Both A Theory of Ice and Tom Benjamin have jersey retirements on the brain, so I figured it was a good time to point out the incredible number of ceremonies there'll be this season.
The three most high profile ones are likely to be those of Patrick Roy in Montreal, Trevor Linden in Vancouver and Mike Gartner in Washington but no less than seven other players' numbers will also be retired this season:
Carolina, No. 2, Glen Wesley
Chicago, No. 3, Pierre Pilote
Chicago, No. 3, Keith Magnuson
Edmonton, No. 9, Glenn Anderson
N.Y. Rangers, No. 3, Harry Howell
N.Y. Rangers, No. 9, Andy Bathgate
N.Y. Rangers, No. 9, Adam Graves
Seems like quite a few, no?
I love sitting in an arena and seeing the old names hanging up high, like those in Joe Louis Arena or even the barn back in Kamloops. After hundreds and hundreds of junior hockey games, I still remember the four the Blazers have retired even though I haven't been back for a game in ages: Dean Evason, Greg Evtushevski, Mark Recchi and Greg Hawgood.
And I wasn't yet 10 years old when they left town.
I think retiring numbers is a great way to connect the past with the present, for the fans and the players on the ice. It's just unfortunate that, at this rate, we'll be running out of ones to give those still in the game.