March 21, 1964 |
Ottawa, ON, CAN
|Height||6 ft 5 in (196 cm)|
|Weight||210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)|
|Played for||Winnipeg Jets
San Jose Sharks
|NHL Draft||12th overall, 1982
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.
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. Kyte's hockey career came to an end in 1997 when he suffered severe post-concussion syndrome as a result of being a victim in an auto accident.
Kyte was renowned for his strong physical and reliable defensive play. Kyte recorded a mere 66 points in 598 career National Hockey League games for the Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks. In his most productive season, 1988–89, he scored three goals and added nine assists for twelve points in seventy-four games. He retired in 1997.
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.
|Winnipeg Jets first round draft pick