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What if the long-awaited Return of the Jets really wasn't the return of the Jets at all?

Amid all of the talk of the NHL's return to Winnipeg this spring, there's also long been the suggestion that True North Sports & Entertainment would not bring back the Jets but instead "promote" their AHL franchise, the Manitoba Moose, to the big leagues.

Which would mean keeping the Moose logo, colours and uniforms.

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The latest to report on this was, quoting "a reliable source" within True North.

"True North has spent considerable time and money promoting the Moose brand, switching away from that would be like essentially flushing money down the toilet," the source said.

You have to imagine there'll be some resistance to this move, as there's a great deal of nostalgia still associated with the Winnipeg Jets brand, 15 years after they originally left Manitoba.

That trademark is apparently still owned by the NHL and would presumably be easy to acquire, but all indications are True North would go against public sentiment and stick with their brand.

If the Atlanta Thrashers do end up moving to Winnipeg, what should the team's name be? And would there be a backlash if they're called the Moose?

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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