There are a few things true about Winnipeg Jets fans: 1) Jets fans are loud. 2) Jets fans are passionate. 3) Jets fans are pretty darn imaginative when it comes to chanting and chirping at opposing teams’ players.
Their creativity was on full display Friday night in Game 5 of the Jets’ first-round matchup against the Minnesota Wild, where the raucous crowd chanted “book your tee time” and “start the bus” at the away team, who were shellacked 5-0 and eliminated by the high-flying home side. Transcending the typical “Go team go” and “Ref you suck” chants that often reverberate in rinks is something Jets fans have done quite often since 2011.
Here are five other times they’ve come up with funny, inventive chants to get under the skin of their visitors.
Target: Ryan Miller. Chant: “Silver Medal”
Remember when the NHL allowed its best players to represent their countries at the Olympics? They were good times. Good times indeed.
But Ryan Miller — who allowed the golden goal to Sidney Crosby back in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver — didn’t have good times when he came to what was then the MTS Centre in 2012 as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
The fans were quick to remind Miller of his inferior hardware and Canada’s Olympic hockey supremacy, chanting “silver medal” at him as he minded the crease in a March visit to Winnipeg.
Target: Corey Perry. Chant: “Katy Perry.”
Corey Perry has never cut an album, or performed a Super Bowl halftime show. Those facts didn’t stop Jets fans from equating the veteran playmaker from Peterborough, Ontario with the pop music sensation.
Jets fans chanted “Katy Perry” at Corey Perry during the Anaheim Ducks’ first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against Winnipeg in 2015. Perry got the last laugh, though — he scored three goals and added four helpers as his Ducks swept the Jets, four straight.
Target: Alexander Ovechkin. Chant: “Crosby’s Better.”
Drafted first overall in subsequent seasons, Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby will always be tied at the hip and the subject of fiery debate on who’s better: “The Great 8” or “Sid the Kid.”
Jets fans seem to have their minds made up. They chanted “Crosby’s better” at the Washington Capitals’ superstar in 2012. The chant recurred for a few years.
Who’s really better is something that really can’t be objectively determined. For what it’s worth, Sidney Crosby has 1116 points and Ovechkin has 1122 through the 2017-18 season, but Crosby’s played over 100 fewer games. And of course, points isn’t the only measure of a player’s success… we’re getting off track.
— Jim Toth (@JimTothSports) March 17, 2012
Even though Jets fans think Crosby’s better than Ovechkin, they still don’t think too highly of him. It’s clear they don’t think Crosby is better than Mario Lemieux, as they’ve chanted “Mario’s pool boy” at the Coal Harbour native. Turnaround is fair play.
Target: Joe Thornton. Chant: “Who’s Your Captain?”
In the summer of 2014, the San Jose Sharks stripped Joe Thornton of his captaincy despite being one of the longest-standing sharks and posting 76 points the previous season. The Sharks opted to go with a four-player alternate captain group.
The Sharks came to Winnipeg in March 2015, just after it came out there was tension between Thornton and Sharks’ ownership because of the move. The fans, seeing double the number of “As” on the ice and no “Cs” at all, seized the opportunity.
“Who’s your captain?” they chanted, taking a dig at not only Thornton, but the entire Sharks squad’s identity crisis. The chant must have gotten Thornton thinking: “well, it used to be me.” Four years later, Thornton and his mountain-man beard are still fixtures for the Sharks. The only difference is they have a captain now (Joe Pavelski).
Target: Evander Kane. Chant: “Best Trade Ever”
Best trade ever? Best chant ever. The controversial Kane wore out the welcome mat during his tumultuous time in Winnipeg. He was accused of an assault, accused the city of being racist, flashed around stacks of cash in stupid Twitter posts, and ultimately alienated his team’s leaders. It came to a head when Dustin Byfuglien threw Kane’s sweat suit into the shower after the latter had shown up to practice wearing one.
In February 2015, Kane and Zach Bogosian were shipped out of town to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Tyler Myers, Joel Armia, Drew Stafford, Brendan Lemieux, and the pick that turned into Jack Roslovic. Kevin Cheveldayoff swung a great deal, no doubt; the Jets are reaping the handsome rewards of the trade to this day.
Jets fans have made a main course out of mocking Kane. When he returned to Winnipeg in 2016, they donned tracksuits in homage to the infamous incident and chanted “best trade ever” at him, reminding him and the Sabres that the Winnipeg GM had committed an act of highway robbery. Fans did it again in 2018, just before Kane was traded to San Jose.
What Will Jets Fans Chant Next?
It really depends on who they play in round two. If they play Nashville, one can bet they won’t be too friendly or good-spirited. If they play Colorado — who they’ve had success against this year — one can bet it’ll be centred around the teams’ head-to-head record. The opportunities are endless, and there’s no doubt someone will come up with some gems. They always do.
There’s one other, while not creative like the others, Jets fans will be sure to be chasing as their playoff run continues: “We want the Cup!”
Declan Schroeder is a 26-year-old communications specialist and freelance journalist in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He holds a diploma in Creative Communications with a major in journalism from Red River College and a bachelors in Rhetoric and Communications from the University of Winnipeg.
Deeply rooted in the city’s hockey culture, the original Jets skipped town when he was two and the 2.0 version came onto the scene when he was 17.