The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/21/11 at 12:35 PM ET
I got, ahem, taken in by Mr. Stephen Brunt’s “Winnipeg is happening now, now, now!” story, so it’s within TMR territory to offer Brunt’s defense of his position via [colleague Jeff Blair] of the Globe and Mail, which is of course owned by David Thomson:
True North owns the MTS Centre, the NHL has a salary cap, the Canadian dollar is stronger. Manitoba’s economy has been on a roll, boasting $53-billion in gross domestic product last year. The province generated 11,500 jobs in 2010, its best showing in eight years. Economists are forecasting that Manitoba’s unemployment rate will dip this year to 5.1 per cent compared with 5.4 per cent last year. While Manitoba has a population of 1.23 million, the Winnipeg hockey club will also draw from Saskatchewan, which has enjoyed its own economic renaissance.
“Everybody thinks about Alberta growing, but the western region has benefited from economic growth, too,” said Barry Prentice, a business professor at the University of Manitoba. “As Calgary and Edmonton have grown, so has Winnipeg. Manitoba and Saskatchewan used to be losers, but now we’re gaining. It’s a fabulous thing to have the NHL back.”
University of Manitoba finance professor John McCallum noted that Winnipeg will draw fans from Saskatchewan, northern Ontario, northern Minnesota and North Dakota. He added that manufacturers in the Winnipeg area have thrived on their proximity to the Canada-U.S. border, sending goods south.
So if this is a risk, then it’s a risk worth taking, in a place that actually cares about the game enough to have missed it when it was gone. That’s our story, at least. And as expat Manitobans, we’re sticking to it.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.