The best kept (or worst kept) secret in Winnipeg has now been revealed as the Winnipeg Jets hockey club unveiled their new jerseys at the 17 Wing Canadian Air Force Base on Tuesday afternoon.
Amid the sunny, beautiful day in St. James, four Jets players - Eric Fehr, Mark Stuart, Nik Antropov, and captain Andrew Ladd - previewed the jerseys walking out of, nothing less than - a Jet.
The new jerseys pay hommage to the Royal Canadian Air Force with its "Polar Night Blue" and its "Aviator Blue". Going with the main blue colour may also pay hommage to the former Winnipeg Jets jerseys with a slightly different blue hue to it.
The "Aviator Blue" colour pays special hommage as it was used by the 1948 RCAF Flyers, a jersey that the ex-Manitoba Moose showcased during an Armed Forces games in 2008.
"We wanted to create a look that worked well with Reebok’s modern and innovative “Edge System” uniforms,” said Kevin Cheveldayoff, Executive Vice-President & General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets via jets.nhl.com.
“However, it was also vitally important to us to honour the rich history of hockey in our city, and fit the era of the Royal Canadian Air Force which inspired the primary crest design. The result is clean, simple and traditional.”
And the jersey is just that - clean, simple, and traditional.
It is simple enough to catch and please any NHL fan to want to buy it - even as a collector's item.
Authentic "Pro-Wear" jerseys will not be available until early October, while "Premier" Replica Jerseys will be available two to three weeks after that.
Additionally, the Jets will be wearing a commemorative, opening night patch during their home opener October 9th against the Montreal Canadiens, commemorating their return to the NHL. During the other 81 games, the Jets will wear an inaugural season patch to signify their NHL return.
Admittedly, as a Jets fan, these jerseys are pretty slick and sleek. However, despite being a fan, these jerseys will catch the attention of fans league wide.
The new jerseys signify not only the presence of the NHL in Winnipeg after a fifteen year absence, but of Winnipeg's presence in Canada, North America, and the world. As in the words of Kevin Cheveldayoff, the jerseys do pay hommage to the men and women who have fought and served with the RCAF over the last century and beyond.
To check out the entire gallery of pictures of the jersey unveiling, they are available at jets.nhl.com as well as the Press Conference here.
Also be sure to check out the painting of centre ice at the MTS Centre via Winnipeg Free Press TV as well.