With the NHL lockout continuing past day 81, the looming thought of no hockey continues. As a Winnipeg Jets fan the thought of a cancelled NHL season is a bitter pill to swallow – especially after not having a team for fifteen long years.
There’s been a lot of talk and speculation on whether the lockout will hurt the game, the league and the various teams in them. While there’s no doubt that some teams futures will be in jeopardy, it seems as though the long awaited return to Winnipeg has kept the fires burning.
In an email I sent out to some fellow fans the other day I simply asked “as a Winnipeg Jets fan, how will the cancellation of an entire NHL season impact you returning if, and when the two-sides can agree to something?” To my surprise all the response were quite favourable.
“I will be back as a full on Jets fan and NHL fan as soon as they hit the ice again,” replied Jeremy Lee.
Winnipeg fan Daniel Heaford expanded on his feelings a lot more stating “even if the 2012-13 season was cancelled I will continue to attend Jets home games as soon as the puck drops once again. I am a Wait List member and intend on acquiring around twenty pairs of game tickets again, like I did during the inaugural season, through their exclusive pre-sales and game day releases.
Winnipeg Jets hockey is, without a doubt, the most exciting event to be part of in this city for myself and my friends. It’s truly amazing to be able to see elite hockey in our small city on a weekly basis. I can’t hold a grudge against the owners, as I believe I have a firm understanding of what they’re after in their battle with the players. Staying away from the arenas, like the MTS Centre, won’t make much of a difference either. If I don’t buy tickets, somebody else behind me will.
I’ve attended other sporting events in Winnipeg this past year, including an NBA exhibition game, Goldeyes regular season and play-off games, as well as becoming a season ticket holder for the Blue Bombers for the first time.
While [the games] were enjoyable, let me just say, they can’t replace NHL hockey.”
And that’s a true fact. Even when the Manitoba Moose were in town – which some would argue was a better sport to watch – a Jets’ game can’t begin to compare.
Myself, I’m not going avoid the NHL but I also won’t be going out of my way to ensure I see games. They’ve stolen my passion a little bit this year – and this is coming from a long-time hockey fan.
So what about you, will you return to the seats of your local NHL arena once this lockout is over?