Monday, May 23rd, 2011
62

11 Name Suggestions For Winnipeg's New Hockey Team

There's nothing more exciting in sports than a team relocation. We haven't experienced a North American Sports Franchise moving since the Seattle Supersonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder. And although it was a bummer for Grunge City, it all worked out for the best because now they're an awesome team with a college basketball level of excitement! The NHL last experienced the excitement of a franchise move when the Whalers left Hartford for the less Connectictut-y pastures of Tobacco Alley, where they were dubbed "The Carolina Hurricanes." And won a Stanley Cup. I someday hope to bring the beloved Whale back to Hartford myself, once I've saved up the money. Hockey teams in the South are a little like winning college football programs in the North. It seems a little out-of-place. But a winner is a winner.

Sadly, the city of Atlanta has not taken to their expansion Atlanta Thrashers with the same level of excitement. The Thrashers, a playoff team in 2007, drew a mere 13,469 to its home games this year. Only two teams were lower: the NHL-owned Phoenix Coyotes and my beloved New York Islanders. (Would you go to the middle of Long Island to see a hockey game? Maybe if your actual favorite team was in town—or you wanted to do laundry at your mother's house afterwards.) So, it seems the Thrashers will be on the move, back to Winnipeg, which was once the home of the Winnipeg Jets.

There is quite a conversation going on about what the team should be named. The NHL, which owns the former Jets (now the Coyotes), still owns the name "The Jets" and would probably charge for use of it. The AHL team currently playing in Winnipeg and owned by True North Sports is called the Manitoba Moose. Just slips right off the tongue, don't it? Other names have been bandied about, none of which seem to quite fit a NHL team.

Part of the fun of team's abandoning their cities for new cities is the wild speculation that goes on about names and jerseys and such. Which I shall now take part in. I have never been to Winnipeg nor met anyone from Manitoba. And I don't remember ever watching an NHL game set there. But that only makes me All The More Suitable to come up with the perfect nickname and jersey for Winnipeg's new team. I am unbiased. I just like wearing cool Hockey Jerseys and pretending to have a Canadian Accent.

Winnipeg True North: This was my first and probably best idea. It's all down hill from here. The name of the people buying the Thrashers is True North. "True North" shows up in the Canadian National Anthem. Which is a great song, by the way. And everyone in the crowd at Winnipeg could shout "TRUE NORTH!!" when they came to that section of the song, like how people in Baltimore emphasize the O's in "The Star-Spangled Banner." And it just sounds cool. I think the magnetic poles are supposed to reverse in 2012, so I don't know if Canada will technically still be True North or if they'll actually be True South by then, but no one seems to notice that this is happening, so whatever.

Manitoba Echo: They seem to want to include the entire province in the name of the team. And, in general, two-syllable words are best for sports nicknames, so you can do the whole "Let's Go Blank Blank" Thing. And this team is like an Echo of the old Winnipeg Jets. Except hopefully they will win.

Winnipeg Bunnies: Rabbits, in general, are underrepresented in North American sports nicknames. Which is weird, because rabbits are fast. And if they're like Bugs Bunny, they are also smart and funny. I'd choose a nice pink costume for them. Pink is underrepresented in the NHL, too. And if you combine Pink and Black, like the Palermo FC footballers of the Italian League, the results are both striking and bold.

Manitoba Musk Ox: I'm not sure that Musk Oxes actually live in Manitoba, but they are cool-looking rasta oxes. Other possible Mammal names: Winnipeg Wapiti, Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg Wildebeests, Manitoba Narwhal.

The Canadian Unicorns: Like the Golden State Warriors, who play in Oakland, but did not want to bear the name of that city on their jerseys, the Canadian Unicorns could be a team for The Rest of Canada. A team for all the cities without teams in that Hockey-crazed neighbor of ours. Plus, unicorns are so awesome.

Winnipeg Vampires: No other Sports Franchise has cashed in on the Huge Vampire Market. I see huge potential in a team that piggybacked on all this Twilight nonsense. From Vampire t-shirts to fake teeth! Especially if this Winnipeg team was going to be bad: T-shirts and bags-to-be-worn-over-heads that say "Winnipeg Vampires Suck!" Isn't that cute, what I did there? Yeah. Totally.

Manitoba Killer Robots: They don't have to be Killer Robots to be tough. Somehow Robots have been ignored as sports nicknames. And don't you know all the nerds in the world would be buying this jersey? Aw, yeah. Go, nerds.

Manitoba Nia Vardaloses: Did you know that "Big Fat Greek Wedding" lady actress was from Manitoba? She is the only celebrity from there I had ever heard of.

