OTD: Winnipeg Jets play final game—for 15 years

On today’s date in 1996, the former Winnipeg Jets were eliminated from the playoffs after losing 4-1 to the Detroit Red Wings in game six of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

The Jets lost the best-of-seven series 4-2 on home ice at the Winnipeg Arena, which was eventually demolished in 2006.

The team would later move to Arizona and play as the Phoenix Coyotes (now the Arizona Coyotes) from the 1996-97 season until the 2011 season – a 15-year absence – after which the team returned to Winnipeg.

This patch commemorated the Winnipeg Jets’ 2011-12 season – the team’s first season back in the Manitoba capital.

This patch commemorated the Winnipeg Jets’ 2011-12 season, which was the team’s first season back in the Manitoba capital.

THE NEW JETS

In 2011, the NHL approved the Atlanta Thrashers’ move to Winnipeg, where the new team would play its home games at the MTS Centre, taking its name after the city’s original NHL team, the Winnipeg Jets.

On April 9, 2015, the Jets clinched their first Stanley Cup playoff appearance since relocating to Winnipeg. The Jets finished the season as the Western Conference’s second wild card, earning 99 points and a match-up with the Anaheim Ducks.

The Ducks eventually swept the series 4-0, winning each of the first three games with third-period comebacks. The Jets lost the series-clinching game with a 5-2 loss on home ice.

JETS COINS & TOKENS

In 2012, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a pair of double-dated commemorative coins marking the return of the Winnipeg Jets.

The series included a $20 Fine silver coin with a mintage of 15,000 plus a 50-cent nickel-plated steel coin struck “while supplied last.”

“Many of Canada’s most notable sporting moments have featured hockey, and we are proud to commemorate yet another, this time in Winnipeg, the home of our high-speed, state-of-the-art production facility where the Winnipeg Jets 50-cent coin was produced,” said Ian Bennett, the then-president and CEO of the Mint.

Two years later, the Mint issued a 25-cent circulation coin featuring the Jets logo in a shield. Part of a series featuring all seven Canadian NHL franchises, each cupro-nickel coin was issued with two stamps. Each of the seven coin-and-stamp sets has a mintage of 6,000.

In 2015, the Mint issued a $10 Fine silver coin featuring the Jets as part of its “Canadian Franchises” series. The coin – again one of seven in the series – has a mintage of 5,000. Its reverse features the Jets’ team logo on the left and a silhouette of a hockey player skating on the right. Using a sheer effect colourization, the Jets’ team colours flash under light.

In 2017, the Mint issued another $10 Fine silver coin featuring the Jets as part of its “Passion to Play” series.

In the early 1980s, a set of Jets-themed trade tokens were also issued in the Winnipeg area. The tokens feature the Jets logo on one side and a player’s portrait and name on the other side.

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