FEATURE: No Slowing Down for Bryan Little
The story of how the former Jets forward found a passion for triathlonsby Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV / WinnipegJets.com
It's been over three years since Bryan Little played a game for the Winnipeg Jets.
Even though the 35-year-old isn't competing on the ice right now, he has found something else to keep him busy:
Little started the journey toward his newest sport back when he was still with the Jets.
"When I moved out into the country (in Cambridge, Ontario), I bought a road bike because there are a lot of cyclists out here and so I did that while I was still playing, so I wasn't getting out much. I would do like recovery rides on it and stuff," said Little.
"I just came across it looking at YouTube videos on it. This Canadian professional triathlete posted a lot of stuff on YouTube, his workouts and stuff, and I just thought it was so interesting."
Stapleton thrilled to return for Filipino Heritage Night
Former Jet was first Filipino-American to play in the NHLby Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com
Tim Stapleton was the first Filipino-American to play in the National Hockey League, and he didn't even realize it until about a year ago.
"It's an ongoing joke," he laughed while making his way to Winnipeg for Filipino Heritage Night.
He says it's all because of Jason Robertson, the 23-year-old forward for the Dallas Stars, who the Winnipeg Jets will face on Tuesday at Canada Life Centre.
"For a while, they were naming him or (Minnesota Wild defenceman) Matt Dumba as first," explained Stapleton. "Someone corrected them. To this day, the joke is my friends think I called in and corrected them myself. The truth is it means way more today than it ever did. I think it's kind of cool."
Stapleton, now 40, played his lone season in Winnipeg in 2011-12, scoring 11 goals and racking up 27 points in 63 games - all career-highs at the NHL level. That lone season with the Jets was also the first year the team was back in the Manitoba capital, and now he's ecstatic to be returning for such a special event.
Numminen, Selanne honoured to join Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame
Official induction ceremony takes place November 17by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com
Mention the word 'Winnipeg' to Teemu Selanne and Teppo Numminen, and the memories start to flow almost immediately.
Words like "unbelievable" and "special" are their descriptors for the whiteouts in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they're also used to describe their time in the Manitoba capital overall.
"Winnipeg fans, you can't find that passion for hockey anywhere," said Selanne. "There's no one word, or two, or three, to really describe them."
Both players came over from Finland - Numminen in 1988, and Selanne in 1992 - and were immediately embraced by the city.
"That was really nice to see and feel at home right away when you're a young player coming into the league," Numminen said. "I think fans and the community really showed us how things are done, and how even in a smaller market or smaller town, you can get the strength together from the community. We saw that. We carried that with our careers with that lesson."
Winnipeggers invited to celebrate unveiling of Dale Hawerchuk statue
Statue unveil ceremony at 5:15 p.m., site access at 4:30 p.m on Oct. 1by Winnipeg Jets PR @WpgJetsPR / Press Release
WINNIPEG, Sept. 15, 2022 - The Winnipeg Jets will honour late team legend and Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame member Dale Hawerchuk with a statue unveiling at True North Square's plaza at the corner of Honourary Dale Hawerchuk Way (Graham Avenue) and Hargrave Street prior to their Oct. 1 pre-season game against the Edmonton Oilers. Fans are encouraged to arrive as early as 4:30 p.m. CT with the ceremony beginning at 5:15 p.m. CT. The ceremony will last approximately 30 minutes and is open to all fans with or without tickets to that night's game.
Former Jet Stempniak turns focus to player development
39-year-old explains how two former Jets helped shaped his careerby Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com
Lee Stempniak's time in Winnipeg was short, but that doesn't mean the city - and those who played in it - didn't have an impact on him.
Yes, he still thinks about the goal he scored in Game 3 against Anaheim in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs - the first playoff goal the Jets scored on home ice since their return to the National Hockey League in 2011.
"The whole experience of playing those home games with the whiteout was electric," said Stempniak, who played 18 regular season games for the Jets in 2015, recording 10 points, plus that memorable goal in the postseason.
"I just remember going home and my ears ringing in my hotel room after the game," he said. "It was just a loud, sustained noise for the three hours of the game. It was awesome."
