but prepared. We must be ready
to step up and open our wallets with very little notice
because in the event a team comes calling for help,
the likelihood that particular team will need to relocate
here quickly is very high.
On an advice note, do yourselves a favour, don't listen
to CJOB. Their brand of journalism is counter-productive
and only spins the negative without substance. I am
not here to bash anything or anyone (and I never have),
but enough is enough with that station's ongoing disregard
for realism, not to mention community spirit. They don't
get it. They likely never will. If they bring you down
don't listen to them. Fortunately for all of us, what
CJOB and their don't-change-a-thing listeners think
have no bearing on what our business leaders feel. The
demographic an NHL franchise in Winnipeg wants to tap
are not those of CJOB's demographic. If their listeners
want to buy into the claim that a pair of average tickets
are going to cost you $10,000 a season and that apparently
you have to buy an entire season in the first place,
then sobeit. That's all I'll say with regards to that
topic. It's down right bizarre but, we move on.
As noted many times, we don't need 15,000 Winnipeggers
to purchase 42 games a year. Afterall, that many people
don't have the time nor money, granted. We need 170,000
Winnipeggers (or Manitobans) to purchase one game or
one ticket pack every year, a scenario much more realistic
for any market, not just Winnipeg. Obviously any breakdown
within this framework works just as well and a breakdown
of something along these lines would probably be most
6,000 season tickets (including
6,000 people/corporations buying a season
6,000 season ticket equivilents
6,000 people/corporations buying a 22-game
12,000 people/corporations buying an
3,500 single game tickets/walk-ups
3,500 people buying random seats
That's 24,000 bodies that need to support the team per
year at one of those 3 levels plus another 147,000 bodies
that need to come to one game per year. There is an
affordability at every level for NHL hockey. Really.
I suppose we just won't be able to take our family of
six to 42 games a year and buy a jersey, program and
a pizza for each of them every game. Shucks!
Putting sarcasm aside, the way the NHL budged this
week was encouraging, not because we needed them to
budge, but because it puts to rest so many of the skeptics'
belief that Winnipeg wouldn't be welcomed back in to
the league. Or that we can't afford it. Or that our
arena is too small. All aspects that JetsOwner.com has
repeatedly declared to be false. They will be proven
Keep your hopes on high, but keep your feet on the
When the time comes, then we leap.
January 19, 2007
Whether Pens Stay Or Go, 'Peg Still Sitting
The most recent developments out of Pittsburgh indicate
strong last ditch efforts to keep the team there. Scare
tactics like visiting Kansas City's new Sprint Center
only fuel the bargaining fire between Mario Lemieux
and city officials in Pittsburgh. It's looking more
and more like Penguins really can't fly and therefore
won't be headed outside of Pittsburgh. That's not to
say they may still not move because, as we well know,
anything can fall through. Very quickly.
Some feel the Pens staying put hurts Winnipeg's chances
because Kansas City will still remain a front runner
for the next team that becomes available. That point
has validity but consider this; there is a good possibility
that Kansas City will land an NBA team before that time
comes, especially since they have so successfully advertised
a virtually free building (and practice facility) to
any frachise that wants to call it home. This has raised
the eyebrows of more than one team from both the hockey
and basketball realms. If successful in landing an NBA
team for the Sprint Center, expect Kansas City to quickly
fall out of love with NHL hockey.
Without knowing for sure, I feel the NHL is skeptical
about Kansas City as a market for reasons discussed
many times on this website. Most notably the fact that
after the Chiefs, Royals and a handful of NCAA sports,
there isn't much of a supply of people left for hockey
at any level to draw from. Let alone 18,000 of them
42 nights a year. Even from within they are skeptical.
This from David Martin of The Pitch
in Kansas City,"On a per-capita basis, Kansas City
is actually overserved by professional sports, which
is a significant reason that no NBA or NHL team owner
has agreed to move a team to the Sprint Center".
In fact, this same problem exists in a dozen current
"NHL markets". Heck, television ratings alone
can spell that out, a 1.1 rating for last week's season
debut on NBC. A desperate landlord wishing to lure a
tenant for his building in a city with no proven track
record for hockey hardly seems like the right direction
for a league already up to their ears in troubles with
their non-traditional markets.
Oklahoma City bowed out suspiciously at the last minute,
leaving the speculation that they realized that they
were being used as a bargaining chip for leverage with
the city of Pittsburgh.
Despite rumours regarding cities like Seattle, Portland
and Hartford, none of these cities have made any real
effort to bring the NHL to their neighbourhood.
Plus, the Pens price tag remains at an inflated level.
Add all of this up and it becomes clear to me that
the Pens will likely stay in Pittsburgh and that Winnipeg
is no further behind with it's quest, albeit a quiet
quest, to regain membership in the National Hockey League.
Meanwhile, be sure to keep tabs on those flagged teams
down south who are now officially and openly in dire
straits. Most notably Nashville and Florida. They can't
draw bees to honey and when they do, many of the bees
get the honey for free.