Space is rarely at a premium where the wide-open Canadian prairie begins on the outskirts of Winnipeg.
But the Winnipeg Jets
' first day of on-ice workouts brought a jammed MTS Iceplex, packed parking lots and fans huddled around the glass surrounding the Jets' practice rink.
Veteran Nik Antropov
will go down in Winnipeg hockey history as the first Jets player to take the ice here. The Winnipeg faithful greeted Antropov and his teammates with a loud burst of cheers to commemorate the city's entry back into the League.
Later in the session, captain Andrew Ladd
drew a rise from the crowd with a shifty deke, the first of several bursts from a crowd that analyzed every move a Jet made.
Ladd, Bryan Little
and defensemen Zach Bogosian
and Tobias Enstrom
were among the established veterans to partake in the first group of players to take the ice.
Winnipeg natives Kevin Clark
and Derek Meech
also participated. Two groups of players will follow later in the day.