Lots of players have gotten new teams in the last couple of weeks either by trade or, mostly, free agent signings. Like in the past, I'd like to start collecting photos of these guys wearing or clutching their new team's sweater. If you know of any players I'm missing, shoot an email!
One of the biggest signings of the summer was also the saddest for me. I was one of the deluded Lightning fans hoping that Brad Richards would choose to come back to the team where he won his Stanley Cup. And the team that drafted him. Especially now that all of the pieces we got for him are gone (Jussi Jokinen, Jeff Halpern and Mike Smith). Guess the home town discount was a little to steep for him.
Anyway, Richards signed with the New York Rangers on July 2 and four days later he was in the Big Apple being given his new No. 19 sweater. Richards is returning the number he wore during his seven seasons in Tampa Bay. He played the last three and change in Dallas wearing No. 91.
For Richards to have 19 in New York, it meant former Lightning teammate Ruslan Fedotenko had to give it up. So Rusty then took No. 26 which he previously wore in Pittsburgh. The domino effect continued with Erik Christensen who was wearing 26 last season. He now has 40. This all comes by way of the Rangers' official Twitter account, which also indicated new addition Mike Rupp will wear No. 71.
On July 8, the Florida Panthers held a press conference to introduce nine of their newest players to the media (and there are in fact more than nine total). Matt Bradley wore No. 10 in Washington but will switch to No. 22 in south Florida (David Booth has 10). Scottie Upshall had No. 8 in Phoenix and will now wear No. 19 (Tim Kennedy has 8).
Michael Repik, now wearing No. 26, gave up his No. 32 sweater for newcomer Kris Versteeg who previously wore it in Chicago and Toronto. (Most recently in Philadelphia he wore No. 10 even though the equipment guys had 32 prepared for him.) In addition, Nolan Yonkman, who came from Phoenix where he was No. 52, will be No. 34 with the Panthers. Early in his career, he wore No. 40 in Washington. (I think he just picks them randomly.)
New goalie Jose Theodore will continue to wear his famous No. 60 while Brian Campbell will stick with 51. Ed Jovanovski returns to the Cats lineup in the same No. 55 he's always worn. Tomas Kopecky is keeping his No. 82 jersey as is Tomas Fleischmann with No. 14.
But it doesn't stop there for the Panthers club, which now barely resembles last year's team. Sean Bergenheim, No. 10 last season in Tampa, will return to No. 20, which he wore with the Islanders. Another recent signee, Marcel Goc, has picked No. 21, according to the Panthers' website. He wore No. 9 most recently in Nashville and No. 11 for several seasons in San Jose.
Still not done. Jack Skille is changing his number from 15 to 12, according to a Panthers tweet. No reason was given. No one else has taken No. 15 in Florida. Finally moving on now...
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov signed with the Colorado Avalanche on July 1. Six days later, he was welcomed by the Denver media and given his new No. 1 sweater by the team. He wore No. 1 last season with the Capitals but had 40 prior to that.
On a related number note, no Avalanche player will ever again sport the No. 21 sweater that Peter Forsberg made famous. According to a tweet on June 30, the team will retire it on opening night (Oct. 8) against the Red Wings.
But wait there's more. I haven't seen photos yet, but a number of other players have already settled on jersey numbers with their new teams.
Details on Dany Heatley and Martin Havlat have moved and can now be found in the July 12 update.
Jaromir Jagr is making his return to the NHL this fall. He's keeping his trademark No. 68 sweater, but this time he's bringing it to the Philadelphia Flyers. You can already buy one. That's just so wrong. Speaking of Philly, newcomer goalie Ilya Bryzgalov will keep his No. 30.
Peter Budaj is joining the Montreal Canadiens this season. He hasn't yet said what number he'll wear, but he won't be hanging on to the No. 31 he wore in Denver as long as Carey Price is around. For that matter, newcomer Erik Cole will probably have to give up the No. 26 uniform he had as a Hurricane unless Josh Gorges decides to give it up.
