Winnipeg Jets fans get to see team back in action at annual Fan Fest
'I've waited all summer for hockey to be back,' says Jets fan Marie Pugh
The Winnipeg Jets might not be playing a pre-season game until Monday, but eager fans got to see the NHL team back in action on Saturday.
Hundreds of people packed the Bell MTS Iceplex to celebrate with some of the team's members at Fan Fest.
In addition to getting to see players take to the ice, the sixth annual event features prizes, player interviews, interactive games — and plenty of Jetdogs to go around.
Marie Pugh was among the fans there with her family.
"It was great. I've waited all summer for hockey to be back. It's nice to be up close like that and have them be able to interact with them a little," she said.
Ian Lapp went to Fan Fest for the second year in a row with his children, Aden and Byron.
"It's a good way to start the year and see the new guys the Jets have out at practice. It's an exciting start to the season," Lapp said.
Weird, it’s almost like Manitobans really like hockey..🤷🏽♂️ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JetsFanFest?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JetsFanFest</a> <a href="https://t.co/vQxIqiRVH0">pic.twitter.com/vQxIqiRVH0</a>—@AhmarSKhan
In regards to Jets star Dustin Byfuglien, who the team announced Friday has been granted a leave of absence, Lapp says he hopes he's back soon.
"Hopefully he's back in a little bit of time and ready for the start of the season. If he needs a little bit of personal time, I think we should give it to him," Lapp said.
The Jets don't start the regular season until October, but Pugh says she's confident in the team.
"I think they're we're gonna take the the cup this year," she said. "I just think it's time."
Winnipeg Jets Fan Fest runs until 4 p.m. and is free to the public.
The Jets face off against the Oilers in Edmonton on Monday at 8 p.m. CT, and continue the pre-season with a home game against the Minnesota Wild Wednesday.
With files from Ahmar Khan
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