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Fans won't see Jets tickets until schedule is released

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Q: Still haven't heard anything about my Jets season tickets. What's up with that?

A: The team has done extensive planning for all possible startup plans but must wait to release details until the owners and players both ratify the agreement and the schedule is formally released. Then, the Jets said in a communication with their fans Monday, they will have season-ticket-holders' packages in the mail in two days.

 

Q: If I'm on the Jets' waiting list for tickets, did I move up during the lockout?

A: Sorry, no. The team said Monday it didn't have a single customer cancel a season ticket because of the labour dispute.

 

Q: Do we know anything at all about the schedule yet?

A: Not much, but a few details. Expect a Jan. 19 start to a 48-game season. Even NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Monday that's looking more and more like the only option based on the time it'll take to get everything in place. All games will be within conference. That has the Jets against teams in the east exclusively this season. It seems likely that within the division, it'll be five games against two opponents and four against the two others, then three games against the other 10 teams in the Eastern Conference, for a total of 48.

 

Q: What's involved in the ratification of the CBA?

A: The owners must vote to approve. That will be today, and a majority is required. A majority of players is also required. Their process could take as long as Saturday. Neither side wanted anything to sound like a foregone conclusion and the vote is necessary, but there is virtually no one on either side who thinks the deal won't sail through this week, guaranteeing at least eight years of relative labour peace.

 

Q: What about the Jets players? I see that only four were skating here on Monday. Reading a lot about players in different cities, like Minneapolis, already arriving and practising. And the Jets had the same handful of guys at the Iceplex? What gives? When does everybody get into town?

A: They should be rolling in soon. But so there's no confusion, until the deal is ratified the players have to get to Winnipeg on their own dime and are not required to be here immediately. The Jets are also not on the hook to make travel arrangements for any players. Expect to see or hear of a few more each day until coach Claude Noel calls the first practice of training camp.

 

Q: I saw the letter from the Jets to fans on Monday, the first time anybody from the organization has said anything about this entire labour mess. Other teams' coaches and management types have been speaking already this week, why not here?

A: Teams have been cautioned they may still not speak about the labour situation but have been given a green light to talk about hockey matters. The Jets decided not to have coach Noel, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff or governor Mark Chipman take any questions yet. That may come later this week, the team said Monday.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 8, 2013 C2

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