It's official: The Winnipeg Jets are the team that takes a licking and keeps on sticking.
On Thursday, Canada Post and a posse of beaming politicians took to the podium at the MTS Centre to unveil a new set of stamps commemorating the team's inaugural season.
The stamps come in three Jetsy images: One is of the Jets' rounded logo, another features the team's winged patch. The third style of stamp is an action snapshot of Nik Antropov's season-opening goal on Oct. 9.
Charleswood MP Steven Fletcher, the minister responsible for Canada Post, noted the mail carrier worked hard to get the stamps out in 2011. The original announcement of the NHL's return to Winnipeg came too late to include Jets stamps in the regular releases, he told the crowd. "As a hockey fan, I appreciate the kind of hustle it took to get these stamps out," Fletcher said.
Fletcher encouraged the city's fans to pick up the stamps -- as well as the postage-paid postcards, which were also unveiled at the event -- and mail them to friends and family all over the world "to remind them that the Winnipeg Jets are the best team in the country."
Yeah, take that, 'Nucks, Leafs, Sens, Flames, Habs and Oilers: Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who normally keeps his favourite teams secret "for good reason," was cheering for the Jets when he plunked down at the MTS Centre for the home opener, Fletcher declared.
If you're planning on pasting your Jets pride on snail mail, you can pick up the stamps at any Canada Post retail outlet, as well as corporate post offices in Winnipeg and online (at www.canadapost.ca).
The logo stamps come in sheets of 21 for $24.95, while the limited edition Antropov goal sheets sell for $34.95. The paid postcard, which features an image of most of the team's opening lineup gazing at the crowd from centre ice, is $4.95. They are good for postage anywhere in the world.
After a whirlwind 2011 that included announcing the team; naming the team; branding the team; getting a commemorative Canadian coin; being the subject of an international media circus and unveiling jerseys from the back of a Royal Canadian Air Force plane, one True North Sports & Entertainment executive said the stamps were another sign the return of the Jets will become "legendary."
"We are proud these historic Winnipeg Jets moments... will always be remembered and now can be collected," said TNSE president and CEO Jim Ludlow.