The National Hockey League took a first step toward returning to the city of Winnipeg with Tuesday’s announcement that True North Sports and Entertainment has acquired the Atlanta Thrashers, subject to an approval process by the NHL Board of Governors that will unfold in June.  (Mark Chipman)

The NHL is returning to Winnipeg.

After weeks of the speculation, the NHL announced today that the Atlanta Thrashers will be sold to True North Sports and Entertainment and will be moved to Winnipeg,Manitoba.

Thousands of vocal hockey fans have been eagerly awaiting this since the city lost the Winnipeg Jets 15 years ago.  The team was sold, relocated, and renamed the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996.

I had the privilege to see the Jets play in Winnipeg in 1990.  The arena was filled with fans wearing and waving white.  It was loud.  It was vibrant.  The atmosphere was incredible.

This sale is still subject to the NHL approval, but when the team arrives in Winnipeg, it will no longer be named the Jets.

 Facts about the original Winnipeg Jets make up Today’s Top 7.

 1.  The Jets started in the WHA (World Hockey Association) in 1972.

2.  In their 7 years in the WHA, the Jets won the Final 3 Times.

3.  When the WHA folded in 1979, they were absorbed in the NHL.  In their first two seasons, the Jets finished dead last.

4. The Jets had their best NHL season in 1984-85 when they finished 4th overall in regular season play.

5.  Notable Jets alumni include Bobby Hull, Norm Beaudin, Dale Hawerchuk, Dave Babych, Laurie Boschman, Randy Carlyle, Thomas Steen, Nikolai Khabibulin, Teemu Selanne, Kris Draper, and Shane Doan.

6.  The event of all Jets Fans wearing white to the game is called the “Whiteout”.  This was adopted as a response to the “C of Red” created by the fans of the Calgary Flames.

7.  The Jets played their final game on April 28, 1996, losing to the Detroit Red Wings 4-1.

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