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Jim Kyte

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Jim Kyte
Position Defence
Shoots Left
6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
210 lb (95 kg)
Teams Winnipeg Jets
Pittsburgh Penguins
Calgary Flames
Ottawa Senators
San Jose Sharks
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born March 21 1964 (1964-03-21) (age 52),
Ottawa, ON, CAN
NHL Draft 12th overall, 1982
Winnipeg Jets
Pro Career 1983 – 1997

Jim Kyte (born March 21, 1964 in Ottawa, Ontario) is a retired former professional ice hockey defenceman who was renowned for his strong, reliable defensive play and complete lack of scoring prowess. He 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 made history by being the first deaf NHL player. He was drafted 12th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft.

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. In fact, according to NHL records, he 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 he 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. He 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 worked at a hockey school for the deaf and hearing-impaired in Toronto and not long after, started the Jim Kyte Hockey School for the Hearing Impaired in Ottawa. It was a business he ran long after his retirement, a retirement caused by a concussion suffered in an auto accident, in 1997.

Kyte is the son of former Canadian college track 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.

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