Posts Tagged ‘ Centre ’

Christmas in May

I think for a lot of Winnipeggers, Christmas has already come and gone and it was back in May, 2011.

It’s actually crazy for me to think of how invested I am in our shiny new NHL team, the Winnipeg Jets, when only about seven months ago, having the NHL back in our city still seemed like a distant dream.  After True North’s acquisition of the Atlanta Thrashers was announced, the emergence of details like our team name, our logo, and our jersey design, seems like it took ages to surface.  But looking back now, with 35 games under our belt, it somehow seems like everything came out of nowhere.

I’m still not used to the fact that I’ll be watching hundreds more Jets game well into the future, and I also don’t think I appreciate having our team back as much as I eventually will, just because it still doesn’t seem real to me.

I can’t remember how old I was when I started playing hockey, but I’ve always loved it.  I think I probably would have loved the sport no matter what, but there’s no question that my mom definitely helped push me in that direction.

My mom was a huge Winnipeg Jets fan at the time that the team left our city, and a picture of her, holding a sign she made, at a “Save the Jets” rally, was widely used in newspapers and books in 1995/96 when the team left.

My mom is on the left, holding her sign.

Yesterday, my mom got the new Winnipeg Jets “Back in the Bigs” book for her birthday.  She flipped it open, and guess what was staring back at her? Yep, her photo, featured once again.

So for anyone who has wondered in the last couple months why I am so crazy about the Winnipeg Jets, it’s simply not my fault; I was born with Jets in my blood.

Just kind of wanted to dump off some Jets media that I’ve created that hasn’t been pushed and publicized by me yet, including a photo of Ondrej Pavelec that I doctored up for his 1-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.

And also the latest video that I made one night before an installment of Hockey Night in Canada featuring the Jets. CLICK HERE TO WATCH

With all of that out of the way, I hope everyone has a great holiday, Jets fans and Jets haters alike.

JT

Welcome Back!

Photo courtesy of The Winnipeg Free Press

The photo says it all.  Our Winnipeg Jets have finally – finally! – returned home, as we always knew they would.

Friday, June 24 was the day, with thousands gathered at the MTS Centre for a NHL Entry Draft Party, where we watched with bated breath as Mark Chipman took the podium to announce not only our first draft pick, but the much-anticipated team name of our new NHL franchise.

The entire building was buzzing all night long leading up to his announcement, and it was truly awe-inspiring to hear the thousands of shhh!‘s turn into complete silence every single time Chipman opened his mouth.

I didn’t expect Chipman to call too much attention his announcement, even though for Winnipeggers it was a monumental one, and he certainly didn’t. While on TV I’m sure it seemed like just a passing mention of the “Winnipeg Jets” but at it’s first official mention, the MTS Centre completely uncorked. At probably a little over half its capacity, the cheers were deafening. I can only imagine the noise that will be made at our home opener.

It still seems a little bit surreal to think that not only do we have an NHL team again, but now they have a name as well, and a familiar one at that. All that’s left is to unveil the logo and sweaters, and from what I’ve heard the revamped desgined is pretty impressive.

It was an awesome experience to be a part of the huge announcement; it finally feels like we’re ready to go. I even managed to make it into a Winnipeg Free Press article that was published the next day, which you can take a look at here.

Below is a video I took from inside the MTS Centre, as Chipman took the stage and said our team’s name for the very first time. Insanity!! Mark your calendars!

October 9, 2011:
Winnipeg Jets vs. Montreal Canadiens

No, Jets, No?

Well, everybody and their dog seems to be weighing in on the discussion and debate of what exactly Winnipeg’s new NHL team will be called, and also whether or not True North will decide to keep the original name of the Jets. 

In my opinion, ‘Jets’ is off the table; completely.  When the Drive to 13,000 campaign was first announced this past Tuesday, there wasn’t a widespread opinion that Winnipeg would reach that number of season ticket sales. It certainly wasn’t expected to be as successful as it was, not only selling all 13,000 seats, but doing so in a flash, and essentially doing it twice (over 8,000 on the waiting list, and if you figure each one would buy an average of two seats…).

So you would think that True North would have wanted to do everything in its power to make sure those tickets flew off the table, and announcing the return of the Winnipeg Jets would have definitely increased sales even higher than they were.

The other factor is that True North is saying they have not yet decided on a team name, but are working on it.  Do you really think that if ‘Jets’ was even an option, that they would be discussing it?  I don’t imagine that True North has got ‘Jets’ on one hand and ‘Voyageurs’ on the other and are trying to decide between the two.  ‘Jets’ is the overwhelming favourite, and I have to believe that if it were even a possibility, there would be no question.

So what will the team be callled then?  So many names have been tossed around, some good, some embarrassingly awful.  At first I didn’t want to see anything other than the Jets either, but have gradually become okay with the possibility.  It’s a new chapter of NHL hockey in Winnipeg, and I think a fresh start with a young team like the Trashers is rather suitable for choosing a new name.

If True North decides to go with something new, all I can say is I truly hope I don’t hear any “Go Jets Go!” chants at the games… The name game right now is about more than just a label for our NHL team; it’s about deciding whether or not to revive a legacy and a franchise, or to bury it for good.  And if the latter is chosen, Winnipeg needs to accept that, and embrace the new franchise, not call out our ex’s name while we’re with our new love.

I’m truly excited to hear the announcement of the franchise team name when it comes down (and it should be soon), and even more so to see the logo design, and buy up a ton of merchandise to decorate myself with.  The NHL is back in Winnipeg, and that should be the focus of our excitement, not whether or not True North will revive the moniker of the Winnipeg Jets.  And I daresay that the folks whose enthusiasm rides on whether or not the Jets will fly again, aren’t the type of “fans” I would want to be sitting next to anyways.

Redemption Day.

05/31/11

John Cena Talks Winnipeg Jets!

WWE’s RAW World Tour stormed into the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, MB last night, for a night of wrestling, and, unusually, quite a lot of talking!

I’ve been to a pretty big handful of WWE events, from low-key house shows, to WrestleMania 23 in Ford Field with over 80,000 in attendance. And it’s not very common to see a lot of talking and promo cutting at house shows. Sometimes after the main event someone will get on the mic and thank the fans for coming out and offer some nice words, but at the show last night, many times before a match, the heels would cut a promo, and interact with the crowd a lot more, which was actually a really nice and unexpected change.

Overall the show wasn’t great, and that was mainly because there was hardly any big-name wrestlers there. Daniel Bryan and Sin Cara were also traded to Smackdown a couple of weeks ago, which was basically a dagger to my heart.

The best part of the night by far was the main event, as we got to see The Miz vs. R-Truth vs. John Cena. Absolutely loved The Miz’s promo before the match, as he basically tore Winnipeg to shreds, describing to us the terrible week he’d been having, which was topped off by “having to wake up at 4 a.m. to come to this disgusting town.”

I think what really made the night for all the fans in attendance, was what John Cena had to say after the match. He took the time to talk to us about some recent, exciting developments regarding the city of Winnipeg and the NHL. Take an exclusive listen to what he had to say:

WWE RAW World Tour Results (Winnipeg, MB – 05/27/2011):

Primo Colon d. Dolph Ziggler
The Bellas vs. Beth Phoenix Kelly Kelly
Mason Ryan d. Zack Ryder
Michael McGillicutty & David Otunga d. Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov
Chris Masters d. Jack Swagger
Rey Mysterio d. Alberto Del Rio
John Cena d. The Miz and R-Truth