Former first overall draft pick Brian Lawton is the only player in league history to wear #98.
Lawton became the first American to be draft first overall when the Minnesota North Stars opened the 1983 Draft by calling his name.
Then North Stars GM Lou Nanne, with his franchise in free-fall just two years removed from a trip to the Stanley Cup final needed Lawton to be a big star for Minnesota to save his job. He quickly annointed him the "American Gretzky" to get the local press buzzing about his new acquistion. Of course this put a ton of pressure on Lawton but Nanne was oblivious.
He then took the next stop of assigning him jersey #98, just one less then Gretzky. Needless to say, Lawton never panned out and soon dumped jersey #98 and settled for just number eight.
whats reallllly weird is i created latendresse in nhl 07 when i first heard he was signed, and i didnt know what number to pick for him so i just guessed and for some reason i went with 84, a number that i hadnt thought really anybody that i knew of wore, i guess it was a helluva guess
Let's hope we'll see nice numbers such as -14 or 4,2 or even 134
The NHL rulebook thinks otherwise;
Section 2, Rule 13 :
Each player and each goalkeeper listed in the lineup of each Team shall wear an individual identifying number at least ten inches (10") high on the back of his sweater. Sweater numbers such as 00, 1/2 (fractions), .05 (decimals), 101 (three digit) are not permitted.