I have been following something over the last few years that I am sure that few have also seen or paid attention to, but something that I find interesting in an obscure and potentially meaningful way. When you look at sports leagues, what do players tend to care more about then salaries and winning? Most care a lot about the number on their backs. Some do not seem to care as much as others, and some teams look at it differently than others do, but I have noticed some interesting number related things this year that I thought I would share.
Some of this will be from the Flyers perspective - obviously - but I have also seen other teams and other players wear numbers that are of interest to me, and who do you think of immediately when a number is mentioned? Does it depend on the team and whether or not that number means anything, or are there numbers that people just generally associate with a certain player, either current or past?
I am really only going to list numbers that are not retired, because of course they represent numbers that will forever be associated with a player. Like the number that I most associate with the Flyers - #16, and the second has to be #1.
So here I go.
#27 - For the Flyers over the last 20 years that number has meant Ron Hextall. Before that a fairly decent player named Reggie Leach wore that number. Not a bad group to share a number with. Nobody has been given that number since Hexy until Steve Downie showed up. To me that says something about the guy they are giving it to and that the organization has high hopes for him. Personally I think that Hexy would appreciate a hard nosed player with a bit of an attitude taking over his number.
#88 - For any team or fan that number represents Lindros. Except now we have Patrick Kane of Chicago and Patrick Mueller of Phoenix wearing that number. I have to say that it's really weird to see someone else in an 88 jersey and that number will always reflect Eric Lindros to me.
#17 - Paul Holmgren, Rod Brind'amour, now Jeff Carter, but I still cannot help but think about Roddy when I see Jeff on the ice. He exemplified that number for years, but didn't start out wearing that number for St. Louis where he was #19 I believe. But Roddy is #17 in this day and age. Historically it was most certainly Homers. It was interesting that nobody got this number until one of the wonderkids came to camp.
#2 - Mark Howe as a Flyer and Al MacInnis as a Blue, and Brian Leetch as a Ranger. For the only guy on the list who is not in the Hall but should be, Mark Howe has always meant a ton to the number 2 in Philly for me.
#25 - Keith Primeau certainly did that number justice and I have to say that I was glad nobody else was wearing that over the last few seasons until the Flyers picked up Thoresen. But I still see that number as Prims.
#10 - Johnny Vermont. While there have been many others that have worn this number for the Flyers, including Billy Clement, John LeClair certainly does have the most impactful history for me and for others I have talked to about this number.
#19 - Stevie Y. Yeah - I know that his jersey number is retired, but hell - #19 is Stevie Y. That dude Joe Sakic isn't half bad either.
#21 - When I think of 21 as a hockey fan, only one player comes to mind - Forsberg. Plain and simple. He is the representation of that number for the league and unlike some of the others that are previously mentioned, you know him as #21, you just do.
#8 - The Hammer and the Wrecking Ball. What a great freaking number!!!!!!
#87 - Sid the Kid. 'nuff said there.
I am sure that everyone has their own take on numbers, I just have thought about this for a while and thought I would throw it out there.
This is just for goofs and fun, and I hope you enjoy it!