Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews still remembers when the Winnipeg Jets left his hometown, back in 1996.
He was only 8.
"I remember it all," Toews said. "I remember having talks with my buddies ... a friend of mine who lived down the street was asking his dad why he didn't just buy the Winnipeg Jets. I don't remember what his dad said, but I went home and asked my dad the same thing."
What was the answer?
"I don't know," Toews said. "He probably just brushed it off and made up some story. But I remember going to games and all that stuff. You don't understand as a kid, really, what it means or how much you'll miss having a hockey team. Now, looking back, you realize what it meant to our city and what it means for them to get that second chance. Great memories. For me, that's where it all started. The NHL dream kind of came from that, going to Jets games and all that."