Canadien's retired numbers...
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10-22-2003, 06:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted by
I have a question that I've been wondering about for years but it is kind of off topic but pertains to jersey numbers still...
I remember Joe Sakic wearing 88 in Quebec before Lindros was drafted by the Nordiques. Was Joe asked to change his number by the management because of Eric? What was the reason for his number change? Does anybody know?
To have this answered would be like lifting a 10 pound weight around my neck that I've been carrying around for 15 years...so thanks in advance!
I'm here to lift the weight.
When Joe Sakic made the Nordiques out of training camp, he wanted to wear #19, but he was unable to do so because defenseman Alain Cote wore the number at the time.
Sakic was trying to figure out what number to wear instead when the Nordiques trainer suggested he wear #88, which represented his first year in the NHL (1988-89 season.)
When the veteran blueliner didn't return the following year, Sakic inherited his sweater number.
Interesting side note, 2 years later the Nordiques drafted Owen Nolan first overall.
He also started his Nordiques career wearing #88. In this case, Eric Lindros was involved, however, not in the reason he stopped wearing it. Nolan wore #88 *BECAUSE* of Lindros. Nolan hated Lindros so much from their OHL days when Eric was praised as the second coming, that he decided to wear #88 in his rookie season to 'steal his thunder' in a manner of speaking, because he felt Lindros wearing #88 was an ego thing, the kid wearing a number similar to Gretzky and Lemieux and very unique in the NHL. He felt that by wearing #88 himself, and a first overall pick, he could steal some of the uniqueness. However, he struggled so badly early that year that he got rid of the number and took his more familiar #11.
Hope this helps.
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