The Red Wings announced new jersey numbers for some of their players via social media on Tuesday afternoon.
Hot off the press! pic.twitter.com/QH6P86HRru
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 16, 2022
I had attempted to predict some of these and, as I noted on Twitter, I was very wrong.
My thoughts (some of which I’ve already Tweeted), in no particular order…
David Perron getting #57 is no surprise. It was available, it’s clearly his preferred number, there’s a match there.
Same thing with Ville Husso and #35, though there could have been question as to whether the team would hold that number out of circulation for Jimmy Howard (I didn’t expect that).
I had expected Lucas Raymond to switch to #18, which has been his preferred number to this point, with Marc Staal having departed. Maybe I shouldn’t have. It has become exceedingly rare for players to switch numbers after debuting for Detroit. No matter how many times I heard that Tomas Tatar was on the verge of switching to #90 or Justin Abdelkader was going to move to #89, it never happened. Taro Hirose switched from #53 to #67 to #25 but before that we might be going back to Joakim Andersson switching from #63 to… #18.
With Raymond not taking #18, it was available for Andrew Copp, Dominik Kubalik, and Robert Haag. Copp got it, which makes sense as the longer-term signing, and Kubalik inverted it to #81 with Haag taking the next available number that ended with an 8 in #38.
Olli Maatta didn’t get his usual #3, instead going with #2. Simon Edvinsson has been assigned #3 but I’d figured the Wings would never block Maatta from taking it, especially since Edvinsson seems to be more tied to #7 (though, as @hwcJay noted and I completely missed, Edvinsson did wear #3 earlier in his career). Maybe Maatta chose #2, maybe he wasn’t allowed to have #3, I don’t know.
I’d expected Mark Pysyk to take #23 (with Raymond having moved on to #18) as his usual #13 is unavailable. With #23 still in use and following the same logic as applied to Haag, Pysyk goes from #13 to #43.
The biggest surprise, to me, was Jake Walman giving up #8 to Ben Chiarot and switching to #96. Chiarot had worn #8 with Montreal and Florida but had #7 after breaking through with the Jets and seemed more tied to that number early in his career. I thought Chiarot would either double that up to take #77 or take the closest available number in #2. Instead, Walman switches to his birth year, which gives us some funny history with #96.
Though I do find it kind of funny that Holmstrom ended up wearing No 96 in honor of his rookie year when another player came to DRW and asked for the number he was wearing. Now Walman gets No 96 in honor of his birth year when another player asked for the number he was wearing.
— DetroitHockey.Net (@detroithockey96) August 16, 2022
As far as Austin Czarnik’s #21, Matt Luff’s #22, Pontus Andreasson’s #26, Jussi Olkinuora’s #45, and Steven Kampfer’s #54, I’ll admit that I didn’t even take time to consider them.
Not that Development Camp numbers can ever really be taken as meaningful, but this leaves several Wings prospects looking for new jersey numbers.
Kienan Draper loses #21, Amadeus Lombardi loses #96, Robert Mastrosimone loses #54 (after having previously been forced to switch from #14), Carter Mazur loses the #43 of his idol (Darren Helm), Cooper Moore loses #81, and Carter Gylander loses #35.
Some of those players won’t be back in a Detroit camp until next summer, at which point some of the new Red Wings’ contracts will be up, so they may never actually need to switch numbers.