WINNIPEG - The wait is over. The Winnipeg Jets unveiled their new jerseys this morning at 17 Wing Winnipeg, the local Canadian Air Force personnel base.
At an outdoor press conference on the tarmac next to Hangar 10, hundreds of invited guests and military personnel watched team captain Andrew Ladd, Mark Stuart, Eric Fehr and Nik Antropov in their new colours come ambling out of the back hatch of a Canadian Forces Hercules aircraft.
Ladd and Antropov were sporting the home darks, which feature "Polar Night Blue" as the darker of the two shades of blue. The lighter shade is "Aviator Blue," similar to the colours used by the RCAF, in particular on its traditional flags and also on the jerseys of the 1948 RCAF Flyers.
The jersey also features the main Jets logo, which was rolled out in late July. The secondary logo that includes the stylized wings is placed on the shoulders of the jersey.
"I think they’re great," Ladd said. "They’re clean, they’re simple and hopefully something that’ll last a long, long time and that we’ll be proud to wear.
"I think it’ll look good on the ice. It’s finally exciting to throw them on."
The home darks sport trim of Aviator Blue and white, with a double, thick white strip over the elbows and a white and aviator blue trim around the bottom.
The away whites have the Polar Night Blue band down the outside of both sleeves with a silver-bordered Aviator Blue double stripe over the elbows. The silver and two blues make up the trim around the bottom.
Blue or white helmets, blue pants and versions of blue hockey socks will make up the rest of the new Jets look, which will be seen for the first time when the team plays pre-season games in Winnipeg and Columbus on the same night, Sept. 20.
Next week in Penticiton, B.C., Jets rookies will wear only practice jerseys in their rookie tournament.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff also said today the team will wear a special commemorative patch on opening night, when they face the Montreal Canadiens Oct. 9 at the MTS Centre. After that, the uniforms will sport a commemorative inaugural season patch.
"I think it’s very, very exciting," Cheveldayoff said on the tarmac this morning. "Once you see the logo, the sharpness and the colours and how rich and vibrant it is, then if you walk around our dressing room right now, you start to see the different colours unfolding, well, in your mind’s eye, you wonder what that jersey is going to look like.
"So this is exciting, and it’s exciting for the guys. They’re part of history, of tradition. For those four players who were up there as part of the unveiling, that’s something they’re always going to remember.
"They get a chance to score goals, they get a chance to play the game but they really don’t many opportunities to be part of a historic opportunities like this."
The team also said this morning that fans can pre-order their Jets jerseys as of 4 p.m. today at jets.nhl.com.
Only jerseys purchased through the team’s Jets Gear store and website will have the option to include the commemorative first-season patch.
No jerseys are available for sale today.
The authentic pro-weight jerseys that are ordered could arrive as early as early October while the replica-style jerseys will be available two or three weeks later, Cheveldayoff said.
The team also said this morning that fans can order Winnipeg Jets jerseys on their website starting at 4 p.m. today.
Watch the video on YouTube.