Though I am not a hockey fan, I really am very pleased that the Jets have returned to Manitoba. Randy Turner of the Winnipeg Free Press has compiled a book of photographs and memories of the Jets, new and old, and I think it’s worth a mention here. It has a great title and captures the community’s sentiment, Back in the bigs.
There are so many great memories relived in this book. Of course it begins with Bobby Hull and the WHA years. The chapter entitled A Swedish Rhapsody, describes the incredible impact the signing of Hedberg and Nilsson had on the team and the league. The chapter on John Ferguson’s leadership is entertaining and informative. The contributions of players whose names will forever be tied to the team, like Dale Hawerchuk, Keith Tkachuk, Randy Carlisle, and the Finnish Flash, Teemu Selanne are documented. Of course, the book includes the attempts to keep the team, and the eventual heartbreak. Details of the long road travelled by Mark Chipman and his team are fascinating.
This book has everything: drama, interesting characters, a great plot, and a happy ending. The fact that we know how it will end makes it that much better. Whether one is a hockey fan or not, it’s great reading about the team that has become an important part of our province’s history, and our future.