In a July 7 tweet, the St. Louis Blues announced Jason Arnott will keep the No. 44 he wore in Washington and Jamie Langenbrunner will keep his No. 15 jersey. Arnott previously had No. 25 in New Jersey.
And in what could possibly be the best name/number combination to ever skate on NHL ice, Mike Commodore tweeted on July 6 that he's considering sporting No. 64 for the Detroit Red Wings. He's had No. 22 for the last three years in Columbus.
Let me know if I've missed anyone important. And if you do, please provide a link to a tweet or news article for verification... something beyond a team website's roster page. Those aren't always updated.
Looks like there were a "number" of announcements I skipped over. Rectifying that now.
Perhaps the biggest oversight was the prodigal son returning home as the Edmonton Oilers welcomed back Ryan Smyth and his No. 94 sweater. He said a tearful goodbye to the Oilers in 2007 and spent time with the Islanders, Avalanche and Kings before coming back for 2011-12. Thanks to Kody for the email.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have added a few some faces and have been announcing their new sweater numbers all over Twitter.
On June 29, the Blue Jackets acquired James Wisnewski from Montreal. He will switch to No. 21 after having No. 20 with the Habs. (The Jackets shared a photo here.) Kristian Huselius currently dons 20 in Columbus. On July 6, the Blue Jackets tweeted about jersey numbers of other recent signees.
New goalie Curtis Sanford will take No. 30. He's bounced around the AHL a lot but has spent time as a back-up in Vancouver, where he wore No. 41, and St. Louis, where he was No. 1. Jackets starter Steve Mason has 1 while 41 is not taken. Columbus also tweeted numbers for these guys as well: John Moore (4), Aaron Johnson (5), Andrew Joudrey (23), Alexandre Giroux (28), Mark Dekanich (31), and Nicholas Drazenovic (42).
Later Blue Jackets tweets indicated No. 36 for Ryan Johansen and No. 38 for Cam Atkinson (with whom I share a birthday!). Also, new D-man Radek Martinek will wear No. 2. And that's everybody — everybody the Jackets have tweeted about, anyway.
More to come, I'm sure. If you've posted a comment, I apologize for the delay as I haven't had time to get to them yet. Will do this afternoon.
The Sabres have also been busy adding new help this summer.
The Buffalo Sabres traded for Robyn Regehr on Draft Day. On June 30, they held a press conference to introduce him and his new No. 24 sweater. Regehr previously wore No. 28 in Calgary but that's currently locked up by Paul Gaustad.
Ales Kotalik was also part of that deal but it's not clear yet what number he'll wear when he makes his return to Buffalo. He had No. 26 with the Flames which is currently worn by Thomas Vanek. Before that, he had No. 21 in Edmonton, but he began his career as a Sabre where he spent seven seasons wearing No. 12. He also used 12 during a brief stint with the Rangers. Lucky for him, No. 12 appears to be available.
See the July 14 update for the numbers Christian Ehrhoff and Ville Leino will wear. Details on Brent Burns and Devin Setoguchi have moved and can now be found in the July 12 update.
I'm sure there are more I've overlooked. Keep the emails and tweets coming. (And don't forget links.)
The ongoing effort continues with a couple of other notes on the St. Louis Blues (pun). The Blues signed Kent Huskins on July 2 and tweeted on July 7 that he'll have No. 6 this fall. He previously wore No. 40 in San Jose and Anaheim. It is not in use in St. Louis.
That same tweet also indicated that newcomer Scott Nichol will swap the No. 21 he wore as a Shark for No. 12 in St. Louis. Kevin Shattenkirk will give up 12 in favor of 22. No. 21 currently belongs to Patrik Berglund.
In the first part of this post I mentioned Jagr and Bryzgalov, but the Philadelphia Flyers have added many more players beyond that. On June 23, they picked up Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn from the Kings in the Mike Richards trade and brought in Jakub Voracek from Columbus in the Jeff Carter trade.
