WINNIPEG - Talk about a grand entrance.
The Winnipeg Jets unveiled their new jerseys in dramatic fashion on Tuesday morning.
It’s not every day that four members of the local NHL club are going to be whisked into a Hercules airplane, be shown their new jersey for the first time, and moments later step out onto the tarmac from behind a cloud of smoke to model the new look before hundreds of invited guests.
“It was great coming out of there,” said Jets forward and Winkler product Eric Fehr. “I was just worried we were going to trip because we couldn’t see a whole lot because of the smoke. But we had it perfectly timed coming down the ramp there.
“I haven’t been a part of anything like this before — it’s really amazing.”
The impressive scene unfolded on the property of 17 Wing Winnipeg and the military setting was fitting, given the obvious connection with the Jets in terms of both the logo, and now, the new home and away jerseys.
This union between the Jets and the military has come under some scrutiny by a certain segment of the population, but you can count me among those who like the look of the logo and are genuinely impressed by the jerseys themselves.
“The lines are clean, the colours are very sharp and the logo is very distinct,” said Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. “Very simplistic, yet very complex. It can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people.”
What it means right now is that the Jets will be sporting a crisp navy blue jersey (technically, it’s polar night blue, a colour found on many Royal Canadian Air Force planes these days) with white and powder blue (aviator blue) trim.
The road whites also feature the polar night blue on the sleeves, with aviator blue and silver trim.
“I’m sure it will be one of the better (jerseys) out there,” said Fehr. “It’s a great job of keeping the old Jets blue and kind of bringing in a new jersey and style”
But there’s the rub.
Some folks around these parts will never understand why the team couldn’t just turn back the clock and go back to how things were before the Jets became the Phoenix Coyotes.
It wasn’t enough that True North eventually decided to bring back the Jets name.
Some will threaten to never embrace the new logo and demand the old logo come back, too, but that was never going to happen. Nor should it.
These aren’t the Jets that you or your father grew up with.
There’s a new team in town and they’ll be sporting a fresh, new look.
Yes, the navy blue is a familiar tip of the cap to the past, but the powder blue and the silver is a sign of change and progress.
There’s a new history to be written and if the past summer is any indication of what the future may hold, it should have a different ending.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to turn the page and focus your attention solely on the 2.0 edition of the Jets.
We’re not saying you should forget, merely have an open mind and consider this second flight as a fresh start.
A new look was essential and after an exhaustive process, that has been achieved.
Debate as you will but the new look has the potential to stand the test of time.
The reality is that Tuesday’s scene gives folks a glimpse of what it will be like to see actual Jets players once again skating in NHL jerseys come Sept. 20, for the first pre-season game against the Columbus Blue Jackets and more importantly, on Oct. 9, when the fabled Montreal Canadiens come to town for the first of at least 41 consecutive sellouts at MTS Centre this season.