Coyotes Franchise Better Than Winnipeg Jets?

Phoenix Coyotes a better NHL franchise than Winnipeg Jets?

Can it really be? The Phoenix Coyotes a better overall franchise than the Winnipeg Jets?

Say it ain’t so.

Well, I’m afraid it is so.  If, that is, you put any weight behind the findings of ESPN The Magazine’s  poll which ranks every outfit in the four major professional sports in North America.

Now, I realize that it’s a fan poll (59,298 readers responded) so I don’t think we should get our knickers in a knot because the Jets ranked 80th overall among 122 franchises (that’s up from 91st a year ago).  After all, that’s 39 spots better than the Toronto Maple Leafs who pulled in fourth from the bottom on the list.  (Feel free to turn in Toronto’s direction and go “na, na, na, na, na.”)

But, hold the phone. Before we gloat over the Leafs’ lowly listing, check out who’s ranked No. 47.  The Phoenix Coyotes.  That’s right, Phoenix, the armpit of the National Hockey League, checks in at No. 47.  And Winnipeg is No. 80. Arena in Glendale Arena in Glendale

I have one thing to say about that: Come on, man!

If the Phoenix franchise was a fresh cow paddy, not even flies would go near it.  Phoenix is a booger in the NHL’s chip dip.

Phoenix ranked seventh overall in the affordability category and 16th in providing fans the best bang for their buck.  Well, duh!  Of course it’s affordable when you bribe people to come to your games with free beer, free hot dogs, free parking, free souvenirs, free popcorn and free long-distance calling.  And, you’ll need that free long-distance calling if you want to talk to anyone.  I mean, go to a Coyotes game and the guy sitting nearest you is about a $20 cab ride away.  Hell, he might even be sitting in a different zip code.

MTS Centre Home of the Winnipeg Jets

MTS Centre Home of the Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg rated higher than the Coyotes in just two of eight categories: ownership and title tracking, which is to say championship won or expected to win within the lifetime of current fans.  (I suppose that’s the good news.  If you’re 20 years old and live to be 90, you might see a Stanley Cup parade on the streets of River City.  If you’re my age, I have to hope the Jets get it done in the next year or so.)

Otherwise, Phoenix scored superior marks in bang for your buck, affordability, fan relations, players, coaching and—get this—stadium experience.

Oh, yes, apparently roosting in tomblike Arena with about a dozen other freeloaders who got sidetracked on the way to a mall is a whole lot more fun than being among 15,004 people in the Little Hockey House on the Prairie.  That would be 15,004 people who actually know the difference between a puck and pasta and wouldn’t expect either one for free.

What are they going to tell us next?  That Ondrej Pavelec would be an upgrade in goal for the New York Rangers?  That the Pittsburgh Penguins would be better off with Olli Joninen rather than Sid the Kid?

You want to know why I find this list irksome?  You want to know what really sticks in my craw?  That team in Phoenix was our team.  That’s right, it’s the original Jets franchise.  And they’re telling us it’s better off in an Arizona desert, where the NHL had to bail it out of bankruptcy, where the NHL had to get on bended knees and beg someone (anyone) to take it off its hands, where the players perform in front of half a dozen K-Mart shoppers who needed to get out of the sun.  Cripes, man!  I’ve seen more circus clowns pile into a Volkswagen Beetle than fans at

But, hey, let’s keep in mind that this was a fans/readers poll.   And what does that tell us?  That nobody in Winnipeg reads ESPN The Magazine.





  1. Mitch Kasprick says

    I’m going out with PK to look for disguises so I won’t be accosted by vengeful Coyotes fans !!! LOL I love my Yotes or Jets 1.0.

    • Patti Dawn Swansson says

      Get a John Ferguson mask for a disguise. PK can get a Queen Liz mask that looks like the pic of Queen Liz that used to hang in the old Arena.

  2. Michelle Zimmer says

    Well Patti I disagree about the arena part of your article. Arena is a gorgeous facility. I wish we could air lift that sucker and trade the MTS Centre for it. They can have that sardine can of an arena called the MTS Centre; it would be roomy for their fan base. Don’t know why we can’t do anything right when it comes to building a sports facility. Seems to me that was “one” of the reasons we lost our franchise years ago. They didn’t want to build a new arena for a losing team but we sure built a doozy of a stadium for the losing Winnipeg Blue Bombers football club. Somebody sure must have made out like a bandit.

    • Patti Dawn Swansson says

      Sorry, Michelle, but I never said anything negative about I simply said that it’s usually empty in comparison to MTS (and many other NHL rinks). I have no doubt is a terrific building. It’s just too bad nobody’s been going there. And one day it will be completely empty because that team will relocate.

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