SPORTS

Jets fans snap up gear as NHL playoffs return to Winnipeg

04/10/2015 11:44 EDT | Updated 06/11/2015 02:59 EDT
Jets fever in Winnipeg has soared to the levels of 2011 when it was announced the city was getting its NHL team back.

Twitter is burning up with with posts from people thrilled about the Jets clinching a playoff spot — the first NHL playoff game in the city since 1996.

It was after that playoff series loss that the original Jets then moved to Phoenix to become the Coyotes.

While celebrating the new Jets' success, many people have been saluting the past with photos of their old Jets stuff — pom-poms from the 1990s playoffs and ticket stubs from that last game.

Back then it cost $25. Tickets for the upcoming playoff series range from $107 to $340 per game and they go on sale Tuesday morning.

Flags and jerseys and anything else with a Jets logo is on full display around the city. And there will be more to be seen, a lot more, based on the scene at at any store selling Jets stuff.

Dozens of people waited Friday morning for the doors of the Jets Gear store at St. Vital Centre to open, while the store at the MTS Centre is also elbow-to-elbow with shoppers.

The stores are so crowded that staff are limiting the number of people allowed to be in at one time.

Kristin Bishop, a longtime Jets fan, was up early to beat the crowds buying merchandise at St. Vital Centre.

"We have been waiting 19 years for this day and we want to make sure we have gear before it's all sold out — T-shirts for the whole family," she said.

Whiteout

New Jets banners with the playoff slogan, Our Team. Our Tradition, are now hanging at the MTS Centre in downtown Winnipeg.

Primarily white, the banners are a nod to the playoff "whiteout" made famous by fans who filled the old Winnipeg Arena to cheer the original Jets franchise.

After the Jets clinched the playoff spot Thursday night, True North called for the whiteout to return and Tweeted "A storm is coming."

The Jets stores are also selling white jerseys, T-shirts with the "Our Team. Our Tradition" slogan, as well as other white playoff merchandise.

Atlanta brotherhood

The Jets were bumped into the playoffs thanks to the Calgary Flames knocking off the Los Angeles Kings, who were chasing Winnipeg for the final wildcard spot.

Both the Jets and Flames, who meet Saturday night in Winnipeg for the final regular season game, are former Atlanta-based franchises that relocated.

Some people on Twitter have suggested the teams just meet at centre ice, hug and celebrate together.

MORE:cbcSports