Oct 22, 2012, 8:09 PM EDT
Is Wayne Gretzky’s number sacred to you? In the NHL, no player can wear the No. 99, in honor of The Great One’s record-shattering career.
Sportsnet’s Luke Fox reported on the story and asked, “Could this be seen as another shot across the pond at the stagnant NHL?”
He also noted that Backstrom’s number with the Capitals, 19, was already taken and so was 91.
Ultimately, unless Backstrom states his intentions, we can only guess at his reasoning.
It does seem appropriate to add that, as ESPN once wrote, Gretzky originally wanted to wear No. 9 for his idol and another legend, Gordie Howe, when he was a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The only reason he didn’t do it was because that number was already taken and eventually his coach suggested No. 99 as a compromise.
Wearing another player’s number can be a tribute or a sign of the type of player you look up to, but this is one story that might rub some people the wrong way even if Backstrom’s motivations truly are innocent.
- Lightning ‘answer the challenge’ in Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final 7
- Vigneault: McDonagh was playing with a broken foot 14
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers 69
- The Ducks got Kesler for a game like Saturday’s 32
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win 54
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 14
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 46
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 18
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue 56
- Stanley Cup Final to begin June 3 10
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (77)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (69)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ (54)