Winnipeg Jets fans sound off as NHL lockout begins
Fans of the Winnipeg Jets woke up Sunday to the dreaded news that the National Hockey League has locked out its players, potentially putting the 2012-13 season into jeopardy.
The lockout began after the league and the NHL Players' Association could not agree on a new collective bargaining agreement by the deadline of midnight Saturday.
The last lockout wiped out the entire 2004-05 season, making the NHL the first North American sports league ever to cancel an entire season over a labour dispute.
The possibility that the latest lockout could affect the entire season is not sitting well with Jets fans, who had just welcomed the NHL back to Winnipeg last season after a 15-year absence.
"It's beyond frustrating for Winnipeg Jets fans … we just finally got the Jets back into our city," Dean Douglas, a season ticket holder, told CBC News.
Ticket holders offered options
True North Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Winnipeg NHL franchise, sent an email on Sunday morning informing season ticket holders of their options in light of the work stoppage.
According to the email, fans can seek a full refund for any cancelled games, or they can have a credit to be applied towards future tickets.
Prior to last season, Winnipeg had been without NHL hockey since the original Jets were relocated to Phoenix and rebranded as the Coyotes in 1996.
Then in May 2011, True North and the league announced that the Atlanta Thrashers franchise would move to Winnipeg and be renamed the Jets.
Excited NHL fans quickly snapped up season tickets, resulting in sold-out games at the MTS Centre throughout the entire 2011-12 season.
"People were just absolutely ecstatic last year. Every single game was sold out," Douglas said.
"It just sucks that they're going to have a lockout and we don't get to watch what we've been waiting for for 15 years."