Plekanec changes his number.
The Montreal Gazette posted a very interesting article this morning about Tomas Plekanec, who previously was number 35, has changed to almost forever worn by Plekanec before arriving in Montreal, No. 14. He had worn this number as a boy and a budding pro in his native Czech Republic, then with the AHL’s Hamilton BUlldogs.
As soon as he found out that Radek Bonk signed in Nashville, “he pounced on number 14 like it was a juicy rebound” (Quoted by Dave Stubbs of The Montreal Gazette).
Canadiens equipment manager, Pierre Gervais said: “Tomas text-messaged and emailed me very soon after Radek signed in Nashville, asking if he could switch to 14″ … “It was okay with me in the summer; but it would have been more complicated during the season.”
Plecanec is one of five Canadiens with “new” numbers for 2007-08. Others include free agent signings; Tom Kostopolous who will wear number 6, previoulsy worn by Janne Niinimaa, No.20 Bryan Smolinski (Mike Johson), No.44 Roman Haamrlik (Sheldon Souray), and No.71 Patrice Brisebois (Mike Ribeiro.
Brisebois imports his number from Colorado, choosing not to take the available 43 he wore with Montreal from 1990-2004. Creates the feeling of a fresh start for the seasoned veteran.
All others have had to find fresh ones. Smolinski’s 21 is worn by Christopher Higgins, and Kostopoulos’s 29 and Hamrlik’s 4 are retired numbers by the Canadiens, honoring Hall of Famers Ken Dryden and Jean Beliveau.
“Tom and Roman asked if they could have their old numbers,” Gervais said, laughing. “I told them, No I don’t think so.”
With training camp only a month away, every nameplate soon will be sewn onton the Canadiens new high-tech Reebok jerseys.
At 24 years of age, fresh off a superb 20-goal, 27-assist sophomore season, he is growing into his game and his jersey, No. 14 again in his back and No.35 available to anyone who asks.
One teammate, who’s never seemed the superstitious sort, heartily approves of the switch: “I’m happy he changed number – 35 was a bad one.” The teammate was listed in the article.