Winnipeg Jets fans who were hoping to have a little fun at the expense of the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night will have to find a new strategy.
Fans were planning on wearing helmets to the Blackhawks game at the MTS Centre, in a mocking gesture to Blackhawks fans after an incident at a game earlier this month.
In a Nov. 6 game between the Blackhawks and the Jets in Chicago, Jets defenceman Adam Pardy took a hit into the boards, knocking out the protective glass.
A fan who looked inebriated grabbed Pardy’s helmet off and put it on his own head. Then another fan appeared to pour a cup of beer on Pardy’s head.
In response, fans decided to have a helmet night to suggest Winnipeg fans don’t need to borrow helmets from players.
Mark Chipman, the president and CEO of True North Sports and Entertainment, issued a statement on Wednesday, putting the kibosh on the idea.
“We will not permit fans to wear such headgear at tomorrow’s game,” Chipman said in a statement.
Team officials said the Jets received apologies from the Blackhawks organization and were happy with the way Pardy handled himself during the incident.
According to Jets news release, Pardy has received a personal apology from the fan who stole his helmet. The man has also made a donation to the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation.
Chipman reiterated he believes the team has “the best fans in the entire National Hockey League” but qualified that with a warning about professionalism and respect for the game. He said he hopes fans won’t try to get helmets into Thursday’s game.
"We could use the word, 'strongly discourage' [or] 'really wish you wouldn't,' but I don't think there's any -- I just don't think there's any margin for error on this one," said Chipman. "We're just not going to permit it tomorrow night."