In a series of tweets on June 27, new sweater numbers were announced by the team. Simmonds will keep No. 17, which was freed up with Carter's departure, and Voracek will switch to No. 9. He wore No. 93 in Columbus, but that was taken by Nikolay Zherdev (who's now an unrestricted free agent unlikely to re-sign). In another tweet, the Flyers said Kris Versteeg would return to No. 32 so Brayden Schenn could have No. 10, but four days later, Versteeg was traded to Florida.
The Flyers also signed free agents Maxime Talbot and Andreas Lilja on July 1. A few days later, the Flyers tweeted that Talbot would take No. 27. He had 25 in Pittsburgh, but it belongs to Matt Carle. I don't have a link Lilja, but the updated website roster shows him in No. 2. Lilja wore No. 3 in Detroit and Anaheim but it's in use by Oskars Bartulis in Philly.
Not to forget Mike Richards in all of this. The Los Angeles Kings tweeted that he'll switch to No. 10 this fall in the black and silver. His No. 18 from Philadelphia hangs from the rafters in L.A. in honor of Dave Taylor.
Other new Kings include Simon Gagne and Colin Fraser. Gagne wore No. 12 in Tampa last year and for many years before that in Philadelphia. It is available in Los Angeles as is the No. 46 Fraser wore in Chicago. He had No. 16 most recently in Edmonton but it's been retired by the Kings.
Another question regarding Gagne's move. When he joined the Tampa Bay Lightning last summer, Ryan Malone gave up No. 12 so Gagne could have it. With him gone now, will Malone switch back from the No. 6 he had last season? We'll see.
This post is getting mighty long. We'll make it a one-stop-shop soon enough. Thanks to everyone who's been pitching in with links.
The next few guys were included in earlier updates, but we have pictures now so I'm putting them together.
Two key pick-ups for the Minnesota Wild this offseason have come by way of trades with the Sharks. Devin Setoguchi was swapped for Brent Burns on June 24, Draft Day while Dany Heatley came in exchange for Martin Havlat on July 4.
Via a tweet on June 29, the Wild revealed Setoguchi will wear the No. 10 sweater. He had No. 16 during most of his tenure in San Jose but Brad Staubitz wears it in Minnesota. Heatley will continue to wear the No. 15 jersey he's worn throughout his career. (It was freed up when Andrew Brunette signed with the Blackhawks on July 1.) The Wild tweeted a picture of what Heatley's new jersey will look like on July 5.
Then on July 11, the team invited the media to meet the franchise's newest stars in their new jerseys. Star-Tribune beat writer Michael Russo tweeted a picture of Heatley in his new threads (above) while the Wild offered a shot of Setoguchi surrounded by a swarm of reporters.
It's worth noting that both players appeared in the green third jersey, which is also what the Wild gave to their 2011 draft picks. The Wild were the only team to give third jerseys out at the draft — but they did host it. Still, this has led some to wonder whether a change is in store. Might they be working on a home/alternate jersey swap? Or is it just that the green looks better for photo ops?
Of course these big trades go both ways, so let's check in on the two former members of the Wild who have joined the San Jose Sharks this summer. What numbers will they find themselves in when they start sporting teal?
The Sharks have not held any sort of media event yet, but new sweater numbers have been made known via Twitter. The team tweeted that Brent Burns will sport No. 88. It's the first time that number will be occupied in the franchise's 20-year history. With the Wild, Burns had No. 8, which belongs to Joe Pavelski in San Jose.
Noted hockey tweeter/agent Allan Walsh has said Martin Havlat will wear No. 9, which his father wore during his career in the Czech Republic. He had 9 while playing for the Senators for the first several years of his career.
Havlat wore No. 14 with the Wild but is most noted for the 24 jersey he had in Chicago. Upon joining the Wild in 2009, Havlat claimed in a tweet to have lost an arm wrestle to Derek Boogaard, who had 24 at the time. Both 24 and 14 are currently available in San Jose, though clearly 9 is Havlat's preferred number.
I'll continue to keep an eye out for new press events and photos. Feel free to help out if you see something I've missed. Don't forget to include a link.
The Montreal Canadiens announced some new sweater numbers on their website today. Erik Cole will have No. 72 while David Desharnais switches to No. 51.
