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Turned Away: Visa Issue Leaves Jackson Stranded at Customs

Photo of Brody Jackson at Canada Life Centre courtesy of the Winnipeg Jets

Turned Away: Visa Issue Leaves Jackson Stranded at Customs

The NHL All-Star Weekend planning committee has had itself an eventful week, to say the least.

After already committing to the staggering decision that will see recently-traded All-Star forward Bo Horvat suit up for the Pacific Division team despite wearing a New York Islanders crest, the logistics coordinator of in-game production has also come under fire.

On Wednesday, Winnipeg Jets in-game host Brody Jackson made the disappointing announcement that he will no longer be travelling to Sunrise, Florida for the weekend. Just last week, the Killarney, MB. product was selected to serve as the in-arena host of the 2023 Skills Competition, set to take place on Friday evening, prior to Saturday’s All-Star Game.

Having already travelled from Winnipeg to Toronto, Jackson was held up at U.S. Customs as those in charge attempted to sort out a possible way around for the 40-year-old to get to Florida for the weekend. Unfortunately, even for just three hours of work, Jackson would have needed a Canada/USA Work VISA, which would have taken upwards of 10 days to acquire.

“Sadly, I won’t be working the All Star skills event Friday night after having VISA issues at Customs,” Jackson shared in a statement on Twitter late Wednesday morning. “There’s an easy solution to the problem, but unfortunately it requires some time and since the festivities are just a few sleeps away, it would have been too close of a call. After numerous attempts to find a quicker resolution to no avail, I have returned to Winnipeg. But hey, that one day at the Pearson airport was fun. The bartender at Mill Street Pub was top-notch.”

The last minute announcement of his selection certainly did not allow for this Canadian representation to even be possible at the fast-approaching annual event. Poor planning certainly left a sour taste in the mouth of the 10-year game-day veteran. But the QX 104 Country morning host played the whole experience off like a champ.

“Besides, the opportunity itself and recognition by the league was pretty special.” Jackson added. “And the love and support from you was really what made this a memorable time of my career. So, thank you! Now I get to watch the All Star event with my own All Stars at home, and I’ll head back to the show to join Karly tomorrow morning doing what I love to do most.”

Jackson joined millions of other displeased Pearson Airport customers over the past year, but surprisingly, the issue had nothing to do with flight problems, lost luggage or major delays. He even managed to bring his blades onto the aircraft, with no questions asked. And his positive demeanour despite an expected downtrodden display shows the NHL chose the right man for the job, but just a little too late.

“Unfortunately the NHL is going to have to look into another on-ice host,” Jackson said in a video shared to his Instagram page. “I guarantee they will find somebody awesome, and I guarantee Friday night is still going to be very cool and special… Friday night, still going to check out the All-Star skills event. Until then, I’ve got another job.”

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