Evander Kane Intends on Asking Bobby Hull for Blessing To Wear No. 9

Matt EichelSenior Writer IJuly 21, 2011

Could Evander Kane be the next superstar in a Jets jersey?
Could Evander Kane be the next superstar in a Jets jersey?Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets already have one player who is a class act on the team.

He goes by the name of Evander Kane.

Already 139 games into his career over two seasons in Atlanta, Kane will come into his prime in Winnipeg as a Jet, but there is one problem that he wants to make sure he gets right.

For years, Bobby Hull's No. 9 hung in the rafters of Winnipeg Arena after it was retired on February 19, 1989.

Now, the soon-to-be 20-year-old wants the blessing of the very superstar who was the last to wear No. 9 as a Jet.

"It's almost like asking a father for his daughter's hand in marriage," Kane admitted to The Vancouver Province.

"I've read somewhere on Twitter that he had done an interview and said that he wanted me to wear it proudly. I don't know if that's true or not. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to speak to him soon. If he doesn't have an issue with me wearing it, I'll do my best on and off to live up to wearing that number. If I have to change, I'll change."

The Phoenix Coyotes carried on the same retired numbers when the Jets moved to Arizona, including Hull's No. 9 and Thomas Steen's No. 25. The only exception was Brett Hull's five games in 2005-06 when the Coyotes unretired it for Bobby's son.

"I'm not 100 percent sure that I will be wearing it, but I've also not been told otherwise," stated Kane.

With 69 points in his 139 games so far in his young career, Jets fans and Kane are both looking to spark a connection with the city, its hockey and its passion.

"I'm excited about going to Winnipeg because of the fans," Kane admitted.

"The fans are going to be electric that first game. They're going to be great in training camp. You're going to be going in on a breakaway drill in training camp and they're going to be cheering like crazy."

Hopefully, Kane will mold into another Bobby Hull, who carried the Jets through their glory days in the WHA. In 411 games with the Jets over seven seasons in the WHA, Hull collected 638 points, not to mention the three AVCO Cups he helped them win with 80 points in 60 career playoff games.

But for Kane, it doesn't seem like the pressure will get to him, admittedly.

"I'm excited to play in Canada, to play under a microscope. I like the pressure. I perform better under the pressure. If you can embrace the pressure and embrace the expectations that will come from playing in a city like Winnipeg, it can only lead to good things for you, both on and off the ice."

All that's left for now is a blessing from the Golden Jet himself.