Move over Garth Snow, there’s a new man in town.
Lou Lamoriello, a veteran of too many seasons to count, is officially the new general manager for the New York Islanders, and his recent transition could cause numerical changes to both the Isles, and his former club, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Numerical changes to the back of their jerseys, that is.
Lou has been known to have a few superstitions throughout his career, and with him now in town (and out in Toronto), players might be forced to spice things up a bit. With that in mind, here are four players who could see a number change next season.
Remember young Willie, when he used to rock a 62 on his back instead of 29? Lamoriello has a weird thing about players using high numbers, and it’s hardly a surprise that the highest number worn by a Leafs player last year was Andreas Borgman at 55. With the 75-year-old out of town, could Willie change back to his original digit?
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In addition to high numbers, Lou also prevents his players from wearing the number 13. Barzal, who’s just one season into his professional career, might be asked to switch things up with the new general manager in town. It seems a bit ridiculous to ask the reigning Calder Trophy winner such a question, but Lou’s traditional ways could come out on top.
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So Lou comes to town and all of the sudden Ho-Sang changes from 66 to 26 in camp. Doesn’t exactly sound like coincidence to us! Nothing has been made official yet, but it’s looking like Ho-sang will be donning a new number next season.
Same story, different player. Don’t be surprised if the 21-year-old is forced to hit the ice wearing a different number next season, even after coming off of a career year in which he tallied 21 markers.
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The winner in all of this is definitely John Tavares. What would have happened if Lou were still in town in Toronto? Or if the Islanders managed to re-sign the forward? You’ve got to think he would have been fine, but it probably would have bothered Lou a bit deep down.