The Toronto Maple Leafs announced what is some relatively unimportant news on Saturday evening, but news that will appeal to their diehard fan base nonetheless. The Leafs revealed today the new numbers that would be worn by 4 of their key free agent acquisitions this offseason in forward Wayne Simmonds, forward Joe Thornton, defenseman T.J. Boride and defenseman Zach Bogosian.
As I said in the grand scheme of things this isn't big news, but there are a few tidbits of information in here that makes things pretty interesting for a storied franchise like the Leafs. For starters Joe Thornton will be ditching the number 19 when he comes to Toronto and instead will be wearing number 97, a move that will make him the first player in the history of the Leafs franchise to have worn that number. Call me crazy here but I strongly suspect that this is going to be a big seller for the Maple Leafs and retail outlets in Toronto, even prior to the start of next season.
Defenseman T.J. Brodie will also be getting a new number, ditching the number 7 that he had previously worn with the Flames, and instead he will adopt the number 78 for next season. Much like with Joe Thornton, Brodie's new number 78 will also make him the first player to ever wear that number as a Maple Leaf.
Zach Bogosian is also getting a new number, ditching the number 24 that he wore with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and in his case his new number will be 22. Wayne Simmonds will also be getting a new number, having previously worn the number 17 with every team that he played for, and he will instead take the number 24.