On July 1, the Habs signed Lightning-killer Cole away from the the Hurricanes and I, for one, am grateful to have him out of the division. But more to the point, his new team says he will switch to No. 72 when the 2011-12 season begins. Cole wore No. 26 throughout his eight seasons in Raleigh. He even had it when he played part of 2008-09 in Edmonton before going back to the Canes. But in Montreal, Josh Gorges owns 26, hence the change.
An article on the Canadiens' website goes into detail with Cole on his decision. Basically, it boils down to the fact that Montreal has so many retired numbers (which is ridiculous), that he had to go back to a number he once wore as a teenager.
There was also a write-up about Desharnais' decision to switch his sweater number from 58 to 51. It talks about the only other players to ever sport those digits, including Aaron Palushaj last year during his call-up from Hamilton. He'll need a new number if he joins the team again this year.
We're still waiting on Peter Budaj to pick a number other than 31, then that's it for the Habs.
By the way, for those of you fixated on the Reebok wordmark vs. vector logo "issue"... the Canadiens photos above should make your heads explode.
Ehrhoff, a member of the Stanley Cup-finalist Vancouver Canucks last year, previously wore No. 5, but it seems No. 10 is his preferred number. He wore 10 it during his years in San Jose as well as on the German national team. It was taken by Ryan Johnson when he joined the Canucks in 2009.
Meanwhile, Leino is giving up the No. 22 he wore in Philadelphia, as it belongs to Brad Boyes in Buffalo. He had No. 21 during his early years in Detroit but that's Drew Stafford's number. Hey, now that I think of it, maybe he's just using his sweater to count each NHL team he's played for. Started with 21, then 22, now 23. Hmm.
Ales Kotalik still needs to settle on a number as well. But as I've mentioned earlier, No. 12 is most likely as that's what he previously wore in Buffalo and it is available.
When Gagne joined the Tampa Bay Lightning last summer, Ryan Malone already had the No. 12 sweater, but gave it to Gagne and used No. 6 instead.
With Gagne's departure, Malone may be switching back. Tampa Tribune beat writer Erik Erlendsson tweeted about that on Tuesday.
Speaking of the Bolts, five new additions still have yet to select their sweater numbers. Bruno Gervais had No. 8 with the Islanders, Tom Pyatt wore No. 94 in Montreal and Matt Gilroy was No. 97 as a Ranger. All of those numbers are available.
However, Ryan Shannon will have to trade in his No. 26 from Ottawa. I think that may be the first number the Lightning will retire after Marty St. Louis calls it a career. Also, Alexandre Picard had No. 21 with Columbus so he'll have to fight Mattias Ritola for it.
I'll continue to keep an eye out for number announcements and would welcome any help.
The Chicago Blackhawks have announced sweater numbers for a handful of their new acquisitions. This actually comes by way of a team tweet from July 5. They referred readers to their website's roster page which they confirm is updated.
The Hawks have lots of newcomers so let's go down the list. Rostislav Olesz will hang onto the No. 85 sweater he wore as a Panther. Sean O'Donnell is keeping the No. 6 he wore during his second stint in Los Angeles (and during his first one in the '90s). Andrew Brunette will continue to don No. 15 as he did in Minnesota while Dan Carcillo sticks with his No. 13 jersey as he joins the Blackhawks from Philadelphia.
Now, we move on to the guys who are changing their numbers. New D-man Steve Montador swaps the No. 4 he had in Buffalo for a new No. 5 Chicago sweater, thanks to Niklas Hjalmarsson. Jamal Mayers seems to prefer No. 21, which he wore during the first part of his career in St. Louis and Toronto, but the Blackhawks have it retired for Stan Mikita. Instead, Mayers will have No. 22 this fall. He most recently wore No. 10 as a Shark and No. 19 as a Flame before that.
I think that about wraps it up for the Hawks. They just signed Sami Lepisto today, who wore No. 18 with Phoenix before being traded last season to Columbus, where he had No. 4. He also wore No. 42 briefly with the Capitals as a rookie. No. 4 is taken and 18 is retired.