Winnipeg Jets: Like 65% of those polled just want to call them the Jets. C'mon! That's so boring! Get over it! This is a new start! A fresh beginning. Winnipegians, we can do better!

Winnipeg Winners: You are what you say you are. And if they call themselves "The Winners" maybe they shall be Winners. It would be bad if they called themselves "The Winners" and never won. I don't know what would happen then, something weird. My parents used to buy me Sears Brand Winners sneakers and even though they were called Winners, I did not feel like a Winner. So maybe no on Winners.

Winnipeg Who: To many, Winnipeg is just a former Industrial City in Central Canada with no personality. Let's embrace the unknown enigma that is Winnipeg, what do you say? If you were watching hockey with your mom she could say, "Who are the Bruins playing?" And you could say "The Who." And she'd be like "???" Or your buddy could ask you what the score was and you could say "Who 2 Rangers 1." And he'd be like "???" Also, I can see them blasting "Whoooo Are You? Who! Who! Who! Who!" over the loud speakers after goals. Or doing the Mick Jagger "Sympathy for the Devil" "Whooo! Whooo!"

Do the right thing, Winnipeg. Next I'll my Franchise Changing powers on the New Jersey Nets, who will be moving to Brooklyn in 2012. I'm thinking Brooklyn Knights. Or the Fighting Knishes.



Jim Behrle tweets at @behrle for your possible amusement.

62 Comments / Post A Comment

willystaley (#7,688)

They should somehow name their hockey team for that one Cam'ron line: "Ice like Winnipeg/gem stones, Flintstones, you could say I'm friends with Fred"

Bittersweet (#765)

Brooklyn Fighting Knishes FTW. And I would totally donate to a fund that brought the Whalers back to Hartford. You should set up a website.

jfruh (#713)

@Bittersweet Sorry, the mall in Hartford where their stadium was located is now using that space for a Hot Topic.

Bittersweet (#765)

@jfruh: Sigh. And people wonder why I left Connecticut…

The Legs. The Winnipeg Legs. Or the Winnipeg Coopers?

s. (#775)

@sorry your heinous Winnipeg Bundies.

@s. I thought over for a while the Winnipeg Asus, but couldn't make it work. I like your idea.

RK Fire (#10,307)

Strangely enough, I am loving the picture of the musk ox. It looks like a gnarlier sheep, but of course I would never say that to its face.

freetzy (#7,018)

Also, the Vampires could reference Manitoba's other "famous" person Guy Maddin.

keisertroll (#1,117)

@freetzy Clearly you are all forgetting Bachman Turner Overdrive. The Manitoba Business works as both an NHL franchise and a Robert Ludlum novel.

semiserious (#2,430)

If the team doesn't use any of these names, send them to the Florida Panthers when they inevitably move to Las Vegas or Halifax.

(I actually had no idea that Atlanta had an NHL team until a few months ago. I had never even heard of the Atlanta Thrashers, and were surprised they were not an ECHL team when I investigated the matter.)

sir_steveoh (#13,036)

@semiserious : NOT TO BIG A HOCKEY FAN ARE YOU? You would have to actual avoid sports news not to have known about the Thrashers. Well lets see they had Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa, Kari Lehtonen, Marc Savard, Bobby Holik, Andrew Brunette, Mark Recchi, Dany Heatley, and even former Winnipeg Jet Keith Tkachuk for a short time.

Now that they are a good young team with Stanley Cup winners like Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien and many other good players like Tobias Enstrom, Evander Kane, Bryan Little, Chris Mason, Ben Maxwell, Nik Antropov, and Anthony Stewart, plus Winnipeggers Nigel Dawes, I'm surprised you never heard of them.

So you never hear about the Thrashers eh, must mean you ran into a sports blog by accident !!!

SeanP (#4,058)

@semiserious Geez, I didn't even know the Sonics had moved to OK City.

djbsquared (#4,729)

I really like the Unicorns… however, I am pretty sure if they went that way, the horn would have to be made from a hockey stick.

The Winnipeg Hellstorm

keisertroll (#1,117)

The Mighty Guy Maddins of Winnipeg

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@keisertroll The Most Beautiful Hockey Team in the World

phloxx (#13,108)

@keisertroll The Winnipeg Ice Nymphs

usernameguy (#6,640)

The Winnipeg Guys With Hockey Sticks

@usernameguy Winnipeg Stick Wanglers

hockeymom (#143)

This post is like pouring salt into a wound that's so deep, it's carved into my SOUL.

