Jets will try to block out home opener hoopla

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:31 AM ET

WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets realize focusing on the task at hand is going to be essential this week as they prepare for what figures to be an incredible atmosphere for their home opener.

The hockey world will be watching as the Jets play the first NHL regular season game in 15 years this Sunday against the Montreal Canadiens, but being swept away by the hoopla and the hype simply isn’t an option.

“There’s going to be a lot of anticipation,” said Jets forward Blake Wheeler. “It’s going to be crazy but it’s going to be important for us to block all of that stuff out. At the end of the day, it’s just like any other game we’re going to play. Obviously the city has been waiting some time for it, but our biggest focus is to play well and put on a good performance for the city.”

DUCKY COMING: Former Jets star Dale Hawerchuk confirmed on Monday that he would be among those in attendance for Sunday’s season opener against the Montreal Canadiens.

Hawerchuk, who is the head coach of the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League, is proud to see Mark Scheifele start his career in the NHL.

“We miss him here but it’s so exciting for us to watch him here at that level. It’s been fun to see his progress,” said Hawerchuck, whose club is off to a 3-1-0-1 start.

STILL WAITING: Forward Tim Stapleton cleared waivers on Monday morning, but Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff wasn’t ready to unveil what the team plans to do with him as of Monday afternoon.

Stapleton, who is entering the final year of a one-way contract that pays him $525,000 USD, had five goals and seven points for the Atlanta Thrashers last season.

NEW NAME FOR STATION: Sports Radio 1290 announced on Monday that the station will be re-branded on Wednesday to TSN 1290.

JERSEYS AVAILABLE: The wait is finally over for Jets fans looking to purchase a new jersey. Authentic Jets jerseys are finally available at stores across town at a cost of $299.


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