Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press,
As ready goes, they’d already like to be rolling down the runway.
The new version of the Jets, though, must wait one more day before it’s time for takeoff on the NHL’s return-to-Winnipeg season.
The Jets and Montreal Canadiens will usher in the new era of the NHL here at 4 p.m.(5pm ET) Sunday at the MTS Centre.
“I don’t think this is a routine week,” said Jets left-winger Evander Kane, his team now only one practice away from getting to the start line. “It’s a week that hasn’t happened in this city for 15 years.
“Looking at Sunday, I think it’s a game where history is made and guys are excited and the city’s excited. It’s going to be a real special game.”
Will you be tuning it to watch the game, which is on the NHL Network in the US and CBC in Canada?
from Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet,
As the buzzer sounded at Winnipeg Arena and the Jets skated off the ice for the last time, Derek Meech stood in shock.
His face paint messy from tears, the 12-year-old was dressed in white for the final fight, and this was it.
The Jets were leaving town.
“It was hard to see them leave,” Meech, now 27, recalls. “After the game, none of the fans were leaving and tons of people were crying. It was a great experience but it was also pretty sad.”
The Winnipeg native never dreamed that 15 years later the franchise would return—and even better—that he’d be a part of the homecoming.
from Ross Romaniuk of the Winnipeg Sun,
The NHL Face-Off event at the historic site became the city’s largest party since news of the Jets’ return to Winnipeg spurred downtown street celebrations on May 31. And the six-hour, nationally televised bash, complete with rock bands including Winnipeg’s Bachman & Turner, saw tens of thousands attend after it officially began at 3 p.m.
“Everyone is really excited and in a good mood,” Erin Epps, wearing a Jets cap and shirt, said with her husband Robert Dalton and children aged 10 and three. “It’s been 15 years! It’s energy!”
The energy and crowd roar grew dramatically when a few Jets players, including captain Andrew Ladd, took to the site’s stage to greet the massive throng, and when Winnipeg-raised rock star Neil Young appeared on a video screen wearing a new Jets jersey and yelling, “Go Jets!”
Minutes later, Bachman & Turner threw the line, “We just got back the Jets,” into their 1970s hit You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, bringing the audience noise to a pitch.
Also, a short video from the NHL Face-Off can be watched below…
From Judy Owen of the CP via Winnipeg Free Press:
Andrew Ladd was idling in the drive-thru line at Tim Hortons when it was his turn to move up to the window.
As he was passed his coffee, the clerk told Ladd it had been paid for by the person in the vehicle in front of his.
“It was pretty neat,” the Winnipeg Jets captain said. “Obviously, for them to recognize me from the car ahead was something that usually doesn’t happen.”
Such is the fish bowl the Jets will be swimming in since it was announced May 31 that the Atlanta Thrashers had been bought by True North Sports and Entertainment and were moving to NHL-starved Winnipeg.
from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,
I wrote a column suggesting Gary Bettman was not evil incarnate and had actually become a friend to Winnipeg with the move of the Atlanta Thrashers.
Judging from the reaction of some of the readers, you would think I said the devil himself wasn’t all bad.
Many readers indicated they will never forgive Bettman for the fact the Jets left Winnipeg in the first place and pointed out he was only allowing the team to come back because he had no other choice.
That may be so, but it has come to light in the months since that time that Bettman was working with prospective Winnipeg owner Mark Chipman for years, had twice come close to selling him the Phoenix Coyotes, and put him on the fast track to buy the Thrashers when the Coyotes deals didn’t work out.
Chipman himself has said Bettman was the biggest driving force outside of Manitoba in the process of bringing the NHL back to Winnipeg.
NEW YORK (September 22, 2011) – The National Hockey League (NHL) will celebrate the opening of the 2011-12 NHL season and its return to Winnipeg with the 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™ season-opening hockey and entertainment festival in Winnipeg, October 6. The NHL will transform “The Forks,” Winnipeg’s iconic downtown gathering point, offering fans live musical performances, interactive hockey attractions, a live broadcast of the opening night game between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and guest appearances from George Stroumboulopoulos, host of CBC Television’s flagship late-night program, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, and others. The NHL will announce the exciting line-up of musical performers next week.
from Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien displayed a host of symptoms that led a police expert to believe he was high on drugs following his arrest in Minnesota last month.
Documents released Tuesday and obtained by the Free Press provide insight into the circumstances of the high-profile incident that led to a U.S. prosecutor endorsing four criminal charges against Byfuglien.
A police drug-recognition expert was called in to examine Byfuglien, 26, after he was spot-checked during the evening of Aug. 31 while boating on Lake Minnetonka because he didn’t have proper lights on the craft.
“Mr. Byfuglien’s speech was slurred, he was unsteady on his feet, his eyes were bloodshot and watery and he smelled of a consumed alcoholic beverage,” Deputy Ben Bierbaum of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office water patrol division wrote in an arrest report. “Mr. Byfuglien was unable to successfully perform field sobriety tests as requested.”
From the CP via CBC.ca:
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has been charged with boating while intoxicated three weeks after his arrest in Minnesota.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s office released the criminal complaint on Tuesday.
Dirk Hoag at Hockey Gear HQ has more:
But you know, there is a winner in all of this…
It’s the guy who won this auction on eBay last week, for an autographed “sketch” trading card from Panini America – it’s a trading card signed by a pro athlete which includes a sketch done in their own hand, a one-of-a-kind treat that gets included in a random pack, and goes to a lucky collector. In this case, Dustin Byfuglien captured what will be the enduring image of his summer:
read on. And here’s the card:
from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,
It started at 5 a.m., when the first fan showed up to get a good seat.
By 8:45 a.m., you could tell something special was in the air.
The parking lot was full and so were the stands. Fans lined the walkway from dressing room to the ice surface. Some 1,500 people in the building were tingling with anticipation, waiting for their first glimpse.
Shortly after 9 a.m., they erupted, as Nik Antropov stepped out on the ice, leading a column of Winnipeg Jets for the first practice of their first NHL training camp at the MTS IcePlex.
Before it was over they were cheering the drills, giving loud ovations for slick passes, corner-destined shots and nifty dekes and as the players prepared to leave the ice, up went the Go Jets Go chant that so many fans in this city have been dying to utter since the original Jets franchise packed up and moved to Phoenix in 1996.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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