The Minnesota North Stars. A beautiful, wonderful hockey team that played at the old Met Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota for 26 amazing seasons, including all of my childhood and much of my adulthood. I watched them when they were great and when they stunk. I have memories of my father parking our crappy, yellow station wagon in the far corner of the lot, picking me up and carrying me, running all the way, into the stadium. Then he would buy me a hot chocolate because I was frozen. We loved the North Stars in Minnesota. Because Minnesota is all about hockey.
But then one day, it was over. Norm Green bought the team and moved them to Dallas. He moved a hockey team from MINNESOTA TO DALLAS. What. The. Fuck.
I was in California when they knocked the Met stadium down to make way for The Mall of America. I flew back, took a taxi across the street, crossed the construction tape, grabbed a piece of cement and got on a plane that left three hours later, back to California. That stupid piece of cement has moved with me four times. That's how much I loved the North Stars.
I'm not sure what my point is…except, thank goodness the Thrashers weren't around long enough to have people fall in love with them and get their hearts CRUELLY BROKEN.

One other thing…WHAT THE HELL IS A WILD? Is it singular, is it plural? Who knows.
(sorry for the rant).

QueenWasp (#926)

@hockeymom I am here for you, my sister. We are like women without a country.

Hirham (#1,709)

@hockeymom No matter what else comes out of this, the people of Winterpeg, who so badly miss the Jets, are at least getting a team back. The Thrashers are at least going to a good home, which was harder to argue in the days of moves to Dallas/Phoenix/Carolina.

Vicky (#7,168)

@hockeymom also, the Wild's logo is shaped like South Carolina.

sir_steveoh (#13,036)

@hockeymom : Minnesota Wild…hum…gee…makes sense to me, have you never been in the wild before.

sir_steveoh (#13,036)

@hockeymom : 11 years is plenty of time for people to have fallen in love with the Thrasher, so maybe it has more to do with the culture of Atlanta verse the culture of the Twin Cities.

The Winnipeg Fighting Immigrants

keisertroll (#1,117)

@NotAndersonCooper Upper or lower case?

sir_steveoh (#13,036)

@NotAndersonCooper : how about the Winnipeg Bigots, wait no that's already to popular in Winnipeg !!!

Monty Hall was from Winnepeg. The Winnepeg Dealmakers it is.

Mr. B (#10,093)

My parents used to buy me Sears Brand Winners sneakers

This explains so much.

"I someday hope to bring the beloved Whale back to Hartford myself, once I've saved up the money."

EVERYONE SHUT UP LET THE MAN TALK HE HAS SOME GOOD IDEAS

@Quarterly Prophet
brass bonanza is pretty much the soundtrack to my life

graffin (#9,588)

@Quarterly Prophet As a Raleigh resident, I would have to say that you would have to pry that team from our cold, dead, BBQ grease covered hands!

@graffin
Man you live in North Carolina there's no need to punish an entire hockey team by making them live there too.

Vicky (#7,168)

I feel pretty lousy about naming the Thrashers as best goal horn now.

Also, I really hope they go with an actual thing instead of something like "Wild" or "Thunder" or "Magic" or whatever. Not into that naming convention.

sir_steveoh (#13,036)

@Vicky : that post makes no sense at all !!!

Sarcastro (#328)

The Winnipeg Team That Will Move Somewhere Else in About Ten Years

sir_steveoh (#13,036)

@Sarcastro : lets just give up now and not even try because we could lose them in the future, never mind the present lets worry about the past too while we're at it !!!

cassie74 (#12,972)

How about Winnipeg Warriors

You might be surprised to hear this, but the Winnipeg Who would be the PERFECT name, since one of the biggest bands to ever come out of Winnipeg was the "Guess Who", precursor to "Bachman-Turner Overdrive". It's not like they won't be playing "American Woman" or "Taking Care of Business" during the games anyway!

sir_steveoh (#13,036)

@Denton Froese@twitter : The Who is a British Band, and there has been hundreds of other good bands from Winnipeg since 1967 !
I'm sure glad none of you people are in marketing. Oh, I know lets call them the Cash Test Dummies, or the Watchmen, or the Weakerthans duh !!!

funkfunkfunk (#12,621)

@Jim Behrle: you've never heard of Niel Young?

Winnipeg has two seasons Winter and Mosquito. The reason that Winnipeg women wear scarves year round is because they double as mosquito nets. My suggestion is the Manitoba Mosquitos. It is their Provincial bird.

sir_steveoh (#13,036)

@Dave Krahn@facebook : yeah but hockey is in the other season….Winter !

