With the Red Wings having released their roster for the 2019 Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, we have a chance to take a look at how the jersey numbers assigned have changed since the team’s development camp in June.
The short answer: Not much.
The Red Wings are bringing many of the same players who were at development camp to Traverse City and most of them are keeping the numbers they had last time around. That said, there are some changes of note.
Two players will skate with the Red Wings in Traverse City who weren’t at development camp. Goalies Sean Romeo and Anthony Popovich, both free-agent try-outs, have been assigned the Red Wings’ standard “random goalie prospect numbers,” with Romeo getting #68 and Popovich getting #80. Try-out Drew DeRidder had been assigned #68 while Keith Petruzelli wore #80.
Given Detroit’s history assigning numbers, these changes are virtually meaningless.
Three players returning from June have new numbers.
This could indicate that players wearing #26 and #50 will be in the Red Wings’ main camp. Those numbers weren’t included when the team announced new numbers for players next season, which would suggest that anyone wearing them in camp would either be a try-out or otherwise not expected to make the Detroit roster.
With that in mind, I’m going to make a couple guesses.
Thomas Vanek remains unsigned and has a good relationship with the Red Wings’ organization, though it was under Ken Holland rather than Steve Yzerman. As such, the open #26 could be Vanek on a try-out, reclaiming the number he wore last year.
Similarly, #50 could be defenseman Dan Girardi, who usually wears the #5 that is retired in Detroit. Girardi, coming off of two seasons in Tampa Bay with Yzerman as his GM, might be of interest to Detroit if they were moving one of their current veteran defensemen prior to the start of the season. Without such a deal, adding Girardi would just contribute to the ever-present blueline logjam throughout the Wings organization.
Of course, it’s “just” the Prospects Tournament, and the players changing are all try-outs, so these number changes could mean nothing.
The full roster is as follows: