Winnipeg Jets superfan 'Kroppy' dies at 98
Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, September 14, 2016 8:56AM EDT
Longtime Winnipeg Jets superfan and war veteran Len "Kroppy" Kropioski has died at the age of 98.
"Kroppy" was a fixture at Jets games for several years, both before the team uprooted and left for Phoenix in 1996, and after the Atlanta Thrashers franchise returned as the Jets in 2011.
Kropioski, who fought in the Second World War, was often shown on the big screen during the national anthem at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. He was a season ticketholder with the team, and frequently commuted to games from his home in Kenora, Ont., a 2.5-hour drive away.
"Kroppy" was honoured in March, when he returned to the stands after a month-long absence due to illness. The in-arena announcer hailed him as the fan of the game, and fans in the stands gave him a standing ovation. "Kroppy" could be seen wiping tears from his eyes.
We'll never forget this magical moment back in March.https://t.co/rhOfqSbrhV— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) July 13, 2016
Fans honoured Kropioski on Wednesday with the hashtag #RIPKroppy.
The anthem will never quite be the same without Kroppy. He meant so much to everyone in the city and he meant so much to me. Rest well Sir.— Stacey Nattrass (@StaceyNattrass) September 14, 2016
my heart hurts way more than it should for Kroppy, the anthem won't be even close to the same without you ❤️✈️ #RIPKroppy— lyssa houde (@lyssahoude) September 14, 2016
#RIPKroppy -- 98 years young. I'm glad you got to see the boys come back. Now you got the best seats in the house for the 2016-17 season.— Charles R. Mousseau (@AlphaLackey) September 14, 2016
Rest in peace Kroppy, sure going to miss your presence at @NHLJets games.— Older Than Dirt (@CarolLuvsHockey) September 14, 2016