Bear Hughes will be the last player to wear No. 9 for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL.
The Chiefs announced Tuesday they will retire the number in honor of Chicago Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson, who wore the number for his hometown club from 2007-11. He also wore the number for the Tampa Bay Lightning before switching to No. 90 with the Blackhawks.
The jersey retirement ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 4, when the NHL is on a break for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. The timing of the ceremony will allow Johnson to attend the event in person.
Hughes will continue to wear No. 9 this upcoming season, but the Chiefs did not announce what number he will wear after Johnson’s ceremony.
Johnson wore No. 9 because his mother, Debbie, wore it. Ray Whitney’s No. 14 is the only other number retired by the Chiefs.
Before he was a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Lightning, Johnson scored 128 goals and 282 points in 266 games during his junior career. He helped the Chiefs hoist the WHL championship and CHL Memorial Cup in 2008, while earning playoff MVP honors. He was undrafted and signed with the Lightning in 2011.
The Blackhawks acquired Johnson and a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft from the Lightning for Brent Seabrook’s contract. The 36-year-old defenseman said in March he was ending his playing career because of a right hip injury. His eight-year contract holds a $6.875 million annual average value through the 2023-24 season.
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