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Winnipeg NHL Team To Honor Dan Snyder's Memory Somehow

Lots has been said regarding moving the Thrashers' team record books with the squad when they finally officially make the move to Winnipeg. Some Jets fans (see comments here) really want the Jets' history back, which will be difficult considering that history followed the team to Phoenix in 1996. The new front office staff has been flushing the Thrashers' organization's employees, and will probably be flushing the coaching staff here shortly. One thing that they won't flush, however, is the legacy of Dan Snyder.

Snyder, you will remember, passed away in 2003 from injuries sustained in a car accident with then-teammate Dany Heatley. Since then, the Thrashers have named their player of the year award after him, as has his AHL team, the Chicago Wolves. Former Wolves GM Kevin Cheveldayoff had Snyder playing for him for 91 games as well.

Sadly, the Free Press article mistakenly says that the Thrashers retired Dan Snyder's number. They never did, but no player has worn 37 since the accident. Says Scott Brown, director of hockey operations for the new franchise:

"We're a little tentative about retired numbers," Brown said. "Dan Snyder's number (37) was retired in Atlanta, but what if we bring in a free agent who wants to wear No. 37? And then we get into the retired numbers of Winnipeg Jets.

"Those are questions we have to ask ourselves. Retired numbers become very tricky going forward. For example, Evander Kane is No. 9. I don't know this, but I imagine Evander Kane would like to continue wearing No. 9 and we would hope that if we decided to let him continue wearing that number Winnipeg hockey fans would be accepting of that and the step forward in the franchise history rather than focussing on keeping Bobby Hull's No. 9 retired."

Well, that last part might be easier said than done, but I don't see an issue with retiring number 37 and keeping it honored. That's something fans in Winnipeg and Atlanta should be able to agree on.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.