Is a team about ownership or the fans? This question on if the Jets will honour the jersey numbers retired before them is perplexing in my mind.
If the team came back as The Winnipeg Storm or the Winnipeg Mosquitos (trust me they are terrifying) then I could see why they wouldn’t honour the old Jets. Winnipeg people loved their Jets so much any other name would have been regarded as a small slap in the face. The chants of JETS JETS JETS at the draft and the Jets jersey’s that ran down portage after the announcement that they’d get a team again signify that the Jets never really left the fan’s hearts.
The Jersey numbers that are retired in Phoenix never played there with the exception of Numminen, they never made an end to end rush to the glee of the fans, the phoenix fans never watched the Golden Jet Slap one in. So with the exception of Numminen, why would they not return the history of the Jets to the rightful owners…the fans?
So what would they do with Numminen? I would suggest they should leave his number in Phoenix, he did play there after all and was a huge part of their organization.
In short the retired numbers that hang in Phoenix never belonged there, their ghosts are in the hearts of everyone wearing the white blue and red Jet.
A lot has been made of the numbers game in Calgary, too many forwards and too many 5-7 type defensemen. I think it’s time we shook ourselves a bit because the Flames have not won anything yet we wonder why pieces change. They have holes to fill and want players to give it their all in camp by competing, no free admission here.
Having said that there are too many forwards, signing Morrison who is a 37 year old with one knee is a bit of a head scratcher to me. Stajan and Hagman are both the fan’s ideal choice to move but something would have to go with them for anyone to take them on. Hagman may have low value, like a 4th round pick but Stajan is an absolute anchor. Stajan in my mind is a mediocre third line Center that gets paid way too much. Just what every team wants right? Backlund has a lot of value and no sort of no trade clause, he hasn’t had the kind of development they’d like to see but I think he’s developed in a lot of areas that are very important. Langkow is going into his UFA year and when healthy brings a lot to the table, if the Flames are outside looking in at trade deadline and he’s healthy he could be worth something.
In essence at least two forwards with one way contracts will have to move one way or another. The Defence will be fun to watch with Carson, Brodie, Mikkelson and Negrin all trying to win spots… unless there’s a move for another d?