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Still A Mess In Phoenix

from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,

Hey Mayor Scruggs, hope the $50 million you’ve poured into the Phoenix Coyotes was worth it.

You kept your team, we got ours. It’s all good.

You get to sit in your private box and watch your team tangle with the Winnipeg Jets tonight.

Pricey tickets, for sure, but according to you, hockey is the key to economic survival in the desert. Well, we’ll take your word on that because surely you and your council know what you’re doing—betting on professional sports to prop up one of the most depressed economies in the U.S.

Here we are folks, back at the scene of the crime and all the usual suspects, from Scruggs to Cactus Phil Lieberman to Ed Beasley, are still in the picture.

They continue to try and peddle the Coyotes to some rube willing to pay over $200 million for a franchise worth less than half that, while agreeing to keep the team in a place that will never work as an NHL market.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Mr. Fnytelhatt's avatar

Seems like a very emotive issue for Mr. Lawless. Is he 14 years old? I already put him on my list of journos that are not worth reading after that tripe he wrote about the Blackhawks recently. Nothing in this quote makes me reconsider my opinion of him and I do hope there are other voices out of Winnipeg. I would feel bad having to hope they fail spectacularly and get relocated back to Atlanta, just to spite one man LOL

Posted by Mr. Fnytelhatt on 10/15/11 at 10:34 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

I do hope there are other voices out of Winnipeg

Me too, because the voices so far out of Winnipeg have been making it increasingly difficult to keep supporting the new franchise and their fan base.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 10/15/11 at 10:43 AM ET

BMS's avatar

As a Winnipegger, I’m really embarrassed by this childish piece of nose-thumbing. Please don’t think this represents the bulk of Winnipeggers’ feelings on the matter.

Posted by BMS from Winnipeg on 10/15/11 at 10:48 AM ET


Lol, like Atlanta was a model of stability.  Winnipeg, your team was a gift borne by the fact that a team in a U.S. market was insolvent, not because the NHL had any plans for another team in a Canadian market.  As Homer Simpson famously said - “De-fault, my two favorite words in the english language”.  You have a team by default and the rest of the league was happy for you until CBC’s orgy of Jet-mania instantly made it impossible for any American market to stomach your constant braying.  Really, the Prime Minister of Canada at the opening game?  Have fun with your lottery pick and wait until next season when you have all the teams in the West to deal with.

Posted by wingsfan31 from Detroit-ish on 10/15/11 at 10:58 AM ET

BMS's avatar

Not sure I get what the Prime Minister being at the game has to do with anything. He goes to Leafs and Sens games, saw the Canucks during the cup run, etc. He’s also a hockey historian that’s writing a book on hockey. When he originally made the request for Jets tix, he wanted 14. He got 2.

I don’t even like the PM.

Posted by BMS from Winnipeg on 10/15/11 at 11:04 AM ET

Pharazon's avatar


totally unnecessary column dude

Posted by Pharazon from England on 10/15/11 at 11:14 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m sorry, Winnipeggers, but the attitude that has come out of your press in regards to the Jets’ return and the southern US hockey markets has done nothing but paint you in a horrible light and made me hate your team.

I know that all Winnipeggers aren’t like this, but I’m starting to wonder how many of them are.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/15/11 at 11:20 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Take a deep breath, ‘Peggers. Most of us are behind you, and want you to succeed. Sadly, the only Jets ‘fans’ we have been hearing are the ones who have taken the David v Goliath theme to a level of self-pity and arrogance that unfortunately casts a light on the entire organization and its fans (wrong as that may be).

CBC was too much, also. They turned last Sunday into an insufferable orgy of “Look at us!” and flag-waving. Then, to hear the commentators constantly make references such as, “Now that they are playing in front of intelligent fans”, “fans that know the game”, and the like, really turned what should have been a banner Sunday into little more than xenophobic-like rantings that could not have pleased many.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 10/15/11 at 11:48 AM ET

BMS's avatar

Completely agree. That was, for the most part, a cringeworthy broadcast.

Posted by BMS from Winnipeg on 10/15/11 at 11:51 AM ET


has done nothing but paint you in a horrible light and made me hate your team.

