The Winnipeg Jets hit the ice for their first official practice since the lockout ended, and in a rare move, the session was open to the public.

Thousands of people lined up early at the MTS Centre waiting for the doors to open at 11:30 a.m. CST.

Some excited fans were there as early as 8:30 a.m. CST.

The practice was the first in a shortened training camp, which will run all this week.

Kristian Rents is a season ticket holder and he said he's excited for NHL hockey to start back up again in Winnipeg. 

He said he's no longer upset about the 119 day-long  NHL lockout, and that boycotting games won't make a difference.

"I was frustrated as a fan with how long it took and how little it seemed was being done until it came to that critical time," said Rents. "Personally, I knew the fans would be back no matter what in the end."

Admission to the practice session was free and fans also got vouchers for a free pop and popcorn. 

Also, all the merchandise at the Jets Gear store was discounted by 25 per cent.

The season's schedule has been released, with the Jets home opener against the Ottawa Senators falling on Jan. 19, starting at 2 p.m. CST.

Five of the teams first eight games will be on the road.