Canucks and Beyond

Who Owns the History of the Winnipeg Jets?

06/24/2011 at 3:51pm EDT

While it was clear that a huge number of Winnipeg fans wanted their team’s original name back, I really didn’t think it was going to happen. But it seems it just might. As Elliotte Friedman said earlier today, “the power of public pressure” apparently rules the day.

But how logical is this decision? For instance, you have to wonder: Do the “new” Winnipeg Jets (Jets 2.0?) now re-hang their old retired jerseys—Bobby Hull and Thomas Steen—from the rafters? Whatever people might think of it, Phoenix claims those players as their own, and the jerseys are hanging in Arizona these days.

Do both teams get to claim this history, even though neither player was ever part of this new Jets team?

And how about historical stats: When Winnipeg fans figure out their team’s records in the coming seasons, do they incorporate their team’s pre-Phoenix history? But the Coyotes are already doing that, are they not?

Perhaps none of this is that big a deal, but off the top of my head, it seems like Winnipeg’s new NHL team has a confusing time ahead of it, sorting out the domino effect of their new/old name.

Is there any precedence for this situation in any of the pro sports leagues in North America?

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