The Winnipeg Jets are an ice hockey team from Winnipeg, Canada. The club competes in the Central Division of the Western Conference of the NHL.
There are two franchises bearing the name “Winnipeg Jets”; however, they have different origins and stories of sports glory.
The Winnipeg Jets were established in 1972 to play in the WHA. From 1979 to 1990, their official Winnipeg Jets logo looked like a blue circle with a red outline. It featured a jet taking off, white-scripted “Jets” and arched red-scripted “Winnipeg.” The letter “J” in “Jets” was made in the form of a white hockey stick and stretched out to the entire height of the logo. In 1991-1996, the blue background was removed in favor of white. The words “Winnipeg” and “Jets” were written in blue. The hockey stick-shaped “J” went beyond the emblem Winnipeg Jets. The red jet was now simplified.
After the WHA was disbanded, the Winnipeg Jets joined the NHL. In 1996, due to mounting financial troubles, the team owner Barry Shenkarow was forced to sell the franchise to Steven Gluckstern and Richard Burke. They intended to move the team to Minneapolis, Minnesota. But something went wrong, and the club was relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. It was renamed “Phoenix Coyotes.” In 2009, the Phoenix Coyotes were declared bankrupt and became the property of the National Hockey League.
In 2004, a new Bell MTS Place indoor arena was opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada). It started the rumors of returning hockey to the city again. The leading candidates for coming back were the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes. But the NHL that took ownership of the franchise refused to sell it to anyone and relocate it to Canada.
Here begins the second era in the history of the club. In 2010-2011, it was announced that the Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL were put up for sale and might move to Winnipeg. On May 31, 2011, Gary Bettman confirmed that the Atlanta Thrashers had been sold to True North Sports. The team got a new name, “Winnipeg Jets.”
The Atlanta Thrashers’ emblem was the Brown Thrasher bird. Mockingbird is a small, brown bird, completely harmless and has nothing to do with the muscle-bound pterodactyl depicted on the Atlanta Thrashers logo. However, it is the official state bird of Georgia. After moving to Canada, the ownership decided to hold a name-the-team contest. Fans voted on the Winnipeg Jets. There was no point in exploiting the old emblem. On July 22, 2011, the team introduced its new Winnipeg Jets logo based on the Royal Canadian Air Force symbol.
Meaning and History
The name “Winnipeg Jets” completely corresponds to the fighting mood of the young team. Initially, the team based in the United States moved to Winnipeg, the capital city of the province of Manitoba, in Canada. In 2011, the Team Chairman Mark Chipman noted that the new name “Jets” was chosen as a tribute to the Royal Canadian Air Force.
1999 – 2011
At the beginning of the 21st century, the Atlanta Thrashers team introduced its first logo. It depicted a Brown Thrasher bird, the official state bird of the team’s home state, Georgia. The bird inside a blue triangle held a golden hockey stick in its tail. The Thrasher bird was drawn in three shades of gold and brown. There was a yellow outline around the entire logo.
2011 – present
After moving to Canada, the club got a new name and a new Winnipeg Jets logo, developed in collaboration with the NHL. The logo is based on a McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet with its nose pointing up. The jet plane is placed over a red maple leaf and encircled by solid blue and silver outlines.