It turns out that the Manitoba Moose will be the primary benefactors of the Jets making improvements to their current practice facility! The Jets announced today that they would be making a $7.5 million investment into their west-end practice facility known as the MTS IcePlex! The 21,000 square foot addition to the east end of the IcePlex will have dressing room space for both the Moose and Jets at their practice facility, office space for the Manitoba Moose hockey operations staff, and storage space and office space for the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy which plays out of the IcePlex and is run by the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation!
It's nice to see the IcePlex getting a little love from True North after playing host to hundreds of practices and training camps on top of the many city, provincial, national, and international tournaments, beer league games, sledge hockey games, MJHL games, MWJHL games, Hockey Manitoba events, Hockey Canada events, and everything else that goes on at that facility.
The second announcement that came from the Jets happened today, and this one is a big one for fans in and around this city. I was driving home and happened to have my local sports radio show on where Mark Chipman, President of True North Sports and Entertainment, was speaking to the hosts where he stated that Winnipeg will indeed host a Heritage Classic game next year and that he would like it earlier in the year!
With that news, let the rumor mill start churning abut who the Jets will play in the Heritage Classic. There's a strong feeling that the Edmonton Oilers will be the team that visits Winnipeg with the history between the two teams starting in the WHA, carrying through into the 1980s with the Smythe Division battles, and now with both teams having solid, young teams.
I'll be honest in saying that I want neither the Canadiens nor Maple Leafs in this game, and the Senators and Canucks just played a Heritage Classic in Vancouver. That pretty much leaves the two Alberta-based teams, and the Oilers haven't played in one since the original Heritage Classic in Edmonton. Will we see an Oilers-Jets Heritage Classic game in December at Investors Group Field? It sounds like it is very likely at this point!
Who would you like to see in the Heritage Classic against the Jets? Perhaps Michael Frolik and the Flames? Maybe hometown boy Mark Stone and the Senators? Manitoban James Reimer and the Leafs? Have your say in the comments!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!