The city of Winnipeg has been waiting, wishing and hoping for an NHL franchise returning to their city for a long time.
It seems that time may have finally arrived.
True North has denied these claims, but according to The Globe and Mail, the company is still making preparations for the announcement, thus making sense that the company is still denying it.
Despite no official confirmation, the Internet is abuzz with the news, wondering what this means for the NHL, for the city of Winnipeg and what the team will be called.
Here are the top 10 ideas for the team nickname.
Since Winnipeg has worked for so long to bring NHL hockey back to Winnipeg, why not have the team nickname reflect the city?
One of Winnipeg's nicknames is the "Gateway to the West."
Calling the team the Winnipeg Westerners has that alliterative ring to it that many sports team have.
The University of Manitoba is located in Winnipeg. The university mascot is the bison, as bison are commonly found in the wilderness of Manitoba.
Perhaps the Winnipeg NHL team could use the bison mascot as well.
The above logo is the Manitoba Bisons logo. A Winnipeg Bison logo may be too close, but it could also reflect a part of Manitoba.
Wolves are another animal indigenous to the Winnipeg wilderness.
Wolves are ferocious and beautiful creatures, just as hockey can be both a ferocious and beautiful sport.
Plus, its another alliterative name that could catch on.
Perhaps an even better name than wolves would be the Winnipeg Wolverines.
Wolverines are another animal commonly found in Manitoba.
They make a great mascot for the University of Michigan, known for their prestigious hockey program, and I have often wondered why the wolverine is not more commonly used as a mascot.
The Winnipeg Falcons represented Canada at the 1920 Olympic Games. They won gold, the first gold medal for Canada in ice hockey.
It might be a nice homage to history if the Thrashers became the Winnipeg Falcons.
On the downside though, It sounds more like a football team from Atlanta...the place that the Thrashers will be leaving.
Why would Winnipeg want to maintain that reminder of Atlanta? They will probably want something that doesn't remind people of Atlanta and instead only represents Winnipeg.
The team was immediately much more successful on the ice, going farther in the playoffs than they had in Atlanta. They also won the Cup within the decade.
Perhaps keeping the nickname would be good luck, then?
There are many lakes around Winnipeg so the nickname "Lakers" seems fitting.
After all, one of the lakes, Lake Winnipeg, is the largest lake in southern Canada.
Lakers don't have to be synonymous with basketball, as evidenced by the Lake Superior State University Lakers logo.
The Voyageurs has been a suggested name for an NHL franchise, but has yet to be used.
Winnipeg has a rich French history, so it would be nice for that to be reflected in the team name.
Plus, the city holds an annual Festival du Voyageur each winter to celebrate the fur-trading history in the city.
Finally, voyageur is French for "traveller." It sounds like the team: they left Winnipeg, but made their way back. Travellers may leave, but they always come home.
Not necessarily one of the best names, but it seems to be the front-runner. True North owns the Manitoba Moose and may want to expand the brand into the NHL.
After all, they've cultivated the brand in Manitoba so surely they will want to expand it.
The Manitoba Moose are currently the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, who are sure to quickly become a rival, so perhaps Manitoba Moose needs a second thought.
The people of Winnipeg want their Jets back, why not give it to them?
It seems like the Jets are the best choice, although there is some question as to whether it's legally permissible to use.
There's still quite a bit of brand equity left in the Jets, as Jets' merchandise is still very popular in and around the province.
If True North calls them the Jets, they would show Winnipeg that the team is for the city, not just another business acquisition for the company.