Players on the new NHL team will likely experience a whole new level of celebrity once they arrive in Winnipeg, says ex-Jet Keith Tkachuk.
“They’re not used to people recognizing them on the street in Atlanta, you better get used to it, because everybody will know who you are,” Tkachuk said.
Tkachuk, originally from Massachusetts, made his NHL debut in Winnipeg back in 1992. He played for the Jets for the next four years.
“I loved it. I was amazed at how friendly the people are up there, the hockey atmosphere itself, how it’s just the sport in Canada, and they love their players,” he said. “I adapted really well to it. I was in awe.”
Perry Miller, who played for the Jets in the ’70s, said the new team is in for a treat.
“Some of them have played in front of big crowds before ... but other guys like Evander Kane, who came out of junior and went to Atlanta ... he has not seen a building like Winnipeg ...” Miller said.
Miller predicts most players will enjoy the celebrity status, and constant recognition.
“Some of them might not like it because they won’t have any quiet time, but during the season they’ll see how friendly people are to them and people will respect their privacy if they need it.”