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Jim Kyte

First Legally Deaf NHL Player

Growing up in a family with five boys and one girl, Jim Kyte has always known what it means to be part of a team. The Kyte family was a louder than normal household because all the boys, including his father, Dr. John Kyte, were hearing impaired. Growing up with a profound hearing loss has many physical, emotional and mental challenges but having parents as strong role models to look up to played a pivotal role in Jim’s upbringing.


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Overcoming Obstacles The Team Approach Leadership, Education and Teamwork

  • Jim Kyte exceeded our expectations. His warm presentation style fit in perfectly with the audience. His stories and presentation points challenged the audience to meet their own personal challenges and realize their employment goals.

    - Future Abilities and Creative Employment
  • An excellent speaker; extremely motivating!

    - Treasury Board of Canada
  • You exceeded our expectation in motivating and inspiring the employees of NRCan and of other government departments.

    - Natural Resources Canada
  • Jim clearly has a passion for presenting and offers a very personable insight to his experiences. The topic of hearing impairment is certainly close to Jim’s heart for the obvious reason, however his overwhelming appreciation for hearing care professionals can only be understood through listening to him talk.

    - Siemens Hearing Instruments
  • Very insightful. Great hockey analogies we can reuse.

    - Treasury Board of Canada

Summary Profile

Jim Kyte beat the odds to become the Winnipeg Jets’ first-round draft pick in 1982, as the National Hockey League’s first legally deaf player. Kyte not only made it to the NHL, he made his mark on the ice as one of the toughest defencemen in the league. He was admired by Don Cherry and feared by such players as Mark Messier and Denis Savard. Since his retirement as a hockey player in 1998, he was a columnist for the Ottawa Citizen for several years. Jim was very active in charitable causes , including co-founding the Canadian Hearing Impaired Hockey Association and starting the Jim Kyte Hockey School for the Hearing Impaired. In 2014 Algonquin College appointed  Jim as the Dean for the School of Hospitality and Tourism. Audiences will be impressed to hear of Kyte’s resourcefulness in achieving his goals both on and off the ice and his flexibility in overcoming obstacles. Throughout, he has worked to maintain a positive attitude, to make an active contribution to his community, and to set an example for others in dealing with adversity. Kyte shows audiences the value in working as a team, and in learning to adapt quickly to new challenges.