November 10, 2007

By The Numbers: From 00 To 99

Hockey is a game of numbers. Goals. Assists. Penalty Minutes. Salaries, nowadays. But no numbers are more revered than a player's sweater number.

Sweater numbers not only identify players, but forever etch a player into our memory. Think of Wayne Gretzky or Bobby Orr or Mario Lemieux. The numbers on their backs are often as iconic as they are.

Hockey Night In Canada with author Scott Morrison has come out with Hockey Night in Canada By the Numbers: From 00 to 99. The book looks at the great personalities for every number, from 00 to 99. Incredible photography and fast facts make this a beautiful book to thumb through.

Controversy is always a great seller, so this book attempts to do so by ranking who was the best player to wear each number. Such strategy is a brilliant way to spark a lively debate and rekindle a lot of fond memories.

Can anyone catch Bobby Orr for jersey number 4? Not even Jean Beliveau? How fast is Vincent Lecavalier climbing the list?

How about jersey #9, once the most revered number of all? How do you choose from Gordie Howe, Rocket Richard and Bobby Hull?

#19 is another topic of hot debate. Steve Yzerman? Bryan Trottier? Joe Sakic? Larry Robinson?

And how can you possibly choose from all the goalies who traditionally wore #1 or #30?

The story of each player's choice of jersey number is often explained. And there is tons of antectdotal information through out the book. Who else wore #99 and #66? What skaters wore jersey #1?

This is a real fun book, blessed with great production quality and photos, and fascinating information. I really enjoyed this title.


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