Winnipeg Free Press: Jets lose, Winnipeg wins. Gary is right. Losing the game was totally overshadowed by virtue of the fact that the Jets were actually playing in a regular season NHL game. Not that Jets fans are going to embrace losing (we had that enough with the Jets 1.0) but in last night’s case it was tolerable.
Montreal Gazette: Victory was ‘extra sweet’ for Price. When asked this question by IC’s Ezra in the post-game scrums, Price gave the expected response, i.e. getting the ‘W’ was the important thing but he did follow that up by stating that winning this game was quite special.
Winnipeg Free Press: That's Mint - Harper introduces Jets coins. Our Prime Minister may have been the busiest guy off the ice as he was mobbed for pictures during every intermission. What do you think of these Jets coins? Will you buy them?
Sportingnews: On night of celebration, jabs toward Atlanta unnecessary. Am I the only one who remembers Healy openly questioning Winnipeg’s viability whenever relocation was discussed on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada’s After 40 Minutes program?
Calgary Herald: Local Jets fans rejoice at return of favorite team. Calgary is one of my favorite hockey places and while a return to the West will renew our rivalry, there are enough transplanted Winnipeggers to give the Jets some good support when they head to cow-town.
Winnipeg Sun: Many Jets firsts, except win. As we tweeted last night, Nik Antropov now becomes the answer to the trivia question “Who scored the first goal in the Jets 2.0 history”. The most impressive first that happened last night was the winning of $70,000.00 + in the 50/50 draw.
Winnipeg Free Press: Point of view. Free Press with a pretty cool pictorial summation of the day.
Winnipeg Sun: Family FanZone folks dress Jets-fully wild. While the weather holds up, True North would be well served to continue these outdoor festivities for those fans unable to get into the MTS Centre, but are wanting to celebrate with their fellow citizens.
Winnipeg Sun: Open letter to Shelly Crawford, mother of fallen Jet Rick Rypien. A nice letter by the Sun writer.
Winnipeg Sun: Emotion not what tripped up Jets. The team played sloppy hockey. There really isn’t much more to say. I’m sure Coach Claude Noel will tighten things up as they head out on the road for 2 games.
Winnipeg Sun: Jets return reason to roar. The score could have been 10-1 and that crowd was still going to be cheering and chanting all game long.
Globe and Mail: Gary Bettman receives heroes welcome in Winnipeg. As IC’s Ezra and I left the Montreal Canadiens locker room we passed by Commissioner Gary Bettman, who spent a few moments posing for pictures with his “fans”. I think Winnipeggers are astute enough to realize that a poor Canadian dollar, a bad arena and no white knight owner is what doomed the NHL in this city back in the mid 90′s.
National Post: Jets fans get hockey at its best and worst. Have to agree with Bruce, I was not a fan of last night’s National Anthem.
Winnipeg Sun: Cheering is Chipman’s reward. Expect the fans of Winnipeg to continue the new tradition of emphasizing “True North” in the Canadian national anthem as a way of paying respect to Chipman and his company.
Toronto Star: And the hockey conversation resumes in Winnipeg. Better that we have the hockey world talking about us in any capacity again.
ESPN: If just for one day, hockey was all about the Jets. This city was absolutely alive today. The buzz in the air was palpable. Even for those who couldn’t get into the building, they came downtown just to be a part of the atmosphere.
Calgary Sun: Quest for Jets off to bumpy start for cousins. I bumped into the two cousins and their filmmaker as they searched along Portage avenue for tickets to the game. While it doesn’t appear that they got in, their Jetfuel journey continues to Chicago and then Phoenix, where they do have tickets to see the Jets play.
Globe and Mail: Love for Jets spill beyond Winnipeg. This team doesn’t just belong to Winnipeg. It has fans in Kenora, Brandon, Winkler, Dauphin and really across Canada.
Before puck drop, Winnipeg Jets owner and chairman of True North Sports & Entertainment Mark Chipman spoke to the media to mark the historic event. Here is a full transcript of the press conference.
How do you feel?
“I feel great, I feel really good, very grateful, the emotion around the building is extraordinary, I just made my way back from a quick radio interview, the people on the street are very warm, and very appreciative, so that makes me feel good.”
On what is going on outside the MTS Centre
“It’s obviously an outpouring of emotion that’s probably been many years coming, but I keep getting asked the question in different ways shapes or forms, I don’t know how to answer it that well to be honest with you, I have a tough time articulating or describing how everybody’s feeling, how I’m feeling, it’s just a combination of a number of emotions. “
On being nervous
“Always nervous, always nervous before a game, probably one of the strongest emotions I feel right now. Home openers are hard to play in, it’s been my experience anyways, I hope we get off to a good start, we’re obviously playing a good hockey team today. I hope they get off to a good start and play well.”
For the rest of Chipman's press conference, click here.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in Winnipeg to celebrate the first regular season game versus the Montreal Canadiens. He spoke to the media before the game about a number of topics, read the transcript below.
“Good afternoon everyone, welcome, I thought I was in the neighborhood and I’d stop by. It’s pretty exciting to be in Winnipeg today. On behalf of the National Hockey League, we’re thrilled to be here. This is obviously a terrific day for the City of Winnipeg, the Province of Manitoba, the entire Country of Canada and the National Hockey League. And it’s a testament to Mark Chipman and David Thomson, their persistence and the way they’ve conducted themselves. True North has been an absolute delight to deal with; they’ve had a lot to accomplish in a short period of time and they’ve done it extremely well. The reception by the fans and the overall community has been nothing short of sensational, we couldn’t be more pleased. It’s an exciting day, it’s exciting to be here. For all of our Canadian friends, Happy Thanksgiving a day early.”
On the fan enthusiasm outside the MTS Centre
“It’s terrific, it’s exciting, it shows you the passion that fans have for our sport, it shows you what Winnipeg as a community is like when there’s a common cause to celebrate and support. It’s very gratifying and it wasn’t unexpected.”
On people outside of Winnipeg taking note
“I think everyone’s taken note at the enthusiasm, at the passion that people have for our game and I think it demonstrates in many ways the importance of hockey as a sport. Both at the grassroots level, and at the professional level.”
On his confidence in the Winnipeg market
“Completely confident, we have no reason to believe anything other than this team will be a huge success for the long term, for the foreseeable future. However you want to characterize it, but I’m not sure why anyone would focus on how long. The team is here, it’s being well supported, it’s being well run by a terrific organization, it’s owned by people who are committed and have the resources to back it up. This is all good.”
For the rest of Bettman's press conference, click here.