I’m sure the fans of the Jets care that someone doesn’t like their team because of what the press have to say…

Posted by Garth on 10/15/11 at 11:52 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Petty and classless, just as I would expect from Canadian Hockey media.

Posted by Hootinani on 10/15/11 at 11:59 AM ET


It’s so amusing to watch all the butt-hurt Americans coming out to cry about the Canadian media.  Must be one of those days that end in a ‘y’, right?

Posted by Garth on 10/15/11 at 12:10 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m sure the fans of the Jets care that someone doesn’t like their team because of what the press have to say…

Posted by Garth on 10/15/11 at 10:52 AM ET

I’m sure the readers of Kuklas care that somebody doesn’t like what I have to say without adding anything to the conversation…

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/15/11 at 12:55 PM ET


I see the Winnipeg press is as bush league as the people who run the team. Did bully Lawless (can’t use the word “mister” here) send a nanny-nanny-boo-boo note to Rick Dudley and Craig Ramsey when they were unceremoniously kicked to the curb?

Realize this Lawless: while Phoenix keeps the Coyotes, officially they keep the original Jets’ records (and they have done a nice job of honoring the club’s days in Winnipeg). You fine folks get to keep the Thrashers history book.

See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya.

Posted by tj77 from USA on 10/15/11 at 02:35 PM ET

blammo's avatar

Woah, love this anti-Canadianism. Paul sure knows how to play up to the lowest common denominator. Posts articles like this to get the rabble all lathered up. Works every time.

I’m a huge fan of America and Americans but you sure have a lot of insecure hockey fans. Hope you can get your economic act together (we need you to too)! You are being eaten by your own.

Did you notice the Coca-Cola and Home Depot logos and centre ice. Yep, two ATL-based companies.

I have never seen any national boosterism on an American sports broadcast before. That is for sure!

Go Jets! Long live the Thrashers! Long live the Flames!

Posted by blammo from Vancouver, BC on 10/15/11 at 03:30 PM ET

Paul's avatar

blammo, yea, that’s it, I am anti-Canadian.

You have no idea what my feelings are on this topic, yet you think I post a column like this “to get the rabble all lathered up.”

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/15/11 at 03:37 PM ET

BMS's avatar

Meanwhile, while we all squabble the story continues to get lots of traffic and the limelight stays where it shouldn’t.

Posted by BMS from Winnipeg on 10/15/11 at 03:40 PM ET


Can’t do anything but agree with (almost) everyone else here. It might be (and probably is) a terrible idea for Glendale Council to be writing cheques to subsidize the Coyotes, but there’s absolutely no reason for some piddling columnist in Winnipeg to be too concerned about it.

Gary Lawless: You have a team now. Just try and enjoy it.

Posted by dzuunmod on 10/15/11 at 05:51 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The NHL can’t leave Winnipeg again soon enough.

Posted by Primis on 10/15/11 at 08:51 PM ET


So, Primis, you’d rather have teams in places where no one cares?

Posted by dzuunmod on 10/15/11 at 08:54 PM ET

awould's avatar

This article was very immature. Talk about a poor winner, and I use the term ‘winner’ very loosely. The thing is, nobody in Phoenix ever really cared about Winnipeg’s desire for a team, good or bad, until Canadian writers, bloggers and fans started in with the bashing of everything from the City and its residents to the entire USA fanbase. Our woeful economy, our supposed lack of hockey knowledge and the apparent giant bandwagon we all ride on. Winnipeg led the way in poor class while most of Canada followed over the past couple of years. And this guy managed to encapsulate all of it into one article. If you want to know the attitude coming down from Canada over this whole saga, this article is all you need to read.

And you’d think Canadians would lament the fact that such a great sport can’t catch on in the USA. I love when I find a new fan and sort of just feel sorry for the people who don’t give hockey a chance, they’re missing out on a great sport and the more fans the better. But instead, a lot of Canadians seem to be happier when hockey fails in the USA, like that somehow validates something for Canadians. And we’re the insecure ones, huh?

Posted by awould on 10/16/11 at 02:05 PM ET


Saw that fat jackwad at the PHX / WPG game. He IS as dumb as he looks.

Posted by Observer from In the know on 11/01/11 at 07:49 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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