Countless Winnipeggers can recite the most trivial facts about the old Winnipeg Jets — while simultaneously forgetting their anniversary or their children's birthdays -— but how well do the new Jets know the city's hockey history?
We knew some of the Jets had done their homework shortly after True North bought the Atlanta Thrashers nearly two years ago. Evander Kane, for one, was sensitive about wearing No. 9 when it had been retired by the original Jets for Bobby Hull in 1989. He reportedly sought and received permission from the Golden Jet.
And Bryan Little exchanged his Thrashers No. 10 for No. 18 with the new Jets out of respect for Dale Hawerchuk. (The original Jets didn't retire Hawerchuk's number, but the Phoenix Coyotes bestowed the honour on him in 2007.)
Jetcetera nabbed four members of the Jets 2.0 -- three players, Zach Bogosian, Derek Meech and Grant Clitsome, as well as assistant coach Charlie Huddy -- for the Jets Trivia Challenge.
- Take your own Jets Trivia Challenge (with new questions, of course!)
The pressure was squarely on Meech, who grew up in Winnipeg and was a 13-year-old kid — as well as a huge Jets fans — when the team left for Phoenix. (He admitted running up to his room and crying — along with tens of thousands of others of us — when the news broke that the team was leaving for Arizona. His dad got him tickets to the last playoff series against Detroit, which eased his pain slightly until the end of Game 6 when everybody was crying in the stands.)
But he was all smiles when Jetcetera asked him his first question.
"Name a player who wore your No. 7 for the old Winnipeg Jets?"
He drew a blank.
When told Keith Tkachuk was one, he laughed and buried his head in his hands and said, "He was one of my favourite players! I definitely should have had that. Now I'm warmed up."
When told we would have also accepted Petri Skriko, who was one of three players to wear No. 7 in 1991-92, he quickly replied, "That was my next guess!"
Meech more than redeemed himself when asked which Jet was traded to the Detroit Red Wings for $1.
"Kris Draper. I better get that one," he said with a laugh.
Meech, like Bogosian and Clitsome, knew the three original Jets who are still playing in the NHL today -— Phoenix's Shane Doan, Anaheim's Teemu Selanne and Edmonton's Nikolai Khabibulin, as well as which former Jet is now coaching the Barrie Colts (Dale Hawerchuk.)
Huddy, who played against Hawerchuk for the Edmonton Oilers for much of his career, knows all too much about Jets trivia, most of it being things Jets fans would like to forget.
When asked how many times the Jets beat the Oilers in the playoffs — the answer is 0 — he replied "I'd say five times."
He managed to keep a straight face for about one second before breaking into laughter.
Huddy nailed the one question designed specifically for him — who scored the goal in double-overtime in the first round in 1990 that put the Jets up 3-1. (They would go on to lose the series 4-3.)
"Dave Ellett," he replied.
When asked where he was when that goal was scored, he said, "I hope I was on the bench."
How does Huddy know so much about the Jets?
"Played them a lot, beat them a lot. Now I'm on the other side so we're hoping to win a lot," he said.
Think you could best these current Jets with your knowledge of Winnipeg hockey history?
Take our Jets trivia quiz below and find out. Can't see the quiz below, or does it not work for you? Try opening it in a new window.