With today's entry, two numbers are going to get decided. The reason that they are being combined into one post is that both numbers are incredibly hard to decide as there are multiple players who are worthy for both spots.
The number 12 has had fifteen different wearers since the Jets debut in the NHL during the '79-'80 season. Three of these men separate themselves from the pack for consideration for the honor of being the greatest. The first such player is Morris Luckowich.
Lukowich was traded to the Jets by the Houston Aeros of the WHA for cash in July of 1978. The '78-'79 season would be Morris' best individual season as he played all 80 games and scored 65 goals with 34 assists for 99 points and helped the Jets win the '79 WHA Chammpionship. The Jets would join the NHL for the next season, and after a quick detour through Pittsburgh, Lukowich would join them. He spent the next 5 seasons in Winnipeg and enjoyed his best NHL season during the '81-'82 season. He scored 43 goals and added 49 assists for 92 points while playing in 77 games and earning his second straight All-Star nomination. Luckowich would be traded to Boston on February 4, 1985 for Jim Nill. For his Jet career, Luckowich played in 511 games with 431 coming in the NHL. He scored 233 goals (168 NHL) and had 211 (177) assists for 444 (345) points. He also had 62 (46) powerplay goals while adding 3 shorthanded, all in the NHL. He was a two-time All-Star and currently sits 7th on the franchise's all-time goals scored list and is 10th for points.
Doug Smail is one of the greatest players in Jet history, unfortunately the majority of that success came while he wore the number 9. After the Jets retired the number 9 to honor Bobby Hull, Smail donned the number 12. While Smail only played in 94 games as the number 12 for Winnipeg, he did make his only All-Star game during that time. He would total 26 goals and assists for 52 total points while wearing the 12. Doug would be dealt to Minnesota on November 7, 1990 for Don Barber. Smail's career shouldn't be overlooked as he played in 691 total games for the Jets, scoring 189 goals, 208 assists and 397 points for the franchise. Currently, he ranks 5th in career games played for the franchise and is 6th in goals, 7th in points and 4th in game-winning goals with 31. He also scored 25 shorthanded goals in that time, which is far and away still the franchise's top mark.
Mike Johnson is easily the best player to wear the number 12 as a Coyote. Coming over in the big Nikolai Khabibulin deal that also netted the Coyotes another pretty good player in Paul Mara, Johnson would spend parts of 6 seasons in the desert. Injuries stifled his overall production, but Johnson still was an effective forward for the team. He had his career best year during the '02-'03 season, scoring career highs in goals, assists and points with 23, 40 and 63 respectively. Johnson would have another healthy year in 2006 playing in 80 games and scoring 16 goals and 54 points. He would be traded to Montreal at the 2006 draft. He scored 47 career goals for the Coyotes, adding 112 assists for 159 points in 242 games. He's 12th on the list for points scored as a member of the Coyotes.
Out of those three resumes, it's easy to see that while the best for the actual Coyotes, Johnson's is the weakest of the bunch. But picking between Luckowich and Smail is a cointoss. Luckowich is clearly better in considering just the number 12, but Smail's overall numbers are superior. Therefore, the decision goes to Doug Smail.
A similar conundrum faces the number 11. Fourteen men have worn 11 for either the Coyotes or the Jets, including Dallas Drake whom has made an appearance on this list already. The list gets further narrowed down to three from there, with one Jet and two Coyotes.
Scott Arniel was a 2nd round pick of the Jets in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. He would spend some time in the NHL immediately following that draft, seeing action in 17 games with 1 goal (on the powerplay) and 9 points as a rookie. The following year, Arniel established himself as a NHL regular, playing in 75 games and putting up 13 goals and 18 points. In the '83-'84 season, Arniel's third year, he would set career highs 35 assists and 56 points while adding 21 goals. The next year, he would score a career high 22 goals. On June 21, 1986, Arniel was sent to Buffalo for Gilles Hamel. He'd stay in Buffalo for 4 seasons before being sent back to Winnipeg in a franchise defining deal at the 1990 draft. Arniel would join Phil Housley, Jeff Parker and Buffalo's 1st round pick (#19) in being traded for Jet icon Dale Hawerchuk and Winnipeg's 1st rounder (#14). The Sabres would select Brad May, who would later join the Coyotes in Phoenix, and the Jets would choose Keith Tkachuk. During this second stint with the Jets, Arniel wore number 18. Scott would play in 331 games as Winnipeg's number 11, scoring 75 goals with 95 assists for 170 points in 5 seasons.
Daymond Langkow was Tampa Bay's 1st round pick and number 5 overall in the 1995 draft. He joined the Coyotes in a draft day deal with the Philadelphia Flyers on July 2, 2001. Langkow would become the model of consistency for the Coyotes over the next three seasons playing in 80, 82 and 81 games. His goal and point totals were steady as well totaling 27, 20 and 21 goals and 62, 52 and 52 points those three seasons while teaming with Shane Doan. Unfortunately the Coyotes would only make the playoffs the first of those three seasons and Langkow would be traded to Calgary in August of 2004. Daymond would enjoy an encore season with the Coyotes in 2011-'12 wearing the number 22 and this time he would taste postseason success as the Yotes made it all the way to the conference finals. As the number 11 for the Coyotes, Langkow scored 68 goals, 101 assists and 166 points with 14 powerplay goals and 6 short-handed ones.
The current number 11 for the Coyotes is Martin Hanzal. The 6'6" Czech center is one of the most imposing figures in Coyote history. Carl Pavlock does an excellent job of profiling Marty right here. The key portion of that piece for this entry is this:
In his six-year career with the Desert Dogs, Hanzal has played in 391 regular season games and 23 playoff games. During that time, he scored 65 goals, 117 assists and 182 points in the regular season and four goals, eight assists and 12 points in the playoffs.
Langkow's 166 points while wearing the 11 may be the fewest of the three, but he did put up those points in the shortest amount of time. Arniel has more goals than any other player to wear the 11, but Hanzal has more points and has certainly enjoyed more team success than either of the other two. It's close but Marty edges out Daymond in the final leg. Congratulations to Doug Smail and Martin Hanzal, the winners of two of the hardest fought honors in this countdown. The two of you are the greatest numbers 12 and 11.