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Sleepless in St. Boniface; NHL lockout rankles Winnipeg

Sleepless in St. Boniface; NHL lockout rankles Winnipeg
By Jim Chliboyko

Many fans feel that Olli Jokinen, the rest of the players and the NHL collectively turned their backs on Winnipeg when they allowed the 2012-13 season to be shortened for purely financial reasons. Photo by Jim Chliboyko.
Many fans feel that Olli Jokinen, the rest of the players and the NHL collectively turned their backs on Winnipeg when they allowed the 2012-13 season to be shortened for purely financial reasons. Photo by Jim Chliboyko.

There’s a Twilight Zone story in here somewhere, submitted for your approval:

Picture, if you will, a city… a city that’s been abandoned, then embraced again, by the same organization that had previously abandoned it. The organization returns just long enough for the city to get a taste of its presence for one triumphant year, until the league… erm… self-destructs, the Martians’ book is actually a cookbook, the librarian at the end of the world sits on his own glasses and it turns out that the demon on the airplane wing is real! Or something twisty like that.

In short, Winnipeg loses the Jets in the ‘90s, the city waits a decade and a half for them to return, and then once they return, almost within the year there’s a league-wide NHL lockout. Especially since the former Moose (current Ice Caps) are still playing in Newfoundland. Unfair!

Okay, maybe it wouldn’t make Rod Serling’s shortlist, but the irony is there. In survivalist parlance, this is known as the “worst-case scenario.” If you had told someone that this was the fate of the Jets in the autumn of 2012, as well as the rest of the league, said person would have laughed, then punched you, being careful not to get blood on their Pavelec-autographed jersey. And like most worst-case scenarios, this one was entirely avoidable, totally regrettable and has left a trail of damage in its wake. In this case, it’s mostly been economic damage.

More after the jump.

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