WINNIPEG — Kroppy, the 98-year-old super fan of the Winnipeg Jets, passed away Tuesday according to Kim Innard, a family friend.
Len “Kroppy” Kropioski was a staple at Winnipeg Jets games and a beloved member of the community.
Kroppy became a household name for Jets fans after the club regularly featured him on the scoreboard during each home game.
The veteran made the trip from Kenora, Ont., to Winnipeg for every Jets game. During the national anthem, stood tall and always saluted, making him one of the most beloved fans of the game.
Earlier this year, Kroppy was hospitalized for about a month due to health concerns but made a return to the team’s home games. Upon his return, the Jets honoured him with a standing ovation. The standing ovation brought Kroppy to tears, as he blew kisses towards the thousands in attendance.
On Wednesday the Winnipeg Jets released a statement about his death.
“True North Sports + Entertainment and the Winnipeg Jets were greatly saddened when we learned yesterday afternoon of Len Kropioski’s passing. ‘Kroppy’ was the consummate hockey fan and his support of the team and the organization has always been genuine and pure, dating back to our time in the American Hockey League. His devotion to make the two-hour trip from Kenora to always ensure he was in his front row seat in time for the anthems demonstrated how passionate Winnipeg Jets fans can be.
Kroppy had a tremendous impact on the organization, particularly those who interacted with him and came to know his family well. He will be missed. We will now work to determine a proper way to honour and remember his unwavering support when we open the regular season on Oct. 13 vs. the Carolina Hurricanes. We would imagine his family is touched by the incredible demonstration of love exhibited by the Winnipeg Jets community in the past 24 hours. They had asked us for privacy to this point and we now ask the same for his family going forward. Thank you.”