I would looooooooooooooooooove for Winnipeg to get an NHL franchise back.
My Dad took me to my first Jets game when I was THREE. Yes, we start early in Canada. As a Jets fan I've seen some of the best hockey players the league has ever seen stroll through Winnipeg (Gretzky anyone?). I love hockey.
When the Jets left it was sad, but I wasn't one of those kids that was crying at the rallies, thrusting my piggy bank into the arms of politicians, begging them to save my beloved team. I was in grade six. It was shitty, but what can you do? I saved every press clipping on the whole thing for a long time before I realized (again, young) that shit happens, and most of it is bigger than me, and it's not worth getting your panties in a bunch over.
Then we got the Moose. I went to one of the first games and it was simply put, the worst ever. That was back when the team was in the IHL - very different from the league it's part of presently, the AHL.
Once the team moved to the AHL the hockey got much better. I worked with the team as part of CJOB for four years. I'm very passionate in my defense of the Moose and the AHL - I have seen, first hand that the organization is staffed by some very talented and hard working people. The players I worked with were incredibly gracious, very talented and have done a lot more for this community than just play some hockey.
Now there's all this talk we could get our Jets back which thrills me on the inside, but on the outside I'm cynical because we've gone down this road before. There's talk every few years of getting the Jets back and it always puts Winnipeggers through an emotional rollercoaster.
I want our team back. Mostly because I want the NHL to have to admit that sunbelt hockey was a terrible fucking idea. I want it to give us back a franchise this city loved so much. I want to be a part of it's rebuilding.
But what I don't want is for us to get a team back and discover, down the line, that it's not sustainable for our city. We're a cheap bunch, and at 80 bucks a pop for tickets (minimum), I don't know how many Winnipeggers can support the team. I don't want to see the Moose, who have been incredible ambassadors for our city, run out of town or forgotten about by the masses who want their Jets back. You have to realize there is an entire generation of kids out there who grew up with the Moose, and know nothing of this hockey team their Dad is always whining about.
I also don't Winnipeggers to get their hopes up just yet. Don't champion the victory til the papers are signed. There's still work to be done to bring the team here. I want it, you want it - but we still have to wait it out.
I also feel that as a Winnipegger, my identity is not tied to a hockey team. No matter how many games I've gone to (Jets, Moose, juniors, etc), and no matter who plays in this town, I don't feel any more or less a Winnipegger because of it, and if you're from here you shouldn't either.
Now let's all cross our fingers, hope for the best, and start saving up the money to afford the tickets.