Nation World HQ
December 17 2011 08:15PM
It was a warm, wonderful welcome for former Winnipeg Jets hero, Teemu Selanne, at MTS Centre Saturday night. There was a feature on his career on the big video board. The crowd gave him a standing ovation when he came out for his first shift. The fans even started playing this silly game in which they would boo every Ducks player who touched the puck and then cheer when Selanne touched it.
"It was kind of comical," said Zach Bogosian, the game's first star with a goal and two assists. "Our fans always boo the other team's top players, but what we saw tonight is something I've never seen before."
It was fun and, in a strange Winnipeg kind of way, rather classy. In fact, it looked like "old jersey" night. Even Jets fans who owned new jerseys, broke out the old royal blue, white and red jerseys from the 90s. There were more Selanne Jets jerseys than Ladd Jets jerseys on Saturday.
"The emotion was very high," said Selanne after the game. "I tried to stay focused, but I was very emotional. It was just a great feeling. Even in the warm-up, just seeing all the signs and the No. 13, all the Winnipeg Jets jerseys. I felt like everybody was watching me."
Of course, by the middle of the second period, it didn't matter anymore, Anaheim's Dan Ellis should have been charged with impaired goaltending as he fanned on five shots and the Jets hung on to beat Selanne's Ducks 5-3.
Nation World HQ
December 17 2011 01:18PM
It could have only happened in a small town on the prairies that had been deprived of the National Hockey League for 15 years. It started when more than 50 people met the Anaheim Ducks' bus at 2:40 a.m. in front of Winnipeg's Fairmont Hotel to get a glimpse -- and maybe even an autograph -- of a hockey player who hadn't played in Winnipeg for 15 years. Then, the Ducks' coaching staff decided that to avoid the oncoming media frenzy, it should call a 10:15 a.m. news conference just to appease the Winnipeg public's insatiable appetite to hear the words of just one player.
Think about this for a second: Teemu Selanne is a 41-year-old Ducks rightwinger who once played in Winnipeg. In fact, he played 3 1/2-seasons in the 'Peg between 1992-96. He played in only 231 regular season games, scored 147 goals and 306 points. He holds the Jets 1.0 records of 76 goals, 132 points, 24 power play goals 387 shots and five hat-tricks in a single season. But he hasn't played in Winnipeg for almost 15 years!
December 17 2011 02:00AM
Time, as we're so often reminded, has the ability to repair us after we've been injured. Wounds heal, indignities fade into memory's recess, and we get on with our lives, more or less whole. That's the conceit that most of us live by, and when we face something that disappoints us, like a hockey player moving on from our favourite team, the world gets back on its axis after no more than a few flips of the calendar.
That's how things work under normal circumstances, at least. Tonight, though, presents Winnipeggers with a chance to experience something decidely abnormal, as one of the city's beloved adopted sons returns for a farewell visit in what are some fairly improbable circumstances.
December 16 2011 02:49PM
Today, CBC hockey analyst Mike Milbury was charged with assault in relation to an incident that occurred with an opposing player as he helped coach his son’s pee wee hockey team.
How serious the incident was is not entirely clear; but from the reports today it sounds like it’s fairly unexceptional hockey parent behaviour. That may change depending on what exactly Milbury said – the reports also indicate he was charged with uttering threats, after all – but everyone who has spent any amount of time around the game has seen, heard or at the very least read about the line-crossing actions of hyper-competitive hockey moms and dads.
The actions alone weren’t the reason the internet quickly filled with Mike Milbury jokes this morning.
December 16 2011 11:45AM
In the first part of a special feature to the Nation Network, we are proud to introduce a guest columnist - WJC Team Canada alumni Brian Sutherby. As a member of the 2002 Silver Medal winning Canadian team, he knows a thing or two about a thing or two. And throughout the 2012 WJC he will be sharing his thoughts on the tournament and memories from his run to the Finals. - WG