August 02, 2011
When the Atlanta Thrashers were rechristened as the Winnipeg Jets, there were going to be a series of peculiar decisions about the Jets legacy that's currently recognized by the Phoenix Coyotes as a part of their own franchise history.
Winger Evander Kane(notes) was the first to deal with that Jets legacy, saying he would ask Bobby Hull for his blessing to wear No. 9 on a Jets sweater, as it was retired by Winnipeg in 1989.
Rather than seeking blessings or sharing legacies, Little told the Winnipeg Free Press that he'll honor Hawerchuk by choosing another digit:
"I've been thinking about it a lot since the name came out, that the team was going to be the Jets again," Little told the Free Press recently. "And even though the team told me what they were thinking and said publicly they wouldn't retire old numbers, well, I just think this is the right thing to do."
Hawerchuk himself said last week, "It's not a big deal."
"Me, I think it would be weird wearing 10 and playing for the Winnipeg Jets," Little said. "Even though we're not that organization today (the relocated Jets of 1979-1996 are in Phoenix), I think it still would have felt weird. … And I have seen already how much the fans there have cherished Jets history. So I'm going to be switching to 18."
So there you go.
The more these legacies are entangled, the more we're looking forward to the eventual question about the record book. Will players set franchise records? "Jets" records? Winnipeg records?