Throwback Thursday: The White Out

Christian Petersen

"The building shook, the music blared, and if security hadn't intervened, half the place might have stuck around until Game 4." - The Arizona Republic

The Coyotes hosted their first ever playoff game on April 20, 1997, introducing the people of Arizona to their first ever White Out. Defeating the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 4-1 in Game 3, the Coyotes would end up losing the series nine days later at the Arrowhead Pond.

Now being seen in other markets, the White Out was initially brought to the desert along with original Captain Coyote Keith Tkachuk, Teppo Numminen and the Bulin Wall.The origins of the now infamous tradition can be traced back to a building on Maroons Road in Winnipeg. The old Winnipeg Arena would go on to be dubbed the White House come post-season in the province's capital. Originally, an answer to their 1985 playoff opponent's "C of Red," Jets' fans looked to rattle the Calgary Flames as they took the ice in Winnipeg. The new color scheme campaign would prove effective, as the Jets would beat the Flames in three games, but found themselves ousted playing against the star studded 80's Edmonton Oilers.



The Jets went on to white out their opponents seven more times before departing to Phoenix. A tradition carried over in respect to the relocated franchise, as the Coyotes and their fans would proudly channel Winnipeg's fan energy as they too chased after the Cup. Phoenix wouldn't see many White Outs for a while after their 2002 playoff run. Donning white only three more times, once for a lone playoff run and the other two to welcome Wayne Gretzky to the franchise and a season opener after a hectic offseason. In recent years, the team has seen post-season success under the coaching for Dave Tippett, bringing back the campaign to the desert in the last three seasons.



After the relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers at the end of the 2011 season, hockey in Winnipeg would take new flight as True North Sports & Entertainment bought the second unsuccessful Atlanta based NHL franchise. Returning after a 15 year absence, the new Winnipeg Jets struggled in the beginning as they looked to find their footing, eventually finishing with 84 points on the season. Finding themselves on the outside looking in during the playoffs, Winnipeggers would miss the chance to revive the tradition. With Winnipeg now in the NHL again many believe that the White Out should be reserved for the Jets only. Regardless of anyone's stance, the importance of the mono color tradition is still as relevant as it was in 1985.

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