Ladies and gentlemen, your Winnipeg or Manitoba Whiteout!
It’s possible, and the reality is at the moment it’s the only thing the team could legally call themselves.
That’s what 6282980 Manitoba Limited Partnership (the legal name of the group who purchased the Atlanta Thrashers) registered as a trademark with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office on May 4, 2011 for one stated purpose only “Entertainment services in the field of professional ice hockey” – and as of today’s date it’s the only thing they’ve registered. Application number 1526249, go ahead, look it up.
Lets face it, it’s clear this group is not interested in returning to the name Winnipeg Jets, they made that obvious from the start – if it were to be called the Winnipeg Jets they would’ve said so right away. Manitoba Moose? It’s still possible but my source was wrong about 2 of the 3 things I was told in that conversation, so… I’m not liking the odds on the third one. The Whiteout, which would be different, does make sense from a historical perspective in the city – it was the tradition the fans of the Jets started during the playoff runs the club had in the 1990’s, there’s a tie-in with ice and winter (and boy does Winnipeg ever get winter), you could make a hockey player-blizzard-whiteout conditions connection in there too without much effort.
I’ll admit, yes, it’s likely that they purchased the term to legally own the name of this Winnipeg tradition in anticipation of owning a NHL team there but still… it’s not much of a stretch. The team already has 13,000 fans locked in for at least 3 seasons; people can’t turn away at this point if they don’t like the name, plus why name the team Jets or Moose? Fans already have merchandise, that’s money the owners lose by sticking with an established identity in jersey and various other sales.
A Winnipeg Whiteout, for those who are unaware, is when the fans of the Winnipeg Jets dressed in white during home playoff games – it certainly took off across the North American professional sports world after they started it. The tradition stuck with the Jets franchise in Phoenix where fans there still don white during their home playoff games.
I’d be interested to hear what the fans out there think about this name – Manitoba Whiteout? Winnipeg Whiteout? Add your comments below, honestly the more I hear it the better it sounds… just good luck to whoever has to make the logo for it.