While we briefly touched on this during our first article in this series about Tradition vs Future, this is becoming a hot topic and will no doubt be a touchy subject for many Jets fans.
The Jets have already publicly stated that the numbers of previous Jets greats will not be retired, but they will be honoured. I think this is a great approach as only the Ottawa Senators have a retired number from a player that played on the first incarnation of the Senators that did not belong to the current franchise.
By doing this you will leave it up to the player if they want to take on the responsibility of wearing one of these numbers. There are two players that are largely in the centre of this debate as arguably two of the best Jets ever wore numbers 9 and 10 and last year in Atlanta Evander Kane and Bryan Little wore those digits.
According to the Jets official site Little has already made the choice to wear number 18 instead of 10 as a Jet. Kane is still listed as 9.
One can look at this and scream bloody murder but the choice is going to be up to the players now and moving forward how they choose to honour the players that wore the number before them in our city. I say in our city because if you don’t believe that Mike Keane’s number 12 won’t be honoured alongside those of Hull and Hawerchuck and Steen etc. then I guess you didn’t pay attention to our first post and Scott Brown’s tweet.
True North is going about this correctly by not just honouring the previous Jets they are honouring previous Winnipeg hockey greats so do not be surprised to see more then just Hull, Hawerchuck, Steen, Numminen and Keane honoured on opening night.
This is an ownership that has a great grasp on the traditionalist attitude in Winnipeg and have yet to lose site of that yet and don’t expect them to anytime soon.
Toronto has 15 players that they have honoured but don’t have their jerseys retired so it’s unlikely the Jets will go crazy and honour that many but we wouldn’t be surprised to see any of the players listed below honoured.
Who did we miss or who do you think does/doesn’t deserve this honour?