Jets' success, fans' passion win new admirers far and wide

Jets' success, fans' passion win new admirers far and wide

The Winnipeg Jets' bandwagon is beginning to look more like an aircraft carrier.

What might have started out as a flatbed truck with a few banners has grown into something much, much larger as support grows across Canada and beyond.

"We are receiving well wishes from fans across North America, Europe and as far away as Australia," said Rob Wozny, vice-president of communications and community engagement for True North Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Jets franchise.

Of course, with Finnish stars like Patrik Laine and Joel Armia — and occasional call-up Sami Niku from the Manitoba Moose — there has been a high concentration of fans reaching out from Finland, Wozny said.

"In addition to the team's performance, we're getting messages of congratulations for our Winnipeg Whiteout Street Party from teams around the NHL, plus other cities from across North America," he said.

International sports broadcasters have also heaped praise on the team and its fans after witnessing the spectacular whiteout that has filled downtown streets with creatively dressed and boisterous fans, and the decibel-destroying volume inside Bell MTS Place.

Fans from Alberta, British Columbia, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Texas, among others, have posted support for the Jets on Twitter.

Canada does have one other team in the Stanley Cup playoffs — the Toronto Maple Leafs — but a number of fans suggest that, for anyone looking for a flag to wave, Winnipeg is the better bet.

Peter Wyse, an artist in Abbotsford, B.C., went so far as to paint a little Jets fan in tribute to the team.