Last week when the Carolina Hurricanes announced that they were going to retire Glen Wesley's number 2, they put the franchise in the unusual position of retiring the same number twice. The Hartford Whalers retired Rick Ley's number 2 after he had played for the Whalers for a total of 9 seasons, from 1972 to 1981.
Granted, the majority of those years were while the team was known as the New England Whalers and while they played in the now defunct WHA, but the popular defenseman served as team Captain and was one of the best players on the team.
Not to take anything away from Wesley who truly deserves the honor and distinction, but this can't help but bring up some old memories of Ley for the fans of the Whale.
Which leads to a question.
How much history, if any, should the Hurricanes recognize from their roots in New England? Even though I was not necessarily a die-hard fan of the Whalers back when they were in Hartford, I am a lover of history and there is a rich, if not necessarily a winning history to look back upon and embrace.
It's a shame that the move from Hartford was such an acrimonious one.
I did a little research and it seems that other teams who have moved have made their own choices about how to handle their history.
For instance, the Phoenix Coyotes recognize the retired numbers of the Winnipeg Jets, Hull 9 and Steen 25. But the Colorado Avs do not recognize the Quebec Nordiques retired numbers of Tremblay 3, Tardif 8, Goulet 16, and Stastney 26.
Wesley recognized Ley's retired number while he played in Hartford, because he wore number 20.
Congratulations to both number "2's", the most recent one as well as the one from the often forgotten days.