But it's a couple of Jets from the 1.0 days that also had a profound impact on him, and perhaps planted the seed of working in player development when his career was done. Now, after accepting the Director of Player Development role with the Arizona Coyotes, the 39-year-old Stempniak is reflecting on everything that led to him earning the role he feels is perfect for him.
Standing out from the start
"Teppo really was an underrated superstar" - Craig Heisingerby Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com
Every time Craig Heisinger looks up at the banners hanging at Canada Life Centre, showing the names of alumni inducted into the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame, a smile comes to his face.
The Winnipeg Jets assistant general manager has been around the game a long time. In fact, he formed relationships with a number of the players that have been inducted so far - Dale Hawerchuk, Randy Carlyle, and Thomas Steen are just a few examples.
"It's always great to see guys who gave their heart and soul to the organization get rewarded," Heisinger said. "It means a lot to them, and I think even more so to their families."
This year, when Teemu Selanne and Teppo Numminen's names join the other eight members of the team's Hall of Fame, Heisinger will once again be full of memories.
One of those will be from the 1988 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Jets celebrate Teemu Selanne, Teppo Numminen with Hall of Fame induction
Gala on Nov. 15, Hall of Fame induction prior to Nov. 17 gameby Winnipeg Jets PR @WpgJetsPR / Press Release
WINNIPEG, Aug. 17, 2022 - The Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club will induct Teemu Selanne and Teppo Numminen as the ninth and tenth members of the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame in November. The two Finnish stars from the Jets 1.0 era will have their banners raised to the rafters of Canada Life Centre at a Hall of Fame induction ceremony prior to the Jets' Thursday, Nov. 17 matchup against the Anaheim Ducks.
Selanne and Numminen will join Bobby Hull, Ulf Nilsson, Anders Hedberg, Dale Hawerchuk, Ab McDonald, Lars-Erik Sjoberg, Randy Carlyle and Thomas Steen as members of the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame, which was established in 2016 to honour the accomplishments of the team's alumni and to celebrate the rich history of the Winnipeg Jets and their impact on our city and province. For more information on the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame and past inductees, visit WinnipegJets.com/JetsHOF.
Winding Road Through Winnipeg
How Jets alumnus Pokey Reddick, and Moose alum Fred Brathwaite, took their careers through Winnipeg and are now growing the game in Vegasby Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com
They may be from two different eras of professional hockey in Winnipeg, but the winding career paths of Eldon "Pokey" Reddick and Fred Brathwaite have brought them both to the Las Vegas area where they continue to grow the game they love.
Reddick, now 57, wore the Winnipeg Jets colours between 1986 and 1989 primarily as part of the goaltending duo known as 'Pokey and the Bandit' with fellow netminder Daniel Berthiaume in the 1.0 era.
These days, Reddick helps out at The Yard, a facility where parents can bring their young goaltenders to practice on small artificial ice surfaces as they learn the position - without the steep cost of renting ice.
"I've been helping here for probably 12 years," said Reddick. "We still have a lot to teach the kids. Whenever we can get an opportunity to give kids pointers on the game we love to do, which was hockey, the kids are all for it. We try to help as much as we can when it comes to promoting this game of hockey."
Color of Hockey: Reddick coaching Nevada's only high school team
Former NHL goalie, who won Stanley Cup with Oilers, now making mark behind benchby William Douglas @WDouglasNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer
William Douglas has been writing The Color of Hockey blog for the past nine years. Douglas joined NHL.com in March 2019 and writes about people of color in the game. Today, he profiles former NHL goalie Eldon "Pokey" Reddick, who is coaching Nevada's only high school hockey program.
'He really embraced us'
Executive Chairman Mark Chipman speaks about Hawerchuk's role in connecting two Jets erasby Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com
In the years leading up to Winnipeg's return to the NHL in 2011, Dale Hawerchuk was among many of the hopeful hockey fans that a franchise would return to the Manitoba capital.
Whenever Mark Chipman ran into the former Jets captain - whether it was at multiple Hockey Canada events or otherwise - the question was always asked.
"He had a keen interest in the possibility of the NHL returning to Winnipeg," said Chipman, the Executive Chairman of the Jets. "I didn't appreciate this at the time, but his son explained this to me just in the last couple weeks. The reason it was so important to him was because I think he felt disconnected. After he retired he felt, clearly, close to all the teams he played for - but he had a deep affinity for his time here."