Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hockey, history and No. 9

  • Print

The return of the NHL to Winnipeg has cast an interesting light on the question of who owns history. In corporate terms, the very name Winnipeg Jets and all its history belong to the owners of the Phoenix Coyotes, which is controlled at the moment by the National Hockey League.

That's why True North Sports & Entertainment Ltd. needed the league's permission to use the name Jets, which was easily given since it didn't create an obvious business conflict for the team in Phoenix. The Coyotes, however, continue to own the old Winnipeg Jets records, which are part of the southern team's facts and records book.

Similarly, the new Jets in Winnipeg will own the scoring records of the Atlanta Thrashers, which will form the basis for all Jets statistics and history.

But what about Bobby Hull and Dale Hawerchuk? Who do they belong to?

Well, the Coyotes have retired Hawerchuk's No. 10 in recognition of his play for the team, but they also retired No. 9 in honour of Bobby Hull, whose history they claim, even if he never played in the desert. Chicago also has a stake in Mr. Hull, whose bronze likeness was erected outside the Blackhawks' arena earlier this year. He will always be part of Chicago's history.

Likewise, Hull, Hawerchuk and other greats from Winnipeg's past (including Thomas Steen, whose No. 25 is considered retired by the Coyotes), will continue to be part of this city's hockey heritage, regardless of who legally owns the records.

But if No. 9 is retired in Phoenix and Winnipeg, does it make sense to resurrect it here again? Thrasher-turned-Jet Evander Kane is No. 9 now and he would like to wear it in Winnipeg. True North's policy is to honour former players, but it will not revive the practice of retiring jerseys.

Mr. Kane has shown a lot of class in seeking Mr. Hull's permission, which will undoubtedly be awarded. The best way to honour the Golden Jet, after all, is to once again see No. 9 on the back of a great hockey player. It wouldn't diminish Mr. Hull, but it might start a new tradition of outstanding No. 9s.

Bobby Hull will always have a special relationship with Winnipeg, but ultimately his achievements belong to hockey fans everywhere.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 22, 2011 A14

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

Key of Bart: No Time Left for Stu

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(  Standup photo)-    A butterfly looks for nector on a lily Tuesday afternoon in Wolseley-JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- June 22, 2010
  • KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / Jan 10  2011 ‚Äì WEB STDUP ‚Äì Frosty morning at -15 degrees C , in pic frost covers the the Nellie McClung statue  on the MB Legislature grounds at 7am

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think e-cigarettes should be banned by the school division?

View Results

Ads by Google