Jim Kyte

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Jim Kyte
Born (1964-03-21) March 21, 1964 (age 50)
Ottawa, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 5 in (196 cm)
Weight 210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Played for Winnipeg Jets
Pittsburgh Penguins
Calgary Flames
Ottawa Senators
San Jose Sharks
NHL Draft 12th overall, 1982
Winnipeg Jets
Playing career 1983–1997

James G. Kyte (born March 21, 1964) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. Kyte made history by being the first (and to date, only) legally deaf National Hockey League (NHL) player, playing 598 games in the NHL. Kyte is the son of former Canadian university athletic star John Kyte, St. Francis Xavier University's Athlete-of-the-Half-Century. Jim is also the brother of former Canadian track team member Aynslee Kyte.

Hearing-Impairment[edit]

Considered an inspiration to deaf and hearing-impaired hockey players during and after his professional hockey career, Kyte was the only player of his time to wear hearing aids during games. According to NHL records, Kyte was the first legally deaf player to play major pro hockey. To protect his hearing aids, Kyte wore a specially-designed helmet that had flaps covering the center of his ears. Although Kyte had full hearing at birth, by the time he was three-years-old, he was legally deaf. Doctors discovered he had been born with a hereditary hearing ailment that caused degeneration of the audio nerve. Throughout his career Kyte was very active in charitable causes involving hearing impairment. Kyte learned sign language even though it wasn't necessary for him to communicate and during off-seasons in his early NHL career, he worked with deaf and hearing-impaired children at a hockey school sponsored by Stan Mikita in Chicago. While a player, he co-founded the Canadian Hearing Impaired Hockey Association, a hockey school for the deaf, deafened and hard of hearing in Toronto and not long after, started the Jim Kyte Hockey School for the Hearing Impaired. It was a registered charity he and his family devoted countless hours towards for eight years, operating hockey schools for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing children in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Ottawa.

Junior Hockey[edit]

Cornwall Royals (1981-1983)[edit]

Kyte's first junior season was with the Cornwall Royals of the OHL in 1981-82, where in 52 games, Kyte had four goals and 17 points, helping the club clinch the final playoff spot in the Leyden Division. In five playoff games, Kyte was held pointless.

Kyte returned to the Royals for the 1982-83, as he appeared in 65 games, scoring six goals and 36 points, as well as having a team high 195 penalty minutes, helping Cornwall into the post-season. In eight playoff games, Kyte earned two assists, and led the Royals with 24 penalty minutes.

Professional Career[edit]

Winnipeg Jets (1982-1989)[edit]

Kyte was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the first round, 12th overall, in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft.

Kyte saw his first NHL action late in the 1982-83 season, appearing in two games with Winnipeg, as he was held pointless.

He saw limited ice time with the Jets as a rookie in 1983-84, as Kyte appeared in 58 games, scoring a goal and three points, helping the team reach the playoffs. In three playoff games, Kyte did not earn a point, as Winnipeg was swept by the Edmonton Oilers in the Smythe Division semi-finals.

In 1984-85, Kyte appeared in 71 games with the Jets, earning three assists, while accumulating 111 penalty minutes. In eight playoff games, Kyte was held off the scoresheet, as the team defeated the Calgary Flames in the Smythe Division semi-finals, however, the Jets were then swept by the Edmonton Oilers in the Division finals.

Kyte once again appeared in 71 games with the Jets in 1985-86, scoring a goal and four points, while getting 126 penalty minutes, as Winnipeg qualified for the post-season. In three games, Kyte had no points, as the Jets lost to the Calgary Flames in the Smythe Division semi-finals.

Kyte's offensive production increased in 1986-87, as he managed to score five goals and 10 points in 72 games, while getting 162 penalty minutes. In 10 playoff games, Kyte earned four assists, as the Jets would end up losing to the Edmonton Oilers in the Smythe Division finals.

Injuries plagued Kyte during the 1987-88, as he played in only 51 games, scoring a goal and four points while accumulating 128 penalty minutes. The Jets qualified for the post-season, however, Kyte did not appear in any games.

Kyte appeared in a career high 74 games with the Jets in 1988-89, scoring three goals and 12 points, as well as getting 190 penalty minutes. Winnipeg failed to make the playoffs.

On June 17, 1989, Kyte, Andrew McBain and Randy Gilhen were traded by the Jets to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Randy Cunneyworth, Rick Tabaracci and Dave McLlwain.

Pittsburgh Penguins (1989-1991)[edit]

Kyte joined the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1989-90, where in 56 games, he scored three goals and four points, as well as getting 125 penalty minutes. The Penguins failed to make the playoffs.