Excuse me, I am from Winnipeg (we lived in graduate student housing at the University of Manitoba) and I just want to say that the team should be called the Winnipeg Golden Boys. Here is a picture of the Golden Boy: http://bit.ly/iMqWwH. It's iconic! Plus, it would make a great newspaper headline:

"The Golden Boys Have Struck Gold!"
"And The Goal is Golden!"
"The Golden Boys Settle for Silver Place"

You know?

sir_steveoh (#13,036)

@Ying Ying Li@facebook : they don't play for metals in NHL they receive the most coveted sports prize there is, the Stanley Cup. Plus have you ever looked up Golden Boys with out safe search mode on, it's not anything to do with Manitoba, and more to do with Showers !!!

@sir_steveoh Most coveted and most PEED in sports prize, you mean! Which, circling back to your unsafe searching of Golden Boys results, would make my suggestion doubly appropriate:

"The Stanley Cup Gets a Golden Shower from the Golden Boys!"

PS. Although I will be the first to admit that my sports knowledge is extremely paltry, I do know that they play for a cup in the NHL… the allusions to gold/silver in my headlines were figurative!

sir_steveoh (#13,036)

Are these ever insulting minus the Jets as a name, I think the writer Jim is trying to make fun of Winnipeg.

Winner, Who, Unicorns, I guess he isn't all that interested in seeing Winnipeg succeed, and I see or hear so many negative Winnipeggers that I don't think they deserve a NHL team.

People here are not to bright, don't read up on anything, never look up facts and Winnipeg is the most negative city in all of Canada, we might call them the NAH-EVERS nahh dair boy anywayz!

Now for those of you who love hockey and can stay positive for more then the time your buzz lasts, Some actual good names are:
Winnipeg Thunder
Winnipeg Falcon
Winnipeg Thrashers
Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg Warriors
Manitoba Bears
Winnipeg Moose
Manitoba Thrashers

I prefer either Thunder or Falcons both catchy and fitting.

We saw how well the name Thunder worked for Winnipeg in the WBL and NBL from 1992 to 1994, plus has a great intro tune.
The Winnipeg Falcons were the first hockey team to win Canada a Olympic Gold metal in 1920 that, and an actual Falcon live next door to the MTS Centre, and be seen flying over head time to time.

Former Pegger (#13,038)

I am former Winnipegger (not Winnipeggian) who now lives in Vancouver-Go Canucks go.!! I like some of the name suggestions particularly The Falcon or Thunder but would like to suggest some alternate names like Winnipeg Thunderbirds
Winnipeg Pelicans (yes, believe it or not there are pelicans in Manitoba-they congregate on the Red River-I saw them with my own eyes-they are funny looking creatures)

Manitoba Polar Bears (would promote tourism in Manitoba as there are Polar Bears in Churchill)

Manitoba Prairie Dawgs (they care common to both Manitoba and Saskatchewan our prairie neighbour)
or the Manitoba Youngsters, Cummings or Bachmans (three of Winnipeg's famous sons-Neil Young of CSN&Y, Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman of Guess Who and BTO fame). I like the sound of the The Guy Maddins. Oh and another famous Winnipegger folks forgot to mention is David Steinberg…there are others..Winnipeg is a hotbed of music and culture (has one of the best folk festivals and fringe festivals on the planet and a great multicultural festival called Foklorama-gee I am starting to sound like I work for Manitoba tourism..well I guess once a Winnipegger always a Winnipegger-Go Jets Go!!

sir_steveoh (#13,036)

I like Thunderbirds too not bad !

I think they should use thesaurus to make some really great name. This is new HOCKEY team, not some hamsters…

RogerDom (#13,100)

Winnipeg True North is not bad; the other ones do not impress me.
Why isn't anyone considering calling the team "The Red River Flood" ? This name would show some knowledge of history and geography, it would intimidate opponents, it would allow Manitobans to reflect with pride on their heroism, and it would provide wonderful opportunites for sports writers, e.g., "Red River Flood has Senators Treading Water" and "Islanders Submerged in Red River Flood."
It would make the names of many of the other teams seem silly.

How about 'The Winnipeg Rebels'? Not forgetting Louis Riel?

yoyoma (#13,564)

da bears

Maybe get some synonyms list for all words that associates with Winnipeg?

Beastopapapus (#14,111)

my vote for new name, the Winnipeg Windchills,
team mascot, Windbreaker.

aruks (#14,177)

My suggestion would be The Winnipeg Chinook (an obvious choice).

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