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NHL hockey back in Winnipeg? Well, sort of


FILE- This Oct. 31, 1992 file photo shows Quebec Nordiques’ Curtis Leschyshyn checking Winnipeg Jets’ Keith Tkachuk in front of the Quebec Nordiques net minded by Ron Hextall, in Quebec City. First Winnipeg, then Quebec City?While Manitoba awaits word on the return of NHL hockey, the would-be owner of a team in Quebec described plans to bring a second franchise back to Canada. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Jacques Boissinot,File)


The Chicago Blackhawks will play an exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Winnipeg on Sept. 22. It could be extra-special for “Captain Serious” Jonathan Toews, a native of the Winnipeg area. (Source: AP)

I have to admit, I didn’t even realize (until today) that Winnipeg hosted seven games that didn’t count since 1997. Last year, the Lightning beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in overtime in front of 11,644 fans in Winnipeg.

In the big picture, there’s still an outside chance that the region might host an NHL team after all those years of post-Jets heartache. While Winnipeg is far from a big market, there are still plenty of fans who rue the day the team moved to Phoenix. Oddly enough, as you probably know, the Coyotes are currently the most feasible team to relocate to that region.

More on that sordid little story later, of course.