[...] Do the "new" Winnipeg Jets (Jets 2.0?) now re-hang their old retired jerseys—Bobby Hull and Thomas Steen—from the rafters? Whatever people might think of it, Phoenix claims those players as their own, and the jerseys are hanging in Coyotes colors these days. Do both teams get to claim this history, even though neither player was ever part of this new Jets team? And how about historical stats: When Winnipeg fans figure out their team’s records in the coming seasons, do they incorporate their team’s pre-Phoenix history? But the Coyotes are already doing that, are they not? Perhaps none of this is that big a deal, but off the top of my head, it seems like Winnipeg’s new NHL team has a confusing time ahead of it, sorting out the domino effect of their new/old name.[...]
I think it's a huge deal. No, the new Jets do not get the retired jerseys of the old Jets. No, they don't get the franchise stats of the old Jets (they get the Thrashers' stats). No, they should not have been allowed to be the Jets. if I were an original Jets fan I probably would have continued to follow the Jets when they became the Coyotes. Now I'm supposed to flip back to the Jets, who are really the Thrashers, just because the Thrashers have changed their name? Are the Minnesota Wild going to retire Mike Modano's jersey? Give me a break.
The other issue I keep thinking about is the lineage of picks and prospects and players in trades. It's possible, for example, to track Jimmy Carson in the 1980s all the way to Dustin Penner in 2011. But the players of the new Jets don't have any connection at all to the players of the old Jets. The lineage is through the Thrashers. The Coyotes are the Jets, the same way the Avalanche are the Nordiques and the Hurricanes are the Whalers.