On December 27, 1971, Winnipeg was granted one of the founding franchises in the World Hockey Association (WHA). NHL Winnipeg Jets Personalized 3D Hoodie Mask. By 1979, the vast majority of the WHA’s teams had folded, but the Jets were still going strong and they were absorbed into the NHL along with the Quebec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers and Hartford Whalers as part of the WHA–NHL merger. Team owner Barry Shenkarow sold the team to American businessmen Steven Gluckstern and Richard Burke. Burke and Gluckstern originally planned to move the team to Minnesota (which had lost the North Stars to Dallas in 1993), but eventually reached an agreement with Phoenix businessman Jerry Colangelo that would see the team move to Arizona and become the Phoenix Coyotes. The original Winnipeg Jets played their last game on April 28, 1996.