What Do The Letters Mean On Hockey Jerseys

What Do The Letters Mean On Hockey Jerseys – In the next blog series of the By The Numbers blog, we will discuss… hockey jersey numbers. Hockey jersey numbers in professional hockey date back to the old National Hockey Association, one of the pre-NHL leagues. The original purpose of hockey jersey numbers was to help fans identify players and help officials read statistics. An added benefit was that they were able to generate income selling programs that listed players by number. This continued until 1977-1978. season when the NHL began requiring name tags to be attached to uniforms. Soon after, the rule had to be revised when the notoriously cheap Harold Ballard, owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, begrudgingly complied by adding nameplates in the same color as the uniform. He didn’t want to lose the program’s sales, so the NHL had to be specific that the nameplate be a contrasting color.

There are some unwritten rules that dictate what hockey jersey numbers players can wear based on tradition and history. The most common of these is that the number 1 in hockey jerseys is for goaltenders (Roberto Luongo jokes aside). You have to go back at least to the 1950s to find instances of a non-keeper with this number. Football has this in common with hockey. Numbers 2-6 were traditionally for defense and 7-11 were traditionally for forwards. The higher numbers were for players lower on the depth chart, one of the highest numbers (often 20, 29 or 30) for a backup goaltender. In many teams, a lower number represents status, as it would allow for better accommodations in a hotel or sleeper car while traveling.

What Do The Letters Mean On Hockey Jerseys

What Do The Letters Mean On Hockey Jerseys

Today, the 1 is still for goaltending, while the 2-5 is almost exclusively for defense (with the exception of Charlie Coyle of the Wild). Since then, 30, 31 and 35 have also become the exclusive realm of goalies, with Chris “Knuckles” Nilan being one of the last non-goal 30. There was a time when 29 was also very common among goalies, but that has changed. Of the 13 NHL players on the roster now wearing 29, 8 are forwards, four are defensemen and only one is a goaltender. Because of Lemieux and Gretzky, almost no one in the NHL wears 66 or 99: 66 is unofficially retired and 99 is officially. The 69 is rarely used (no one currently wears it and probably won’t unless Doug Glatt is called up), most likely because of the sophomoric backlash it would generate. Higher numbers are becoming more common every year, although currently the only number over 50 worn by more than 10 players is 77. The numbers 0 and 00 have been worn in the past (mostly by goaltenders including John Davidson and Bernie Parent), but are no longer allowed by the NHL. And it goes without saying that asking to wear a 67 in Toronto probably wouldn’t be the best idea.

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In beer league hockey, these traditions filter down, but there are often exceptions. Sometimes players base their numbers on other sports they have played. Sometimes they don’t know or don’t care about the traditions. If a beer league forward picks number 1 and a goaltender picks 2, it would look weird, but no one would care. Players could even choose 00 or three-digit numbers. The only number that will get a beer league player ridiculed is if he chose to wear 66 or 99 (and 8 if he also has the required mirror visor).

In some sports, a particular uniform number is so valuable to a player that they will pay big money to buy it from a teammate. When Deion Sanders joined the Cowboys, he bought his teammate a new BMW in exchange for No. 21. Even though you don’t really hear about what’s going on in the NHL, that doesn’t make the numbers any less important to the players. A young player (unless a superstar himself) would always give his number to a veteran without even asking, because that’s what hockey players do.

That being said, some players really don’t care what number they are given. Duncan Keith wears 2 because it was hanging in his locker when he reached the minor leagues. Nate Schmidt was an undrafted player for Washington and was given an 88 that he didn’t like because it was too high. Now with the Golden Knights, it has become his career. Rookies (other than star players) are generally given little choice as to what jersey number they want.

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Players often come up with interesting permutations when the desired number is taken. Wayne Gretzky chose 99 because the desired number (9) was already taken in 1975. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL. He wanted 9 because it was Gordie Howe’s number. 19 has been a prolific number among leading centers and team captains, and has been worn by the likes of Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Nicklas Backstrom and Jonathan Toews. Steven Stamkos and John Tavares both grew up wearing 19 in their amateur careers and decided to change the number to 91 when 19 wasn’t available. Alexei Yashin had 19 in Ottawa for the same reason, but when the Islanders didn’t have that number, he chose to turn 19 into 79 instead of changing the numbers. Doubling a number is also common, which explains why numbers like 44 and 55 are so popular. Phil Esposito chose 77 for the Rangers when the 7 was not available, and Ray Bourque decided to change the 7 to 77 when the Bruins retired Phil’s number. He did it out of respect (he would be allowed to keep 7 until he leaves the Bruins) and dramatically revealed that he took off his 7 jersey and was already wearing 77 underneath (watch here).

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The number selected for star players is a big part of their identity and marketing in the NHL. It started when Gretzky naturally started using the 99. Mario Lemieux was next with the 66, having chosen it on the advice of his agent (who was also Gretzky’s agent), who though needed a number to compete with the Great One. Lemieux previously wore 28 because that’s what his brother did. Another superstar to do so was Eric Lindros with 88. He wore the 8 in honor of the late John McCauley, a family friend and retired NHL referee who died in 1989. (this was his NHL referee number). He picked 88 when number 8 was already in use by the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. Sidney Crosby chose 87 because his birthday is in 1987. August 7 (8/7/87), which is actually one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard (despite what anyone thinks of it, you have to admit it’s cool). Of course, Connor McDavid took 97 the year he was born, and since 97 is not a common number in the NHL, he took on a similar status.

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In fact, there are many “year of birth” numbers (and this is more of a recent trend), as every number from 87 to 98 is worn by at least one player (except 94. Andrei Mironov wore it last year with the Avalanche, but is now playing in the KHL). Notable names include 88 Patrick Kane, 89 Sam Gagner, 90 Marcus Johansson, 91 Teresenko, 92 Landeskog, 93 Nugent-Hopkins, etc.

Teams also retire. The Boston Bruins have released almost every number from 2 to 9, with Cam Neely’s 8 being the latest. When in 1997 Joe Thornton was called up to the team, he gave him the only unretired number in the group (6 ) in the hope that one day it would be completed. Having the only single digit number was prestigious. Joe eventually changed to 19, as many star centers and team captains do, and the 6 is still with the Bruins (although no one currently wears it, meaning the lowest number used by the Bruins is 10, since no goaltenders there does not wear 1). Pat Verbeek wore 15 and Brett Hull wore 17 for the Red Wings instead of the usual 16 because 16 has been unofficially retired since the accident that paralyzed Vladimir Konstantinov.

What Do The Letters Mean On Hockey Jerseys

Sometimes the number means something more significant, often the date of a historical event. Jaromir Jagr chose 68 because of the events of 1968. in Czechoslovakia, which led to the democratization of this country. Petr Klima chose 85 and Aleksandar Mogilny 89, as they withdrew from Czechoslovakia and the USSR that year respectively. Alexander Ovechkin chose 8 because his mother, Tatiana, wore the number when she won women’s basketball gold medals in the Soviet Union in 1976 and 1980.

Winnipeg Jets Jersey History

There are also some funny reasons why a player chooses a number. Both Steve Heinze and Shawn Heins ranked 57th (Henry Heinz proudly advertised his 57 varieties of pickles in 1896). Jordin Tootoo picked up 22 and turned it for 55 with 22 not out. Kevin Adams picked 42 with the Maple Leafs because in the book


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