Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

That's mint: Harper introduces Jets coins

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Even the Royal Canadian Mint is cashing in on the return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg.

On Sunday, a few hours before the opening faceoff at the MTS Centre between the Jets and the Montreal Canadiens, Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled one of the two commemorative coins the Mint is producing to mark the historic hockey moment.

The commemorative 50-cent piece -- minted here in Winnipeg -- will sell for $14.95. The $20 limited edition pure silver coin goes for $94.95.

And the run for that coin will be limited to 15,000 -- which just happens to be the seating capacity of the Jets' home rink.

"The Mint is devoted to producing coins which celebrate Canada's history, culture and values," said Mint president Ian Bennett in a release from the federal Crown corporation.

"Many of Canada's most notable sporting moments have featured hockey and we are proud to commemorate yet another, this time in Winnipeg, the home of our high-speed, state-of-the-art production facility where the Winnipeg Jets 50-cent coin was produced. Mint employees wish the Winnipeg Jets a remarkable 2011-2012 season."

Jets owner Mark Chipman also joined in the special event.

"We are exceptionally honoured that the Royal Canadian Mint was willing to pay tribute to the return of the Winnipeg Jets with a 50-cent commemorative coin and a $20 commemorative pure silver coin," said Chipman in the same release. "The Winnipeg Jets have always held a special place in the hearts of hockey fans across Canada and thanks to the Royal Canadian Mint, these fans can now own a piece of Jets history by celebrating the inaugural season with these commemorative coins."

While the Harper PMO is well-known for having tightly-scripted events, it was apparently someone with an insider's knowledge of the Mint who upstaged the prime minister Saturday. Images of the coin began making the rounds via Twitter and the Free Press posted a photo of the coin Saturday on its website.

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 10, 2011 B3

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