October 18, 2011
During the summer, Evander Kane(notes) wanted to get the blessing of Bobby Hull before wearing No. 9 for the Winnipeg Jets, seeing as how Hull made the number famous for what are now the Phoenix Coyotes. It's a bit like knocking down an abandoned house and then asking the former tenants to approve the window treatments in a new home ... but hey, respect, right?
Anyhoo, Kane is wearing No. 9, and thus received Hull's blessing through intermediary Kevin Cheveldayoff, the Jets GM who was an assistant GM with the Chicago Blackhawks. Hull told Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press that he answered the request with, "Heck, no, if the young man wants to forge his career here in Winnipeg and wear my number, all the more power to him."
Kane and Hull finally met last Thursday in Chicago, where Kane was held scoreless and skated to a minus-1. In fact, Kane hasn't notched a point in three games with the Jets this season.
Clearly this is not the product of an injury that interrupted the early part of Kane's season, or the fact that the Jets have been, ahem, underwhelming in most games; no, clearly Kane can't handle the Frodo-and-the-ring-like burden of wearing the Golden Jet's digits. Luckily, Hull was nice enough to offer a mulligan, via the Free Press:
Hull, who was in attendance, went down to the dressing room to meet the young forward after the game and made it sound Monday like he won't feel badly if Kane eventually changes his mind.
"Then the other night in Chicago I went down to see him after the game," Hull reported. "And I said, 'Listen young man, this could get a little heavy as the year goes on. If you fail to score in the first dozen or so games, it could get a little heavy, so don't feel bad if you want to shed it.'"
Putting this through our finely-tuned Bobby Hull translator: "Yeah I had no idea how awkward this would be but hey didja know that No. 90 is available kid because that big Russian fella seems pretty happy with No. 80?"