The Tampa Bay Lightning tweeted this morning that recently signed goalie Mathieu Garon will sport No. 32 this season. I somewhat embarrassingly forgot about him when writing about the Lightning's new additions in yesterday's update.
For what it's worth, the Garon announcement comes exactly a day after Matt Smaby was signed away by the Ducks. He's been wearing No. 32 for the last couple of seasons. Look how that worked out.
For as long as this post has become, this is by no means the end of it. We've only covered 15 of 30 teams so far. I'm sure there are still plenty more announcements to come.
The Ducks, Bruins, Flames, Hurricanes, Stars, Predators, Devils, Islanders, Senators, Coyotes, Penguins, Maple Leafs, Canucks, Capitals and Jets — who don't even have jerseys yet — all still have yet to announce anything about their new players outside of their website roster pages.
And as always, if you see anything I've missed, please feel free to send it along so I can add it on.
The Winnipeg Jets still lack a logo or jersey, but they did announce new sweater numbers for their players this afternoon via Twitter. The updated roster includes digits for newcomers as well as some former Thrashers looking to make a change.
In one tweet, the Jets said Jim Slater will swap his No. 23 jersey he wore in Atlanta in favor of No. 19. And Patrice Cormier will go with No. 28 instead of No. 45 next season. Apart from those two, it appears the rest of the returning guys will keep their Thrasher numbers.
Now, the new guys. Eric Fehr will give up the No. 16 sweater, which he wore in D.C., for No. 17. Jets captain Andrew Ladd is keeping 16. Ex-Bolt Randy Jones switches back to the No. 12 he once had as a King. He previously wore No. 8 in Tampa Bay and No. 6 in Philadelphia. Also Tanner Glass will hang onto his No. 15 jersey from Vancouver.
Speaking of ex-Canucks, Rick Rypien will be No. 11 in Winnipeg. He wore No. 37 in Vancouver but that number was retired by the Atlanta Thrashers in memory of Dan Snyder. By the way, this particular topic has stirred up emotions regarding who owns the history of the original Jets and their retired numbers.
The facts are these: The Phoenix Coyotes will retain the records and history of the original incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets (1979) while the new Winnipeg Jets (2011) will keep the records and history of the Atlanta Thrashers. This includes retired numbers and all. (The NHL and new Jets ownership have confirmed.)
This means Evander Kane will continue to wear his No. 9 sweater as a Jet, despite the fact that it was retired by the '79 Jets for Bobby Hull. No Phoenix Coyotes player will wear No. 9 — or No. 25 for that matter, which was also retired in honor of Thomas Steen. Only No. 37 is retired by the Thrashers (current Jets).
There may be fans who aren't pleased to hear this, but that's the way it is. I'm sure they'll be just as displeased when they see the new logo and uniforms — which will not resemble the old Jets. The fact is, this is a different team just happens to have the same name.
In other jersey number news, the Montreal Canadiens announced yesterday that new goalie Peter Budaj will wear No. 30. He previously had No. 31 with the Avalanche, but it belongs to Carey Price.
I hoped to have a few more numbers to share before writing the next update, but since that doesn't seem to be happening, this one's all about the Toronto Maple Leafs. On Wednesday, the Leafs tweeted numbers for a handful of their newest additions.
Tim Connolly will trade in the No. 19 he donned in Buffalo for a shiny new No. 12 Leafs sweater. His new teammate Joffrey Lupul will hang onto 19 for the time being. Connolly has also worn 18 with the Islanders, but Mike Brown has it Toronto.
New D-man John-Michael Liles, previously No. 4 on the Colorado blue line, will switch to No. 24 this fall. An article on the Leafs' website talks briefly about his decision to change. Basically, he acknowledges the history and traditions in Toronto and, while the number isn't retired, says he's "not looking to come in and take over a number." While the Leafs shy away from fully retiring sweater numbers, they do take notice of special players by "honoring" their digits, as they've done for Hap Day and Red Kelly, each of whom wore No. 4.