The Penguins sent Kyte to begin the 1990-91 season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the IHL. In 25 games, Kyte scored two goals and seven points, as well as recording 157 penalty minutes. Kyte also appeared in one game with the Penguins, getting no points and two penalty minutes.

On December 13, 1990, the Penguins traded Kyte to the Calgary Flames for Jiri Hrdina.

Calgary Flames (1990-1992)[edit]

Kyte finished the 1990-91 with the Calgary Flames, where in 42 games, he earned nine assists and 153 penalty minutes, helping the team reach the playoffs. In seven playoff games, Kyte had no points and seven penalty minutes, as the Flames lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the Smythe Division semi-finals.

Kyte appeared in 21 games with Calgary in 1991-92, getting one assist and 107 penalty minutes. He also played in six games with the Salt Lake Golden Eagles of the IHL, earning an assist and nine penalty minutes. After the season, Kyte became a free agent.

Ottawa Senators (1992-1993)[edit]

Kyte signed with the Ottawa Senators on September 10, 1992. He spent a majority of the 1992-93 season with the New Haven Senators of the AHL, scoring six goals and 24 points in 63 games. In four games with Ottawa, Kyte earned an assist. Kyte was granted free agency after only one season with the Senators.

Las Vegas Thunder (1993-1995)[edit]

Kyte signed with the Las Vegas Thunder of the IHL for the 1993-94 season. In 75 games, Kyte scored two goals and 18 points, as well as accumulating 246 penalty minutes. In four playoff games, Kyte had an assist, and 51 penalty minutes.

He played a second season with the Thunder in 1994-95, scoring three goals and 20 points in 76 games with the team. Kyte left the Thunder late in the season, as he signed with the San Jose Sharks.

San Jose Sharks (1994-1996)[edit]

Kyte signed as a free agent with the San Jose Sharks on March 31, 1995. He finished the 1994-95 season with the Sharks, scoring two goals and seven points in 18 games, helping the team reach the post-season. In 11 playoff games, Kyte had two assists, as the Sharks upset the favoured Calgary Flames in the Western Conference quarter-finals, before losing to the Detroit Red Wings in the second round of the playoffs.

Kyte played in 57 games with San Jose in 1995-96, scoring a goal and eight points, and earning 146 penalty minutes, however, the team failed to make the playoffs. Kyte was granted free agency after the season.

Kansas City Blades (1996-97)[edit]

Kyte finished his playing career in 1996-97 with the Kansas City Blades of the IHL. In 76 games, Kyte had three goals and 11 points, as well as recording 259 penalty minutes. In three playoff games, Kyte had no points. His playing career came to an end from a concussion suffered in an automobile accident in 1997.

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1981–82 Cornwall Royals OHL 52 4 13 17 148 5 0 0 0 10
1982–83 Winnipeg Jets NHL 2 0 0 0 0
1982–83 Cornwall Royals OHL 65 6 30 36 195 8 0 2 2 24
1983–84 Winnipeg Jets NHL 58 1 2 3 55 3 0 0 0 11
1984–85 Winnipeg Jets NHL 71 0 3 3 111 8 0 0 0 14
1985–86 Winnipeg Jets NHL 71 1 3 4 126 3 0 0 0 12
1986–87 Winnipeg Jets NHL 72 5 5 10 162 10 0 4 4 36
1987–88 Winnipeg Jets NHL 51 1 3 4 128
1988–89 Winnipeg Jets NHL 74 3 9 12 190
1989–90 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 56 3 1 4 125
1990–91 Calgary Flames NHL 42 0 9 9 153 7 0 0 0 7
1990–91 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 1 0 0 0 2
1990–91 Muskegon Lumberjacks IHL 25 2 5 7 157
1991–92 Calgary Flames NHL 21 0 1 1 107
1991–92 Salt Lake Golden Eagles IHL 6 0 1 1 9
1992–93 New Haven Senators AHL 63 6 18 24 163
1992–93 Ottawa Senators NHL 4 0 1 1 4
1993–94 Las Vegas Thunder IHL 75 2 16 18 246 4 0 1 1 51
1994–95 San Jose Sharks NHL 18 2 5 7 33 11 0 2 2 14
1994–95 Las Vegas Thunder IHL 76 3 17 20 195
1995–96 San Jose Sharks NHL 57 1 7 8 146
1996–97 Kansas City Blades IHL 76 3 8 11 259 3 0 0 0 2
NHL Totals 598 17 49 66 1342 42 0 6 6 94

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dale Hawerchuk
Winnipeg Jets first round draft pick
1982
Succeeded by
Andrew McBain