For the first time since 1996, the city of Winnipeg will host a Stanley Cup playoff game. And to top off the good news, the Jets confirmed on Twitter on Thursday that the famous 'Whiteout' returns.

From a myriad of injuries, to a recent four-game suspension to defenceman Dustin Byfuglien, nothing has come easy for the Jets this season. The team has faced more than its share of adversity, which makes this accomplishment so gratifying for those involved.

Mark Chipman - the Executive Chairman of the Board for True North Sports & Entertainment and the Jets - has worked tirelessly over the years to keep Winnipeg as a primary residence for professional hockey and in many ways, he's the reason that the National Hockey League returned to the city.   

While he's keenly aware of the challenge his team is about to face in Round 1 of the playoffs, Chipman is soaking in the free-flowing elation in town. A lifelong Winnipegger, he endured the torturous days leading up to the sale of the original Jets and their move to Phoenix almost 20 years ago. He saw grown men literally cry over their beloved team the city couldn't hold on to. So while his stake in the success of the current day Jets is significant, Chipman is just as thrilled that the community and its fan base are once again experiencing NHL playoff hockey.

"Look into the eyes of our fans," Chipman told The Dreger Report. "They feel it every bit as much as I do. I've learned to never underestimate the significance of this team to our really is remarkable."

Chipman admits it's been a tough year for the team and says the players have endured that feeling of postseason pressure since November. But managing the peaks and valleys of an 82-game schedule comes with the territory.

"It's why I got into this business 19 years ago," he explained. "It's hard, but it's about winning and losing as well as building an organization that competes every day."

Over the course of the season, Jets head coach Paul Maurice has acknowledged his players' work ethic among his team's most dangerous qualities. That work ethic was pushed to its limits down the stretch, but the character of the group shone through.

"The last few weeks have been very challenging, but worth it," Chipman added. "To watch our team go on the road and not get scored on in three straight games - it's unreal.  

"It was a very gratifying experience. Full credit to our players who were absolutely and completely exhausted after our game last night."

Draft and development has been top priority for the Jets since returning to the league in 2011, but positioning for a playoff spot is always the goal and getting there hasn't been easy. "From Day 1, we did everything we could to get into a better playoff position. Credit goes to Kevin Cheveldayoff, Paul Maurice and our players for making it happen...I'm really happy for our group."

That all said, playoff tickets in Winnipeg go on sale Tuesday morning at 10am CT. And expect the 'sold out' sign to go up at 10:01.

McLellan On The Move?

Speculation persists the San Jose Sharks are about to make changes. From a contractual standpoint, moving out veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau seems like a non-starter. So if there's change in San Jose, it sounds like head coach Todd McLellan is the most likely target.

McLellan's future has been a constant source of ongoing speculation, with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers targeted as potential destinations for his next job. But if McLellan is let go by the Sharks, some see the Philadelphia Flyers as the team most interested in bringing him in. And if McLellan isn't available, the Flyers may sit tight and - perhaps - check in on Mike Babcock or Claude Julien if either coach springs free.

But if McLellan hits the open market, it's believed Philadelphia will likely make a move.

Welcome 'Matt'

As mentioned on Thursday night during TSN's Ottawa broadcast of the Senators-Rangers game, Boston University goalie Matt O'Connor will make his NHL rounds as early as next week.

O'Connor plans on visiting Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Buffalo and perhaps the New York Rangers before making a decision on where he launch his pro career.

O'Connor made 36 saves in the Terriers' 5-3 win over North Dakota in their Frozen Four semifinal on Thursday and will participate in their 11th NCAA championship game on Saturday against the Providence Friars.