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You’ve heard of Ka'wine and Dine, now get ready for Free Beer Barry.
At least, that’s what one Winnipeg brewery is proposing to free-agent head coach Barry Trotz, a Manitoba native, if he were to return to the province to coach the Jets.
The brewery — Little Brown Jug Brewing Company — partnered with a local sports talk show, according to Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press, to put together the promotional event that would provide Trotz with free beer for life if he put pen to paper with the hometown club.
Little Brown Jug founder Kevin Felch and employee James Hofer came up with the campaign idea in their taproom late last week, per Whyno.
"Just thought it would be a little fun initiative," Hofer said. "We thought people would get a kick out of it and who knows, maybe it might get the coach here."
Trotz's firing caught the hockey world by surprise last month following a disappointing season with the Islanders, and he's been one of the most highly sought after coaches early in the offseason, having reportedly garnered interest from multiple organizations, including the Jets.
For their part, the Jets and GM Kevin Cheveldayoff seem to have done their due diligence on the matter, following a season ravaged by instability behind their bench. Just last December, longtime head coach Paul Maurice abruptly resigned while citing that the team "needed a new voice." After being replaced with interim head coach Dave Lowry, the Jets tumbled down the standings, finishing 6th place in the Central Division and missing the playoffs.
As for the brewery and the booze itself, James Hofer, one of the Little Brown Jug employees behind the campaign, shared that they would also brew a commemorative drink in honour of the highly coveted bench bosses hypothetical return.
While Hofer does recognize that the gesture is ultimately unlikely to sway Trotz in either direction, he does hope that it shows fans across the NHL the dedication the Winnipeg faithful have for their team following their return to the city back in 2011.
"It kind of reminds me of, in the ’90s, how kids were cracking open their piggy banks to try to keep the Jets here,” he told AP. “But it kind of demonstrates the passion that we have here for sports teams and our willingness to try to do whatever we can to sway things."
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