Winnipeg Jets name new security puppy for famed fan ‘Kroppy’ – Manitoba

In a fitting tribute for Remembrance Day, the Winnipeg Jets have named their newest security dog after a Second World War veteran who was one of the team’s most loyal fans.

Len Kropioski, better known as Kroppy, died last year at age 98. He made the 2½-hour drive from Kenora, Ont., to the MTS Centre (now Bell MTS Place) for every home game, except when his health wouldn’t allow it.

He was a fixture on the scoreboard video screen above centre ice at the end of O Canada, when he would give a salute followed by a wide smile and thumbs up.

Len Kropioski was reguarly shown on the Winnipeg Jets video screen, saluting during the Canadian national anthem. (CBC)

On Friday night, the Winnipeg Jets announced that the latest member of their new in-house security canine unit will be named Lenny in his honour. 

True North Sports and Entertainment, which owns and operates the Jets and Bell MTS Place, recently brought two dogs — Daisy and Dante — on to its security team.

There are also three pups in training. One is named Ryp, for late Manitoba Moose player Rick Rypien. The second is named Grace, after the song by the Tragically Hip, in honour of the band’s late lead singer, Gord Downie.

The third eight-week-old Labrador puppy still didn’t have a name when he was added to the roster earlier this month. So season ticket holders were asked for suggestions. 

“Like his brother and sister, he was hand-picked for his fearlessness, responsiveness, and investigative nature, as well as for being friendly and full of energy,” handler and trainer Dave Bessason said.

Lenny is hard at work training to join the team, the Jets say.

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