Taylor Hall debuted his new number that he will wear on his back when he debuts with the New Jersey Devils come October.
He had worn number 4 during his entire NHL career with the Edmonton Oilers. But when he was traded to the Devils late last month, that number was no longer an option due to it being retired in honor of Scott Stevens with New Jersey.
The superstar left winger needed a new number and he turned to one that has served some Devils in particular and hockey players in general well over the years.
He will suit up wearing the number 9, a number worn by former Devil superstars like Kirk Muller and Zach Parise. Fan favorite Bernie Nicholls wore it in 1994 when the Devils began their breakthrough into the NHL’s elite. Neal Broten wore it on the 1995 Stanley Cup team while (a little less notably) Brendan Morrison wore it in 2000 and Jiri Bicek wore it in 2003.
Most recently, Jiri Tlusty had worn the number last year.
Overall in hockey history, the number 9 is revered. Bobby Hull wore the number as did the late, great Gordie Howe, and Howe’s use of the number allowed Wayne Gretzky (a huge fan of Howe) to double it up into the most famous hockey number of all: 99.
The NHL and the Devils have wasted no time in getting merchandise up for pre-order with the name “Hall” and the number “9” on Shop.NHL.com.
The Devils had created some interest on their official All Access team blog when blogger Julie Robenhymer mentioned that the announcement would be made today by the Devils’ equipment guy, Rich on his Twitter account.
The Devils have a pretty good player on their hands with Taylor Hall and in the 2016-17 season, he will be wearing a pretty good number as well.