WINNIPEG – Another regular season is done, and the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs are around the corner. The Winnipeg Jets finished the 2023-2024 campaign with the second most points in the Western Conference and will have home ice advantage for their first round series against the Colorado Avalanche.

That means the Whiteout comes early.

Snow is falling on the Friday before the postseason but on Sunday the streets outside of Canada Life Centre and of course, inside the rink will be overtaken by white.

The players who have experienced it love it, the Jets players who haven’t been in it, can’t wait to be in it. The coaches love it as well.

“This building especially with the Whiteout is extremely loud. It gives us what we feel an advantage in that first game, the first two games so that we can go out and get on top of them,” said associate coach Scott Arniel.

“Even last year when we were down to Vegas, it was amazing how loud it was. We were down 4-1 both games and came storming back, certainly in the overtime one (Game 3). I know the whole city and province is so excited for it.”

But what about the Jets fans that line the streets, watch from home and those that are in the building? WinnipegJets.com spoke some huge Jets fans about the Whiteout.

Sheila Hathaway loves the fact that even if you are inside or at the Whiteout party that it’s a chance for the city to come together and be one with the common goal, for a chance at winning the Stanley Cup.

“I love the power of the crowd cheering and causing the stands to vibrate. The feeling is electric. The roar of the crowd reminds me of a lion roaring in your face or a freight train. It is amazing and something everyone should experience,” said Hathaway in an email.

“There is no better feeling than a Jets playoff game. No matter what happens, you always come back, thinking next year will be our year.”


Matthew Sobocan remembers attending the original Whiteout in the late 80’s at the old Winnipeg Arena, not understanding what it would eventually turn into. Now that the Whiteout year over year gets all this attention locally and nationally, he says he is proud to be a Winnipegger.

“I always kind of feel that it’s my city, I’ve always lived in Winnipeg. We’re a small cog in a huge world, right? Somehow when you do watch a television show or a writeup where someone talks about the Whiteout, it shows you what Winnipeg, a small city in Canada can pull off as a united group of people,” said Sobocan.

“Even my 86-year-old dad who doesn’t come to games, he puts on a white sweatshirt just to watch the game. He’s at home, but he somehow feels he has to be a part of this kind of thing. It’s a lot of pride. Just based on Winnipeg and it’s winters and the joke about the mosquitoes in the summer, somehow in the Whiteout you get people saying, ‘You guys are true fans’, it makes you proud of Winnipeg.”


Craig Harrison is pumped about the way the Jets closed out the regular season playing as well as they have. Harrison was at the original whiteout and was at Winnipeg Arena when Dave Ellett scored in double overtime of Game 4 to give the Jets a 3-1 series lead in 1990 and Game 3 in 2015 when the Jets lost in overtime to Anaheim.

“It’s amazing the energy that’s in the building. The first one against Calgary (in 1987), we were screaming 45 minutes before game time, and it didn’t let up the entire time. Just shaking the whole building, we were going nuts,” recalled Harrison.

“Even when you walk around town nowadays, in the shopping malls, the banks, the bars. There’s just this buzz, this energy in the city that makes it infectious and that you’re then able to share that with the country and the world. In 2018, we were the national team (Jets made it to the West Final) and I think that Winnipeg is a kind of team that the rest of the country can get behind.”


Finally, Shay-Lee Bolton feels that the original Whiteout from the Jets 1.0 days is a piece of history that everybody likes to connect with and to her, it is a tradition. It’s what it means to be a Winnipegger, to be a part of the Jets fan club over many decades. Bolton loves how the new Jets get to experience it for the first time.


“I’m excited and proud when they take that first step onto the ice to have them feel connected to us, I think that sells Winnipeg to them and make them work harder for this team and for the city,” said Bolton.

“Because it’s kind of that reciprocal relationship in a way. Our family is really pumped. We have all our eggs in the basket. I think we’ve got the team; they’ve been playing like they want it; the fans are certainly behind them. I feel like we can do this, I feel like we can take it pretty far.”

Two months of the whiteout. Who wouldn’t want that?