With the Phoenix Coyotes, AKA “the old Jets” heading to the third round of the NHL playoffs for the first time in their 33-year history, Winnipeg hockey fans seem to have shaken off their bitter feelings towards the old club and have come to embrace them during their playoff run – mostly.
“I’m loving it, they are a great team,” said Jets season ticket holder Tyler Esquivel. “We have our Jets back. My hatred is gone for the ‘Yotes.”
Jets fan Adam Marcynuk said he is happy for the team, but does not appreciate the fact the Coyotes are still doing the whiteout, a tradition born in Winnipeg in the eighties.
“Jets fans are the best because of their passion and creativity,” said Marcynuk. “This just shows that the Phoenix fans and organization have no creativity.
“It’s impossible to build your own identity by using other’s ideas.”
Rich Nairn, the senior director of media relations for the Coyotes says the Jets traditions are kept alive keep out of respect for the teams Winnipeg roots.
“We had an agreement since day one to keep the memory of the Jets alive.” said Nairn.
“It’s all done out of respect and admiration for the team’s days in Winnipeg.”
Jets season ticket holder Matthew Dolan said he wants Coyotes fans to remember the memories of the original Jets are something that belong to the people of Winnipeg.
“I consider the history of the old Jets to belong to the hockey fans in Winnipeg,” said Dolan.
“Those memories were made here.”