The Face of a Former Franchise: The Greatest Number 25

In preparing for this countdown, there were certain numbers that were going to be obvious to write about: 7, 10, 27 and today's entry, number 25. The greatest number 25 in franchise history is a man who was as synonymous with the Jets as Shane Doan is for the Coyotes. He is Thomas Steen.

Steen was a 5th round choice of the Jets in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft and would debut in the NHL in the 1981-82 season. He played 73 games as a rookie, scoring 15 goals and 44 points. This would prove to be just the tip of the iceberg as those 44 points would be lowest he'd put up over the next nine seasons. His best individual year was the 88-89 campaign. Steen would play in all 80 games that year (the only season in his career when he would play in every game) scoring 27 goals and a career high 88 points. He also was a +14 (his second best career mark) while adding a career high tying 80 PIMs. He would also set a career high in special team points that season with 27 on the powerplay (9 goals and 18 assists) and 5 short-handed (1 G, 4 A) for 32 total points. Unfortunately, Steen's individual success that season didn't translate into team victories as the Jets finished last in the Smythe division.

In total, Steen would play 14 seasons in the NHL and every single one of them was as a member of the Winnipeg Jets. He totaled 264 goals (4th best in franchise history), 553 assists (still the top mark in franchise history) and 817 points (currently 2nd all-time, but Shane Doan is only 2 points behind him) in 950 games played (3rd most). He was an All-Star in 1990, a two time World Championship silver medalist for Sweden in 1981 and 1986 and a member of three Swedish Canada Cup teams ('81, '84 and '91). His number 25 was retired by the Jets in 1995 and even though he was never a Coyote, the team still considers his number 25 officially retired.

Thomas Steen was more than just a hockey player for the Winnipeg Jets. He was involved with Manitoba Entertainment Complex Inc., a group of businessmen and investors that were attempting to secure an arena for the Jets during the 1994 season to keep the team in Winnipeg. While the group ultimately failed and the franchise headed south to Phoenix, Steen's love for the area would continually manifest itself. After playing overseas for a few years from 1996-1999, Steen was named a scout for the Minnesota Wild. He started as a European scout, but was repositioned to North America and moved back to Manitoba. Steen would actually run for office in Winnipeg, losing in 2008, but winning a spot to the Winnipeg City Council in 2010.

Having your number retired by a franchise is an incredible honor, and Thomas Steen was more than deserving of it. Even though he has never touched the ice in the Valley of the Sun, he is the greatest number 25 in Coyotes franchise history.

Five for Howling is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Arizona Coyotes and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor(s) of Five for Howling

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