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Evander Kane sticks with No. 9

Posted on: August 18, 2011 10:45 am
Edited on: August 18, 2011 12:31 pm
Kane9By: Adam Gretz

Finally, the debate as to which number Evander Kane will wear this season in Winnipeg is over.

Kane, the Jets 20-year-old forward, will continue to wear the No. 9 he's been wearing for his entire career after former Winnipeg great Bobby Hull -- who had previously worn the number with the original Jets franchise -- gave him the permission he was looking for. It's been a hot topic of discussion for much of the offseason and was made complicated because the current Jets franchise (which has its roots in Atlanta as the Thrashers) has no connection to the previous Jets franchise (the one that currently plays in Phoenix) that retired Hull's No. 9.

Still, Kane wanted to get permission from the Hockey Hall of Famer before he continued to wear the number, and according to the Winnipeg Free Press, that persmission finally came.

Here's what Kane had to say during an interview with Ed Tait of the Free Press:
"It's very cool to be able to wear No. 9," Kane said Wednesday night in a phone interview from Vancouver. "Bobby was an outstanding player who represented the city and it's definitely a real honour to be able to wear that number. You know, I was just checking about what the organization's plans were for No. 9 and then this story seemed to become a lot bigger than I thought it would."

"And I did get the feeling from a lot of people on Twitter and others that many were encouraging me to wear it.

"I'm pretty excited just to see a jersey let alone to pull one on," Kane added with a chuckle. "It's going to be fun for all the guys that first day in the dressing room pulling on that jersey for the first time. That opening night against the Montreal Canadiens (Oct. 9)... it's a little bit away still, but it's hard not to think about it. It's going to be a real special moment in which history will be made. I can't wait."
Tait also adds that Kane had originally offered to switch to No. 91, but that the Jets encouraged him to continue wearing the No. 9.

One of Kane's teammates, forward Bryan Little, had a similar situation regarding his No. 10, which had also been retired by the original Jets franchise after it was worn by Dale Hawerchuk for much of the 1980s during what was a Hall of Fame career. Little ended up switching numbers and will wear No. 18 this season.

I understand why it was such a big deal, but at the end of the day neither one of these guys should have felt any obligation to switch numbers. Or to even get permission, which makes Kane's desire to get Hull's blessing seem like an extremely nice gesture on his part. Because he didn't have to do it. Even though the team has the same name, the franchise history that was created by players like Hull, Hawerchuk and Thomas Steen (his No. 25 was retired by the Jets in 1995) belongs to the Coyotes. There's no connection to this current team or its history.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 8:16 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: August 24, 2011 8:54 pm

Evander Kane sticks with No. 9

Evander Kane has had a nice start to his career. Yes. But give me a break. Really think he's gonna crack 600 goals? Honesty...I thought so. The youth should not be oblivious to the rich past of the NHL & it's pioneers. Aside from being a Hall Of Famer and 600 goal scorer, he set the precedent for the first million dollar hockey contract. Sure that looks like peanuts now but way back when it really meant news.

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: August 21, 2011 4:57 am

Evander Kane sticks with No. 9

I get it now, your opinion is really not an opinion, but the truth, the whole truth and............! I disagree!

Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: August 20, 2011 9:52 pm

Evander Kane sticks with No. 9

"Superstars" is not simply an attractive comment. But a tad bit more than that "Rookie". Kane should bow and concede the Number 6 'cos it's Bobby Hull's to have and to hold & to cerish till Kingdom Come. It's like you, as a rookie putting up 25 goals. Hey. I'm Super 66 on the Pittsburgh Penguins. I do not think so young snot! You are not even worthy to shine the shoes of true NHL Hall Of Famer.  Good Luck trying to score "brownie points" with comments. You my friend... Simply do not get a simple, but significant fact...History. History is what you and I are. It's us! If a significant accomplishment is oh so simple to acheive. Then why on earth hath it has been done sooner?! Think about it. The truly gifted goal-scorers deserve respect & admiration.  If you can not appreciate and respect the trials and tribulations of those that came before...thee. Then, my friend, I know a good shrink.

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: August 20, 2011 7:13 am

Evander Kane sticks with No. 9

I guess you know nothing about respect, Kane has it , but you have no clue!  Rather than stray from the point, I must say that you so-called Superstars just post for kudos and don't care about the topic at hand! Kane and the Jets will be fine whether you like it or not!  Go Jets Go!!!!!!!!!

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: August 20, 2011 6:35 am

Evander Kane sticks with No. 9

So you tell the kid he knows no better? Since when did politeness go out YOUR window? I just love all these Superstar posts.

Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2011 7:27 pm

Evander Kane sticks with No. 9

Travesty! This "Winnipeg Jets" don't seem the same as the Dale Hawerchuck, Tomas Steen, Pat Elynuick, Daniel Berthiaume  & Pokey Reddick Jets which I admored growing up! Where is that trademark portrait of Queen Elizabeth anyway? You know. The one that hanged proudly from the rafters. Sigh.

Since: Mar 24, 2010
Posted on: August 19, 2011 6:37 pm

Evander Kane sticks with No. 9

Thanks for the information. Are you the sole representative of the Browns in BC ? I think the NFL made the right decision at that time regardless of whether they knew that the Brownies would be back. Nevertheless I don't consider the team in Indy to be the real colts, or the team in Arizona to be the Cardinals, or the team in St. Louis to be the Rams. The records don't mean a thing to the fans of the new teams, but a hell of a lot to the old cities. Jackie Robinson was a Brooklyn Dodger, NOT an LA Dodger. The same could be said of many players, whose teams were uprooted and transplanted somewhere else. Is Johnny Unitas a hero in Indy ? or Jim Brown in Baltimore ?

Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2011 6:21 pm

Evander Kane sticks with No. 9

If this is such an issue, why doesn't Winnipeg just take their history back from Phoenix? Phoenix really has no reason to keep those numbers retired now and not much notable history since they moved. Do you think Phoenix fans would (should) really care? Did fans in Winnipeg continue to be passionate when they moved? I doubt it. Since the Jets aren't bringing any retired numbers from atlanta, that's not as issue.. In a few years the Coyotes can retire Shane Doan's as one of their own numbers. 

Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 6:13 pm

Evander Kane sticks with No. 9

The NFL made a point to keep the Browns history, stats, retired numbers etc. in Cleveland knowing that the Browns would be back. It was the players and staff only that moved to baltimore to become the Ravens. I'm not positive but i think it might be the one off.

When the Jets left in the 90's I don't think anyone, including myself, saw a team returning to winnepeg.

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