Thousands of fans turned out in Winnipeg today for an open practice of their new Winnipeg Jets.
They crammed the practice facility, filling the stands and crowding around the boards to watch the team which plays its first NHL home exhibition game Tuesday.
For many it may be their only chance to see the relocated Atlanta Thrashers, which have sold out all but a handful of tickets they held back that have to be secured through a monthly draw.
Paul Meads was 15 when the old Jets left town in 1996 and he showed up in an old Jets’ jersey to watch the new squad practice.
He tried for season tickets and couldn’t get them but said he wanted to come out just to show his support.
Even the players were excited at the turnout, and while forward Tobias Enstrom said support was great when he played in Sweden, such a turnout at practice was a first.