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Since then it’s been hectic as the former home of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose was brought up to NHL standards, a team name was picked and season tickets quickly sold out.

“The city’s gone crazy for them,” said Francis, who couldn’t get season tickets but was happy to get a couple to the emotional return Tuesday.

Even a Jets practice during the weekend saw thousands of fans turn out to cheer and get autographs. Many said they knew it would be their only chance to see the team on the ice.

Even though it was a split-squad game with Columbus, many of the big names on the Jets played in the home game _ including team captain Andrew Ladd, who scored once, defensemen Zach Bogosian and Byfuglien and Scheifele, who is quickly making himself a fan favorite.

Byfuglien received a huge cheer when, along with Ladd, he got an assist on the first goal of the night. He also took part in the first fight with Columbus forward Cody Bass.

Kevin Clark and Ivan Telegin also scored for Winnipeg and Ryan Johansen scored for the Blue Jackets.