Mention the name “Kroppy” to any Winnipeg Jets fan, and chances are you’ll at the very will see a smile cross that person’s face. Next week, the beaming smile of Len Kropioski will be seen by hockey card collectors everywhere as Upper Deck is including a special cards featuring him and US Korean war veteran Ronald Rosser.
As part of Upper Deck’s Museum Collection series which honors one Canadian and one American veteran the day before Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans Day in the United States. The card will be available on Nov. 10 and 11, free to veterans or military supporters as participating retailers will be allocated 100 of the special Museum Collection cards.
Len “Kroppy” Kropioski became a well known fixture at Jets 2.0 games almost from game number one, as the World War Two veteran would be seen on the Bell MTS Place jumbo-tron saluting the Canadian flag at the end of each performance of the national anthem. It wasn’t long until we learned that Mr. Korpioski – who was born in Winnipeg and served in the military from 1940 to 1946 – lived in Kenora, Ontario and would make the two our trek west for each and every Jets home game almost without fail. He was also a season ticket holder to other Winnipeg sports franchises such as the Goldeyes and Blue Blombers.
Kroppy passed away shortly before the 2016-17 season at the age of 98. The Jets on opening night of the 2016-17 season had a very touching tribute dedicated to Kroppy.