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Winnipeg Jets

Jets fans sticking fast with pins

Once they start collecting, it becomes a daily ritual

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Pin collector Bob McLeod shows off his Blake Wheeler pin. McLeod picks up a Jets pin every morning, like clockwork.

BORIS MINKEVICH

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Pin collector Bob McLeod shows off his Blake Wheeler pin. McLeod picks up a Jets pin every morning, like clockwork.

Bob McLEOD is a creature of habit.

Every morning, no matter what's on his schedule, he drops by a Canadian Tire or 7-Eleven store and picks up the latest Winnipeg Jets pin.

'I come every day, like clockwork. I think they're very colourful. We're getting closer to winter now so it's time to collect something for the cold weather ahead'

-- pin collector Bob McLeod

"I come every day, like clockwork," McLeod said, holding a pin emblazoned with Blake Wheeler's jersey number. "I think they're very colourful. We're getting closer to winter now so it's time to collect something for the cold weather ahead."

The first pin in the collection, which was produced in cooperation with the Winnipeg Jets, the NHL and the NHL Players Association, was released on Oct. 5. A new pin is available every day, Monday to Saturday, with the last one going on sale Nov. 2.

Each pin can be purchased for $2.99 along with the required coupon from that day's newspaper at 7-Eleven stores, Canada Safeway, Real Canadian Superstore, Canadian Tire and Red River Co-op gas stations.

One female collector stops by her local 7-Eleven every morning with the required coupon cut out from the Winnipeg Free Press.

"A couple of times (the staff) saw me coming in the door and got the pin out for me before I could ask for it or give them the coupon," said the woman, who didn't want to give her name because she's collecting the pins to give to her grandson at Christmas.

She makes a point of heading over in the morning to be on the safe side. "I don't know how many each store has to sell," she said.

Most popular

Gregg Reiter, general manager at Red River Co-op, said the most popular pins thus far have borne the faces or jersey numbers of Ondrej Pavelec, Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler.

"Many parents are purchasing for their children and grandparents for their grandchildren. Plus, there's a strong group of loyal Jets fans that want their got-to-have player," he said.

An avid sports fan, McLeod is optimistic about the team's chances this year and he's holding out the tiniest sliver of hope that the Jets could even do what the Los Angeles Kings did two seasons ago sneak into the playoffs and then win the Stanley Cup.

McLeod also knows what he's talking about when it comes to pins. He's one of nearly 60 members of the Winnipeg Pin Club, which has been meeting once a month at the Norwood Legion since forming a decade ago.

McLeod has more than 300 pins in his collection, featuring sports teams, athletes, flags and trophies. The next big thing for the pin collecting community will be the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, he said.

One WPC member, McLeod said, has more than 3,000 pins and that's after downsizing his collection.

"He used to have 10,000 pins but his wife said he had to get rid of some of them. They were taking up too much space," he said.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 19, 2013 C8

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