From left to right in the above photo: Kim Clackson, John Gray, Steve West, Roland Eriksson, Markus Mattsson, Mike Amodeo, Willy Lindstrom
A number of past Winnipeg Jets were in the River City from May 30 to June 1 to commemorate a special anniversary. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Jets' Avco Cup Championship in 1979 over Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers. That victory also marked the end of the World Hockey Association, as many of the league's teams subsequently joined the NHL for the 1979-1980 season.
To honour that victory, many members of the championship team returned to Winnipeg to celebrate together. The weekend included a banquet where fans past and present were able to honour the team, as well as trips to the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame where the AVCO Cup rests, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Along with those visits, the team was invited to have a tour of Bell MTS Place on May 30. Several of the group members were able to make it out for the visit, and see the building that the current Jets call home.
"It's so important for us to have our alumni involved in what we are doing," noted Anders Strome, Director of Player & Alumni Relations with the Winnipeg Jets. "Given that these players were the last ones to win a professional hockey championship in Winnipeg, they hold a special place in the hearts of our fans. To have them come back to visit not only reconnects them with the city and our fans, but with our organization and team."
Though Bell MTS Place is a different building than these alumni played in, it brought back many memories for them and many stories from the past were shared, along with many remarks of how much things have changed over the years in hockey.