ST. PAUL, MINN. (AP) - Winnipeg’s new team will take off as the Jets.
The Atlanta Thrashers are no more, having moved north across the border earlier this month. The name change was announced Friday night by team chairman Mark Chipman at the NHL draft in Minnesota, just before the Jets took center Mark Scheifele with the seventh pick in the first round.
The original Jets joined the NHL in 1979 after the World Hockey Association folded. They played in Manitoba until 1996, when the franchise moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman gave a “special welcome back” to the Winnipeg fans as he introduced the draft, prompting cheers and “Go Jets go!” chants from fans wearing white T-shirts with the old red-and-blue Jets logo.
Claude Noel was named as the new head coach of the Jets earlier Friday.
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