Jacksonville's new hockey team will be an affiliate of the National Hockey League's Winnipeg Jets, a team that relocated from Atlanta (Thrashers) in 2011.
It's probably safe to say that many in Jacksonville have never been anywhere near Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) and some may never have heard of it.
So here's a primer on the place Icemen players will aspire to play. (Facts from Tourism Winnipeg)
- Winnipeg is in Canada's Manitoba province, which is the geographic center of Canada. The city itself is just over 60 miles from the U.S. border with the state of North Dakota.
- The population of the Winnipeg Metro area, according to Canadian Census data, is 793,400 (2015). Compare that to Jacksonville's population of about 913,000 with a metro area of almost 1.5 million.
- Winnipeg is the capitol of Manitoba province
- Disney's "Winnie the Pooh" is named after Winnipeg, or more specifically, a Black Bear that lived at the Winnipeg Zoo named "Winnipeg" or "Winnie".
- Winnipeg derives its name from the Cree word of “win” for muddy and “nippee” for water. An aboriginal trading center prior to the arrival of the Europeans, Winnipeg was at the heart of the country’s fur trade and instrumental in developing Canada’s gateway to the west. The first permanent settlement occurred in 1812 when a group of Scottish crofters arrived and it became a trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1870.
- As you can probably imagine, Winnipeg's weather is quite different from Jacksonville. While the average summer temperature is a beautiful 78 degrees, the winter average is just 9 degrees. The city sees an average of 43.5" of snow each winter.
- While the Winnipeg Jets are probably the city's most well known sports team, the city also is home of the Blue Bombers (Canadian Football League), Manitoba Moose (American Hockey League), and Winnipeg Goldeneyes (minor-league baseball)
- To learn more, watch the video below from Winnipeg's Mayor Mayor Brian Bowman. Mobile users click here