Lastly, Cody Franson joins the Leafs from Nashville wear he played two seasons wearing Nos. 32 and, more recently, 4. In Toronto, he will sport No. 22. The Maple Leafs still have yet to announce numbers for Matthew Lombardi and Phillippe Dupuis.
In addition, the Columbus Blue Jackets held a press conference yesterday to introduce Jeff Carter and James Wisnewski to the local media. You can find a photo gallery here. I've also added a picture to number announcement in one of the July 10 updates above.
Another couple of tweets today announced new sweater numbers for the 2011-12 season. The Edmonton Oilers led the way this morning but not with the digits for any of their newcomers. Instead, they said that Theo Peckham will be dropping his No. 49 in favor of No. 24.
Peckham himself even tweeted an apology to fans who own customized gear with what is now his old number. "I apologize to everyone who has peckham 49 gear," he wrote. "Not too many :p but I've worn 24 for the past 7 or so years so when the chance came I switched." Nice of him to say at least. Previously, Steve Staios had No. 24 for the Oil up until the 2009-10 season.
While we're on the subject of Edmonton, there are plenty of new Oilers joining the team this fall and we still don't exactly know what numbers most of them will be wearing. As mentioned in the first update to this post, Ryan Smyth is back sporting his No. 94 once again. As for guys like Ben Eager, Eric Belanger, Cam Barker, Darcy Hordichuk and Andy Sutton... we'll just have to wait.
Additionally, Ryan Shannon settled on No. 22 for his new Tampa Bay Lightning uniform, as confirmed in a team tweet. A week ago, Shannon joked that he would need a new number after losing his bid for No. 26 in a game of rock-paper-scissors with Marty St. Louis.
The last guy to don 22 for the Bolts was Marek Malik in 2008-09, but most fans will always remember Dan Boyle in it during the 2004 Cup run. And because I have ridiculous instant recall of every Lightning player and every number they ever wore: Shawn Chambers, Aaron Gavey, Dino Ciccarelli (of course!), Paul Mara, and Wayne Primeau also belong to the No. 22 club. (And dammit, I just checked my media guide and realized I forgot about Chris McAlpine. So much for my "instant recall." Whatever.)
The Dallas Stars have added new jersey numbers for their summer acquisitions. A tweet on July 22 confirms the updates come from the team's equipment staff.
Radek Dvorak was traded from Florida to Atlanta at the deadline, but won't become a Jet in 2011. Instead, he joins the Stars and plans to hang onto his No. 20 sweater. (Brian Sutherby is not re-signing in Big D.) Fresh off his Stanley Cup championship, newcomer Michael Ryder will stick with No. 73, as he wore with the Bruins and, previously, the Canadiens. Brad Lukowich was last to have it in Dallas.
Another ex-Hab, Sheldon Souray, joins the Stars wearing familiar digits. The veteran will keep No. 44 with the departure of Jeff Woywitka. Also, Jason Williams just signed in Pittsburgh today, freeing up his No. 27 jersey for Adam Pardy in Dallas. Pardy wore Nos. 55 and 7 as a Flame.
Vernon Fiddler joins the Stars, keeping No. 38. It's the same number he wore with the Predators and, more recently, the Coyotes. Jake Dowell, who last wore No. 28 in Chicago, switches to No. 11 as Marc Fistric has 28. And lastly, Eric Godard has opted for the No. 18 uniform, perhaps a hybrid of the No. 17 he had in Calgary and No. 28 he had as a Pen.
We also have an Edmonton Oilers update today. Last night, I mentioned by name five new additions who hadn't yet been assigned sweater numbers. The team offered up four of them in a tweet today. Eric Belanger is keeping No. 20, which he had last year in Phoenix. Ben Eager retains No. 55 from San Jose and Andy Sutton sticks to his familiar No. 25. Meanwhile, Cam Barker trades in his No. 45 Wild sweater for a royal blue 13 in Edmonton.
To round out that group of five from yesterday, Darcy Hordichuk's number has not been announced yet. He wore No. 16 last year with the Panthers and No. 24 prior to that in Vancouver. Theo Peckham just nabbed 24, but 16 has not yet been spoken for, to my knowledge.