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Saturday, 3 October 2015

TBC: 100 Things For Jets Fans

Teebz's Book Club is back in full force as I tackled another book this week with the little free time I seemed to have, but I knocked another one off the list. Speaking of lists, today's entry is all about a list. I'm usually pretty disappointed in list books mainly because there are things that I feel should be included that aren't found in the list. However, Teebz's Book Club is proud to present 100 Things Jets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die written by Jon Waldman and published by Triumph Books. Mr. Waldman's book hits close to home as he identifies 100 things that Jets fans - young and old - should know and definitely participate in, and I have to say that Mr. Waldman hits the mark in the vast majority of his list in 100 Things.

From the Triumph biography, "Jon Waldman has written for the Hockey News, the Toronto Sun, and the Winnipeg Free Press, among others. He is the coauthor of Got 'Em, Got 'Em, Need 'Em: A Fan's Guide to Collecting the Top 100 Sports Cards of All Time and the co-editor of Slam! Wrestling. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba." Jon also has written He Shoots, He Saves which was favorably reviewed here on HBIC! 100 Things, today's book, is due out at the end of October.

Mr. Waldman looks back over the three eras of Winnipeg Jets hockey - WHA, Jets 1.0, and Jets 2.0 - as he recounts the 100 moments, events, and places that mean something to Jets fans for their importance in the franchise's history. I can recall the vast majority of the list, but there are WHA-era examples that I wasn't around to experience, so those caught my attention a little more than the more recent examples in the list. However, this isn't only about the Jets as the Manitoba Moose, both the IHL and AHL versions, get a few spots on the list as Winnipeg's pro hockey history is on display in 100 Things.

There are a few list items that I feel are a little out of place, but these are Mr. Waldman's picks so we can probably debate these examples until the end of time. However, this is my blog, so I'll say that the Teemu Selanne goal that broke Mike Bossy's rookie goal-scoring record should have been higher while Mark Scheifele's wearing of the NHL jersey at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft should have been much lower. The birth of the Manitoba Moose should have been bumped up a few spots while the White Out should have been placed in the top-ten. Regardless of where I think these Winnipeg moments and events should be, Mr. Waldman included them in 100 Things Jets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, so you'll get a chance to read about them if you're not aware of them.

One of the more surprising items that Mr. Waldman brings to light is who has the final puck from the last game of first version of the NHL Jets. The last regular season game played by the Jets in 1995 was against the Los Angeles Kings, and it never occurred to me that Wayne Gretzky was the man who had the last puck ever used by those Winnipeg Jets! As Mr. Waldman writes,
As time wore down, the Jets' faithful stood in disbelief as their team was gone. Only one man seemed to really be active between players and fans - Wayne Gretzky.

In plain sight of the arena, Gretzky skated over to one of the officials and grabbed the last puck that was used in the game.
There's more to the story that Mr. Waldman brings to light, but for those who never really gave much thought to it, I was surprised that the puck was in The Great One's possession. Without giving too much away about this one moment, Wayne is a pretty big sports guy, so I can see this puck sitting in his personal collection where he'd just smile as he glanced at it due to all the success he had against Winnipeg in their old Smythe Division days.

100 Things Jets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die is a great look at a number of moments that are key in Winnipeg's professional hockey history. From some of the low points such as Rick Rypien's passing to the Mike "Mikhail" Smith era to the highlights that include the return of the Jets, Selanne's record-breaking goal, and the signing of Bobby Hull, there is no shortage of discussion points in this book for any and all Jets fans. Mr. Waldman does an excellent job in outlining 100 memories in 100 Things Jets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die and, because of this, 100 Things Jets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!

While not all hockey fans want to read about the Winnipeg Jets, I will say that there are pieces of history and information in here that hockey fans will appreciate and enjoy as they wander down memory lane. I highly recommend 100 Things Jets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die to all Jets fans and any hockey fans who want a peek inside the history of the Winnipeg Jets!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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