A roller coaster ride is an understatement when it comes to how my fellow Winnipeg Jets' fans and I have felt over the last year or so. While the beginning of the NHL season is still months away, I can't seem to wipe the smile off my face every time I picture the opening night white-out (there is going to be a white out, right?).
Winnipeg - Jul. 22, 2011 - A roller coaster ride is an understatement when it comes to how my fellow Jets' fans and I have felt over the last year or so. Times of hope and moments of despair broken up only by a seemingly endless barrage of rumors.
Whisperings of a new team have come and gone through the city, but it seems that only now, after a flurry of announcements and hype campaigns, can we as fans finally step back and take a breather. So let's reflect shall we:
Now before we get into any specifics, it should be known to all non-Winnipeg residents that the hope of the Jets coming back - never once, not even for a second - left the minds of the team's dedicated fans. Over the 15 NHL-free years the city went through, dozens of rumors began. Ranging from the highly unlikely (how about a brand new expansion team!) to the more than likely ("oh my goodness, I think Phoenix might actually might be coming back!").
But with the acquisition of Atlanta's (Winnipeg's) team by True North, it seems that even the most fanatical enthusiast's dreams are coming true.
The original name that brings out happy memories and nostalgia in us all? Check. Ticket sales that prove the critics wrong, and show that Winnipeg's underwhelming size is more than made up for with a love for their team? Definitely Check. A young and energetic team that will really benefit from the electricity within the city? Well, I certainly hope so.
But John, you ask...not everything can be so peachy for the Jets, can it? There has to at least be some issues involving the team? A legitimate question.
The biggest hurdles that this years team will face are the same as any recently relocated team. A new arena, a heightened sense of pressure and new management just to name a few.
Ultimately, we as fans will look past these issues. What we will see is a new generation being introduced to NHL hockey to the first time. What we will see is the continuing enthusiasm that the city has become famous for. What we will see, and this is the most important thing, is a new era of Jets take the ice for the first time.
So that leaves only one thing, the oft discussed topic of the team's logo. It has been released to public eyes. There are mixed opinions, to say the least. Some would argue that designs submitted elsewhere are superior, such as these seen at Hiretheworld.com. But a logo is more like the icing on the cake than the cake itself.
While the beginning of the NHL season is still months away, I can't seem to wipe the smile off my face every time I picture the opening night white-out (there is going to be a white out, right?). But until then I guess the framed '95 season tickets I have hanging in the den and a couple YouTube highlight reels will have to do.
Go Jets Go!