Interesting article regarding Detroit playing Phoenix now (amidst relocation speculation) and Winnipeg in 1996 before they moved to the desert:
It was April 28, 1996: the last game for the Winnipeg Jets.
Draper and Lidstrom were part of a Detroit Red Wings team that grounded the Jets for good, winning 4-1 and ending their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series, in Winnipeg, in six games.
Fast forward 15 years, and the two grizzled Wings are at it again, in reverse, on the verge of sending the desert Coyote into potential extinction, leading Phoenix three games to none and going for the sweep Wednesday.
In Winnipeg it's taken 15 years, and counting.
"I just remember the whiteout," Draper said of that final game. "And I remember when we were skating off the ice, the Winnipeg Jets stayed on the ice for a long time. That's something that I remember."
Oh, and of course, the Queen. Everybody remembers the giant portrait of Queen Elizabeth smiling down from the rafters of the old Winnipeg Arena.
"It was a great atmosphere to play in," Lidstrom recalled.
The two oldest Wings can't imagine playing in the atmosphere the Coyotes have endured the last two years.
When you've enjoyed the spoils of the NHL's modern model franchise all these years -- Draper and Lidstrom have a combined 36 years in Detroit -- shaky ownership and threats of relocation are foreign concepts.
"The uncertainty they're going through, that's a big difference," Draper said. "It's gotta be tough. There's a lot of unrestricted free agents here. And they're not sure what's going on, where they're going to play, if they're going to be here or in Winnipeg. You want to go out and just play hockey."
Until now, the Coyotes have managed, posting two of the best seasons in franchise history during the turmoil.
"I'm sure it's been hard the last couple of years with not having real ownership and having the league run it," Lidstrom said. "But I'm impressed with the way they played, both last year and this year."
I don't see why not, if Atlanta moves to Winnipeg. Ken and the Wings management have talked about playing the Canadian teams more and it's been discussed before. This would be the perfect chance and I don't see why the NHL would be against it. Who would be used to balance it out? Phoenix moving to Quebec City in a few years?