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The Story of the Traveling Jersey: Friend of Late Jets Fans Arranges for Jersey to Reach all 31 NHL Arenas

The story of the traveling jersey is totally #friendshipgoals and is making the rounds of the NHL circle. Graeme Fortlage has decided to honor his late friend, Carter Jansen, who’s a great fan of the Winnipeg Jets but has never been to any of the hockey games, by arranging for his hockey jersey to travel to all 31 NHL arenas.

Where It All Began

If you’ve seen The Traveling Pants movie, then you’ll find this story a bit on the familiar side. However, instead of pants traveling from one friend to another like in the movie, the story of the traveling jersey is a little bit different.

Fortlage wanted to honor his friend, Carter Jansen, who passed away on May 19, 2016 at a young age of 21 due to an automobile accident. At first Fortlage was struggling looking for ways to honor his friend. It wasn’t until he came up with the idea of bringing Carter’s jersey to a couple of Jet’s games that Fortlage came up with an even better idea. Rather than limiting his friend’s jersey to appear in the Jet’s games. He was able to come up with the brilliant plan of taking the jersey to all NHL arenas.

Enlisting Help from Other Fans

Traveling to all NHL arenas where the Jets would play would be a costly mission. To be able to fulfill his dream of honoring his friend, he would have to enlist the help of other fans from all around the league to help. The reply to his request was overwhelming.

After the first appearance of Carter’s jersey in a game in Winnipeg, Fortlage shipped the custom-made jersey to Kimberly Matthews via FedEx. Matthews, another hockey fan, drove to Texas to attend the Stars’ home game opener. When asked why she chose to participate in this, Matthews replied that it was something she felt she had to do and that she considers all hockey fans as family. Matthews stated that she was glad she was able to help.

From One Arena to Another

What exactly happens to Carter’s jersey when it’s in the hands of another willing fan? The fan currently carrying the jersey would take a picture of it draped over a seat before each game. Carter’s name would be in full center in all the shots.

The jersey has been to Dallas which was then sent to Jason Shaylock where he brought it to the GM Place in Vancouver. Richard Moser was the next person to hold the jersey who brought it with him to the PPG Pains Arena. Stephen Lukan brought the jersey to the Nationwide Arena in Columbus where it was then handed over to Cat Silverman who took a shot of the jersey at the Gila Arena in Phoenix.

The Blues team captain, Alex Pietrangelo as well as legendary Blues player Bobby Plager even signed the jersey. All this effort caught the attention of a local TV station who did a special feature on the jersey.

So far, the jersey has been to arenas such as the Pepsi Center, the BB&T Center, and the Bell MTS Place. In addition, other hockey players have also took to signing the jersey including Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg.

Fortlage hopes to get the jersey back before the end of the season all with the help of the Jets, the very hockey team that Carter Jansen was a fan of.

Maree cartujano
Maree Cartujano Sports Pundit staff writer @pebbykins

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