What's In A Number?

Wednesday, 03.27.2013 / 10:17 AM CT / Razor With An Edge
By Daryl "Razor" Reaugh
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What\'s In A Number?

The answer should be, “A lot”.

For a player that number becomes a part of his or her identity.

You can see evidence of this in their Twitter handles and how they sign their names for autograph hounds – always including that number at the end. Many times it’s the only way of knowing whose signature it is. Penmanship; not a strength with athletes and doctors.

Some of the bigger names have that number they’ve become so synonymous with become part of their ‘brand’ long after their playing days are done.

Those that reach a certain level of stardom stemming from a career of spectacular accomplishment have their number retired, never to be worn by another player for that franchise, or, in the case of Wayne Gretzky’s #99 – the entire league.

Most clubs execute this well, but a few teams appear too liberal when doling out the honor - in my opinion. They seem to get on a fawning PR high that becomes tough to kick, struggling to answer the question, “Where do we stop?”

This is why I like the combination of number retirement for only a select few with very select number recirculation for that level of ‘all-time great” just below the no-debate icons.

For the Stars: #9 is the full lobotomy no-brainer of no-brainers (duh), but what about #26? - And #56? - Or #2? You see how it can escalate quickly.

That’s why - if it were up to me – I’d stop at Modano’s #9.

For the rest I would hold certain numbers out of circulation until that right player came along, a player worthy of perpetuating the excellence of the man who sported the digit so majestically in past.

I think the franchise has tried to do this. Robidas carrying on similar character defending to what Ludwig provided in #3. I like Eriksson in Carbonneau’s #21, Niskanen when in Sydor’s #5, and Jamie Benn in Barnes #14.

Some others have been well intended but haven’t worked out as planned (Sawada in Keane’s #12, Glennie in Langenbrunner’s #15 and Grossman in Hatcher’s #2) while others border on blasphemy (Avery in Hull’s and Verbeek’s #16, Jeremy Stevenson and Chris Conner in Nieuwendyk’s #25, and any human in Belfour’s #20)

The number 10 gets added to the mix this week. Personally, I’d keep that digit in a velvet trunk for a considerable amount of time - until another character-dripping leader came along to carry-on the tradition.

The Cowboys do the hand-me-down, hold-a-number-out thing quite well. Exhibit A for hand-me-downs is #88 (Pearson to Irvin to Bryant) but at the same time no player has worn #74 since Bob Lilly and no one is ever getting Staubach’s #12 again (Ditto for #8 I’d think). Those numbers aren’t retired, they’re just “out of rotation”.

The Mavs have retired Brad Davis’ #15 and Rolando Blackman’s #22 (Got a feeling the big German’s #41 ain’t getting’ handed out after he’s done with it)

The Rangers have only retired one number, Nolan Ryan’s #34.

In conclusion, here is the Razorboy Rule for NHL player jersey retirement:

The player has to have been drafted by the team (or arrived in organization as a pup), spent a decade or more in the jersey, and performed at a level at which his legend is not debatable. Born, nurtured, blossomed, connected, endured, dominated, retired…honored.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 13 5 10 2 15
J. Spezza 13 5 8 0 13
C. Eakin 13 1 7 -4 8
A. Goligoski 13 4 3 -6 7
P. Sharp 13 4 2 -4 6
P. Eaves 9 3 3 3 6
R. Faksa 13 3 2 2 5
M. Janmark 12 2 3 -3 5
C. Sceviour 11 2 3 1 5
J. Klingberg 13 1 3 -5 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 6 3 0 .899 2.81
A. Niemi 1 3 2 .865 3.29
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