The Ottawa Senators now have a new number 18! Third overall pick, Tim Stuetzle has chosen to go with the number 18, being the first Ottawa Senator since Ryan Dzingel to wear the number. According to Hockey Reference, he will be the 8th Ottawa Senator to wear the number in team history. He has also chosen to use the “Stueztle” spelling instead of the “Stützle” option for the back of his jersey.
Let’s talk numbers…
It`s a known fact that Stueztle number of choice would be number 8, which was retired in honour of Frank Finnigan. Finnigan was a very important piece when it came to the Ottawa Senators returning to the NHL back in 1993, however, he passed away before the team could ever play a game in the NHL, so it was decided that his former number, 8 would be retired in his honour.
When Stueztle was drafted, he had a jersey with the number 88 on it. It was heavily believed throughout the hockey world that he would wear number 88, myself included. But, for whatever reason, he has chosen to go with number 18. I do find it a little funny that he is the 8th player to wear this number, considering 8 is his go-to number, and there is an 8 in the number 18. Just had to get that out there.
While there are theories circulating around the inter
net on why Stueztle is not wearing 88, I will not address any of them for now.
Let’s fantasize a bit…
Before I start, this is NOT going to happen, and I don’t want it to. This is purely based on a Twitter interaction I had earlier, and it led me to think.
Someone had mentioned the thought of “un-retiring” Finnigan’s number 8 and it gave me the question. Has a jersey number ever been un-retired in the NHL? Off the top of my head, I can only think of is when the Vancouver Canucks un-retired Wayne Maki’s number 11 to give it to the -agent acquisition, Mark Messier.
I won’t spend too much time on that, but I did look to see if there were more examples of this happening, and according to this page (I’m not sure how legit this is) It has mostly happened temporarily. For example, when Mario Lemieux made his comeback to the NHL, he was able to wear his iconic #66. Or when Bobby Hull‘s number was given to his son, Brett.
While I was looking forward to Tim Stuetzle wearing number 88, at the end of the day, a number is just a number. I am glad he’s made his choice, it’s one step closer to seeing him actually play for the Ottawa Senators.
Also, for those who are hating on the team or Stueztle for this choice, please remember that it was Stueztle’s choice in the first place and that the Sens are probably going to offer restitching for those who bought an #88 jersey. You can find more on that here.