Seeing Chris Mason on the ice at the MTS Iceplex makes the return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg feel real.
Though he was decked out in a Manitoba Moose practice jersey, he debuted his new Winnipeg Jets mask with 'Eddie', the mascot from Iron Maiden, flying a World War II plane.
Mason stepped onto the Iceplex ice with local players such as New York Islanders Travis Hamonic, St. Louis Blues Ryan Reaves, and former Moose players Kevin Clark and Nolan Baumgartner.
"I just got a tour of the rink (Sunday) after I got into town and it's just so exciting," Mason told the Winnipeg Free Press Tuesday.
"My dad was with me, too, and he got a chance to go see the room. We peeked in at the rink... it's just really exciting. Coming out today and skating here, too, and starting to see all the Jets' logos, the signs on the buildings downtown on Portage was pretty cool.
"Driving down Portage -- because you come right off the Trans-Canada and you go straight down by the practice rink here and you go by the MTS Centre -- and seeing all the signs on the buildings... it's like, 'Hockey is for real here.'" (Winnipeg Free Press, 08/23/11)
Mason shares the enthusiasm of most players in the lineup, from Evander Kane to Eric Fehr.