Sweater Switch '09, Part 2

First, check out Part 1: Pronger, Havlat, Tavares, Hedman, Ashton

Jay BouwmeesterTonight, we start with the Calgary Flames and their recent addition of blue-liner Jay Bouwmeester. Great picture to the left, by the way.

He was traded by the Florida Panthers in exchange for Jordan Leopold on June 27. Both players were set to become free agents on July 1 but both have since signed deals with the teams they were traded to.

Bouwmeester donned a Flames sweater when he was introduced at a team press conference. His name stretches from shoulder to shoulder across the back of his No. 4 jersey — the same number he wore during his six seasons with the Panthers.

Unfortunately, the article (linked above) doesn't address his reasoning for wearing the number. If anyone can find an explanation, email or comment. I know lots of folks are enjoying the stories behind the sweater numbers.

We continue with the Flames' opponent in their most recent attempt at a Stanley Cup run. The Tampa Bay Lightning added Mattias Ohlund and Matt Walker this summer, both of whom were on hand to meet fans tonight at the Young Guns Camp.

Matt Walker and Mattias Ohlund

They're not wearing their new Bolts sweaters here, as they speak to TV announcer Rick Peckham. However, fan giveaways included a No. 2 Ohlund sweater, seen below.

A fan holds up her Ohlund jersey

This means either Lukas Krajicek will be getting a new number this year, or this is a placeholder for Ohlund. But Ohlund has seniority.

Interestingly, Krajicek and Ohlund played together in Vancouver during the 2007-08 season. For the record, Krajicek wore No. 5 then, which is currently available in Tampa.

Regarding Walker, I believe he wore No. 8 last season in Chicago and No. 28 prior to that in St. Louis. Neither is being used by Lightning players at the moment.

Side note: Am I starting to take jersey numbers to seriously? Really, there's not much else to talk about at this point and I want to keep updating the blog.

Either way, the Montreal Canadiens have an entire article up on their web site dedicated to the jersey numbers of two of their newest members. Mike Cammalleri has worn No. 13 his entire career, with both the Kings and Flames (and even before that), and will continue to do so with the Habs.

Scott Gomez has a longer story. Since normal numbers are getting harder to come by for the NHL's most storied franchise, Gomez could use neither of his previous numbers. He began his career in New Jersey with No. 23 and switched to No. 19 when he joined the Rangers. As the article points out, his current GM and former coach have had those numbers retired. Instead, Gomez will do a reversal and wear No. 91 in Montreal.

The article also mentions that he is the first player in team history to do so, leaving a mere 11 numbers still yet to be used. Sadly, there are not yet pictures of either player in his bleu, blanc et rouge. (Though if you want to see Gomez in red, white and blue, he was just with the Rangers.)

Ryan SmythWe'll finish off Part 2 with new L.A. King Ryan Smyth. Smyth recently posed for pictures with his his new jersey. It doesn't appear to have a number on it, but there should be nothing stopping him from keeping the No. 94 he's worn throughout his career as he heads to Los Angeles.

Smyth actually wore No. 10 for the three games he played for the Edmonton Oilers in the abbreviated 1995 season. Ever since then, he's stuck with the No. 94, including his brief stint with the Islanders prior to joining the Avalanche.

And all that useless information should wrap things up for Part 2 of Sweater Switch '09. I hope to have a Part 3 soon but that will all depend on the speed at which pictures of new free agent signees pop up.

As always, if you see anything, please drop me a line. My email address can be found at the top of the page.