So, about that policy of lower numbers for the Calgary Flames …
Yeah, apparently that’s officially blown out the water.
When free-agent acquisition Michael Frolik was introduced to the media and presented with his sweater, it had No. 67 on it.
So, what’s in a number, Michael?
“When I get to junior, I decided to get a little bit higher number,” he said.
“My favourite player was Jaromir Jagr and he’s number 68, so I said let’s go one number lower than him.”
He’s not the only player whose permanent sweater number is north of 40.
Sam Bennett, the 2014 first-round pick who played a dozen NHL games last year, will don No. 93 — switching to the number he donned in junior in honour of Doug Gilmour from the No. 63 he was given at training camp — and Brandon Bollig has traded No. 25 for No. 52.
One player has traded for a lower number: Josh Jooris wore No. 86 last season but has been handed No. 16.
As well, Dougie Hamilton will wear No. 27.
A year ago, Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke said the team would enforce that players wear numbers below 40. And now, it’s gone by the wayside.
“Both Brian and I were very much consistent in our belief,” said GM Brad Treliving, before adding that there are numbers officially and unofficially out of commission (think of the No. 12 worn by Jarome Iginla and No. 14 that Theoren Fleury made famous), plus players become accustomed to a number given to them in training camp and want to keep it (Bollig is in that category).
“I don’t want to put this on Michael, this is on me,” Treliving said.
“We’ve made our decision to expand our numbers.”