The one thing to take away from this is thank every deity the Winnipeg Jets are back (sorry, Thrashers fans), because the fact there are NHLers whose knowledge of classic teams is restricted to retro video games – I’m looking at you, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
At any rate, that’s a little sobering, no? I mean they haven’t been gone THAT long have they? Sure, 15 years is a long time but the extent of players memories of that team is now video game folklore and fun throwback jersey ideas? I’m suddenly depressed.
Sixteen years ago, Cory Schneider was just nine and still learning to skate at the grassroots level in Boston. His reference point to the old Winnipeg Jets, whose last game in Vancouver was Feb. 13, 1996, was via an obsolete video game. However, his ties to the city helped hone his career as budding NHL prospect with the Manitoba Moose.
“I probably remember the Jets the most from the old Sega video game — NHL ’94 — and other than that, I didn’t know a whole lot about them,” the Canucks goaltender said Thursday before facing the new Jets at Rogers Arena.
Obviously I’m sure playing in Winnipeg gave him a little more insight into the roots of the franchise, but oh my goodness, what a tragedy. In fairness, Schneider is a couple years older than I am and I remember just fine, so my shock is semi-justified. Though perhaps Schneider’s empty memory is potentially excusable given that he grew up in the United States and I doubt television networks were clamoring to catch the Jets in Massachusetts.
Still, I may request that the NHL mandate history lessons for teams that are no more but remain awesome.
What are your favorite moments of some defunct teams? Anyone who has seen me gallivanting around theScore offices know how much I love my Hartford Whalers headgear. Give me your best recollections.