Len Kropioski, or just ‘Kroppy‘ to Winnipeg Jets fans, has died. He was 98.
The veteran was a beloved fixture at all Jets homes games and in the community, giving the salute at the end of the singing of O Canada behind the glass at ice level.
Kropioski was regularly featured on the Jumbotron at MTS Centre and made the drive into the city from Kenora to see every game.
He was hospitalised early this year for treatment of health issues, but made a return to the arena about a month later to a hero’s welcome.
He passed away Tuesday afternoon at the Kenora personal care home where he lived.
UPDATE: September 14 — True North Sports + Entertainment has released the following statement:
“True North Sports + Entertainment and the Winnipeg Jets were greatly saddened when we learned yesterday afternoon of Len Kropioski’s passing. ‘Kroppy’ was the consummate hockey fan and his support of the team and the organization has always been genuine and pure, dating back to our time in the American Hockey League. His devotion to make the two-hour trip from Kenora to always ensure he was in his front row seat in time for the anthems demonstrated how passionate Winnipeg Jets fans can be.
Kroppy had a tremendous impact on the organization, particularly those who interacted with him and came to know his family well. He will be missed. We will now work to determine a proper way to honour and remember his unwavering support when we open the regular season on Oct. 13 vs. the Carolina Hurricanes. We would imagine his family is touched by the incredible demonstration of love exhibited by the Winnipeg Jets community in the past 24 hours. They had asked us for privacy to this point and we now ask the same for his family going forward. Thank you.”
Of all the moments in @mtscentre, this is one of the best.
Relive the moment as Kroppy wins tonight’s Fan vs Fan.https://t.co/6nqDbeSvNG
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) March 31, 2016