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The Hockey Gods Would Truly Be Sick Bastards If The Winnipeg Jets Win The Cup The Same Year Arizona Loses Their Team

Jonathan Kozub. Getty Images.

Alright, bitches. Take your seats and grab a pencil, it's time for a history lesson real quick on the 1979 NHL Expansion. In 1979, 4 teams from the WHA were absorbed into the NHL. You had the Edmonton Oilers, the Hartford Whalers, the Quebec Nordiques, and the Winnipeg Jets. The Edmonton Oilers had Gretzky. They had the ultimate cheat code and ended up winning 5 Stanley Cups while still remaining in Edmonton all these years later. 

The Hartford Whalers were cursed after trading Ron Francis, only won one playoff series their entire existence in the NHL, traded away Chris Pronger, and then were ultimately relocated to Carolina in 1997 where the Hurricanes would go on to win the Cup in 2006. 

The Quebec Nordiques were an absolute joke from a financial and managerial aspect. They relocated to Colorado where the Avalanche won a Stanley Cup the very first year of their existence, and would win 2 more since then. 


Out of all the teams that were absorbed into the NHL in the NHL-WHA "merger", all of them have ultimately become championship caliber franchises. Only one of them has remained in their original city, but they've all gone on to hoist the Cup in some capacity. Well…all of them but one. 

Mitchell Layton. Getty Images.

The goddamn Jets. They played their last game in Winnipeg on April 28, 1996. From there, the team was shipped off to the desert to become the Phoenix Coyotes. After multiple bankruptcies and plenty of scandals along the way, the Arizona Coyotes are officially no more and the team is moving to Utah next season. 

In their 27 years in Arizona, the Coyotes had just one season where they won a playoff series. They went to the Western Conference Finals in 2012, but the Yotes spent the majority of their existence with their season ending in early April. The Winnipeg Jets lost their franchise to a team that missed the playoffs in 18/27 seasons. 

Now obviously we all know that Winnipeg got the Jets back in 2011 on account of hockey not working out in Atlanta for the 2nd time. It's technically not the same franchise as before but it's not like they lost out on any rich history of success. But there was always still a part of Winnipeg that lived with Arizona. Like an older brother who moved away from home, got addicted to peyote, and nobody in the family really knows what he's doing with his life but he's been off the rails for so long that it's hard for people to even try to help him anymore. You'll always be worried about him, but you know that any sort of help at this point would just be enabling. It gets to be a really draining and daunting experience. 

But that time is no more.


I know it's just game 1. But you can't win 16 games in the playoffs unless you win 1 first. This Jets vs Avalanche series has the potential to be the best series of the whole dang playoffs. Two wagons going blow for blow. 6 goals in the first, 6 goals in the 3rd, and luckily for Winnipeg they picked up the only goal in the middle. A 7-6 final in front of a rabid white out crowd in Winnipeg to get the playoffs started. Even with letting up 6 goals on the night, Connor Hellebuyck made 40 saves. Don't give up nearly as many shots on net and that's a recipe for sustained success for these Jets over the next 7-8 weeks. 

The Oilers won their Cups as the Oilers. The Whalers won their Cup as the Hurricanes. The Nordiques won their Cups as the Avalanche. What if all it takes for the Winnipeg Jets to win a Cup is for their original franchise to die and now rise from the ashes like a phoenix? Would be pretty poetic from the hockey gods considering that's where they moved to in the first place.