Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Iconic Jet has high praise for past

Ducky says honouring history a top priority

  • Print

He is just one voice -- a powerful voice, to be sure -- but Dale Hawerchuk has full confidence in the new Winnipeg Jets' ownership and their attempt to remember their legends and honour their past.

Even if that glorious past and important history is officially documented in Phoenix.

"I'm sure the ownership has had that conversation with the league," said Hawerchuk from Barrie, Ont., Friday. "I don't know what the perfect answer is, but that ownership seems intent on establishing that kind of history. I think it's important and it goes a long way. Sometimes it might not seem like much, especially in the first 10 or 20 years, but when you get 40 years down the road it looks pretty special."

Hawerchuk was weighing in during a week in which a simmering debate boiled over again when current Jet Evander Kane said he'd like to continue wearing the No. 9 he wore in Atlanta -- with the blessing of Jet legend Bobby Hull.

It's Hawerchuk's belief that remembering the past -- whether it is officially linked here or not -- is important for any franchise.

And, for the record, the Jets management has said they will do so, although they aren't being specific as to what that entails just yet.

So if current Jet Bryan Little wants to wear No. 10, Hawerchuk is cool with that. But he also has his fingers crossed all the men who wore the Jets colours in the franchise's first NHL incarnation aren't forgotten.

"It's not a big deal (if somebody wears No. 10)," Hawerchuk said.

"But I do think as a hockey fan, we love to remember the past players. You look at some of the organizations that have stood the test of time -- the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs -- Winnipeg doesn't have that kind of history, but you have to start somewhere. I know when I was playing in a Jets jersey I always envisioned Bobby Hull and Ulf (Nilsson) and Anders (Hedberg) flying around in their Jets jerseys. It's like a kid in Toronto growing up dreaming of being like Darryl Sittler, Wendel Clark or Mats Sundin.

"I'm a believer in the old jerseys as well," Hawerchuk continued. "All these teams that have tried different jerseys but go back to the originals -- Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, the Islanders."

 

A great example was the Buffalo Sabres and when they changed to the red and black... it was hard to envision the French Connection (Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin and Rene Robert) flying around in those jerseys."

Hawerchuk's solution to the jersey debate, interestingly, is a simple one.

"If you've got two players who wore the No. 9, for example, with dignity and were ambassadors both on and off the ice then hang two jerseys," he said. "I know whenever we went on the road and saw all the legends and great names' jerseys hanging in the rafters it made it that much more nostalgic. You'd go into Toronto or Montreal and you saw that... it got you pumped up a little bit. I remember in Buffalo when they hung up Perreault's jersey and in Winnipeg when Bobby Hull's jersey was honoured and he came flying around in his old Jets' jersey. That was quite a moment. I'll never forget that.

"And when the Jets did honour me, that was truly a special day for myself and my family."

Most important for Hawerchuk & Co. is this: the NHL's return has essentially given all the players who wore the Jets' jerseys an opportunity to reconnect and, they hope, see those roots grow again here in Winnipeg.

"It's going to be a great organization," said Hawerchuk. "I'm hoping that 20 years down the road I'm still around and I can look back and be proud. I know when the word was out the Jets were back, a lot of us former Jets were emailing and texting each other. It was hilarious bringing up the old stories. It's a lot of fun and it's important to remember those times."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 23, 2011 C1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jets' coach discusses team's loss to Red Wings

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Winnipeg Free Press 090528 STAND UP...(Weather) One to oversee the pecking order, a pack of pelican's fishes the eddies under the Red River control structure at Lockport Thursday morning......
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the federal government force band chiefs and councillors to disclose their salary information?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google