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Not a whole lot of the alternatives suggested for Winnipeg's team roll off the tongue like the Jets nickname does. Let's take a look at a few of the most popular suggestions:
Manitoba Moose—the most likely alternative is actually a decent name. However, if you walk up to a Winnipegger in a bar and strike up a conversation about the Moose, you probably won't get far. Strike up a conversation about the Jets and the Winnipegger will most likely buy you a drink.
(Note: I haven't actually tested this. They might just tell you about their childhood.)
Winnipeg/Manitoba Falcons—another popular alternative, this nickname pays tribute to the first team to win hockey gold for Canada at the Olympics. (Random trivia: they won it at the summer Olympics. And people say hockey in the South can't work...)
Another good choice, but the history of the name cannot compare to that of the Jets, mostly because it is a relatively obscure homage. The name is also used by the Atlanta Falcons, and I really don't think Winnipeg needs to rub it in any more than they already have.
Winnipeg Gold—wait, what? A name championed by TSN, it pays tribute to the fact that the Jets' signing of Bobby Hull (the "Golden Jet") ushered in a new era for professional hockey.
The gold colour is also used by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, so there is some connection there, but the name just sounds ridiculous and the jokes about the team being named the Gold and coming in second (or 25th) would get old really, really quickly.
Winnipeg Threshers—get it? Because the team used to be named the Thrashers, and because Winnipeg thinks they are actually Saskatchewan. It might just be me, but puns should never be used to name a pro sports team.
Winnipeg Whiteout—"Trust me, guys! It is going to be great! Can you just imagine it? We'll have them play in completely white jerseys! When opposing teams come to town and they see both the crowd and the players dressed all in white, they'll be traumatized! Wait, what's that you say? Home teams have to wear their dark's at home now? Ah crud."
Manitoba Rebellion—seems to me like this would be more fitting for Jim Balsillie's team.
Winnipeg Polar Bears—no. Just no.
Countless other names have been thrown out there, but instead of wasting your time further, I'll just sum them up: They are all terrible.