It's an exciting time in Manitoba’s capital city – NHL hockey is back!
The Winnipeg Jets kicked off their 2023/2024 season with an away game against the Calgary Flames on October 11. They’re back in Winnipeg for the home opener against the Florida Panthers at Canada Life Centre on Saturday, October 13. To celebrate, you can also attend the first Party in the Plaza of the season at True North Square – featuring DJs, food and drinks – starting at noon, with the game being broadcast on the big screen when the puck drops at 3 p.m.
This is a significant year for our Jets, a team that has made the playoffs five times in the last six years. Last year, the Jets were knocked out of the playoffs by the Vegas Golden Knights, a team that defeated the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Finals, earning their first-ever Stanley Cup. The Jets will host the Golden Knights on October 19.
Expectations are high for this season. Led by newly appointed captain Adam Lowry, the Jets are in their second season under the leadership of Rick Bowness. And with Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck signing seven-year extensions to stay in Winnipeg, there is a lot of enthusiasm surrounding the hometown squad to take the next step.
While the Jets are always the main attraction at Canada Life Centre at the corner of Portage and Donald, the arena is also worthy of spotlighting. Recently, True North Sports + Entertainment announced significant arena enhancements with a $13.5 million renovation undertaken since the season ended in April. Some highlights:
- The North concourse has been expanded to increase circulation by the Portage Ave sidewalk.
- Fans will appreciate the arena’s total Wi-Fi upgrade.
- The Centre has introduced new premium experiences, featuring the reimagined PlayNow Lounge with 88 luxurious theatre-style seats, a private bar, in-seat service and the new Scotia Wealth Management Premium Club located downstairs, replacing the Exchange restaurant. This new premium club will feature inclusive food and non-alcoholic beverages from chef Richard Duncan (former sous chef from The Fairmont)
- Also new to the arena but Manitoba staples, Salisbury House’s famous Nip is now being served at YWG Burger, and the Crown Royal Whisky Hangar will serve signature cocktails throughout the season (300-level suites).
- A fan of our city’s local breweries? You’ll be excited to learn that local craft beers like Trans Canada, Kilter and Little Brown Jug are now available at the Craft Beer Corner.
As for the hockey, here are a few of the Winnipeg Jets’ must-see games this season:
- Two days before seeking revenge against the Golden Knights on October 19, the Los Angeles Kings will visit Winnipeg with Pierre-Luc Dubois returning to town for the first time since his trade. Three new players from that same round of trades will be featured on Winnipeg’s opening night roster: Gabriel Vilardi (#13), the centrepiece of the trade and burgeoning young star forward Alex Iafallo (#9), a workhorse worthy of every minute on the ice and Rasmus Kupari (#15), an up-and-comer ready to prove he is your everyday NHL player.
- It's always more fun being at the game when you get to cheer against other fans in your own section, and that's likely to happen when the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers come to town. Both of these teams are favourites to win the Stanley Cup, so mark your calendars for November 30 (Oilers), January 27 (Leafs) and March 26 (Oilers).
- Other teams that you may not know are poised to challenge for the top spot in the league are the Dallas Stars (in town on November 11 and November 28 – Hockey Fights Cancer Night), the New Jersey Devils (November 14), Carolina Hurricanes (December 4 – Canadian Armed Forces Night) and the Colorado Avalanche (December 16 – South Asian Heritage Night).
Don’t say we didn’t warn you: Some of these games will sell out very quickly, so be sure to buy your tickets early for promo nights like Pride Night vs the Buffalo Sabres on November 17.
Looking ahead to 2024? There’s Filipino Heritage Night vs the Philadelphia Flyers on January 13, WASAC Night vs the Arizona Coyotes on February 25 and Celebrating Women in Sport vs the Seattle Kraken on March 5. Check out the link for those tickets and see more promotional games being held throughout the year.
With so much happening at Canada Life Centre, now is the time to book your next trip to Winnipeg to see the Jets (or Moose!) play. Plus, as you'll see in that link, there are so many upcoming concerts, too!
We're also currently offering hotel packages and deals with Delta Hotels by Marriott Winnipeg – which is connected to Canada Life Centre, and The Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre – located just two blocks from the rink, that will ensure you get the best out of your downtown stay on game day.