Whatever you may think of Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander, you have to acknowledge that this is an incredibly generous and classy gesture on the part of the young forward.
On Monday Nylander took to social media to announce that he would be discarding the number he currently wears in the National Hockey League, #29, and instead would be going back to a number he has worn previously in his career. Now the change in number in and of itself is a pretty bold move when you consider the fact that Nylander will be wearing a number that historically has been associated with a big star. Nylander has announced that he will wear #88 for the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season, and it seems that this change will take effect immediately.
Of course when most old school hockey fans think of the #88 the name that will first pop up into your head is that of former Philadelphia Flyers legend Eric Lindros. Lindros of course is not the only star player to have worn that number however and modern day hockey fans may best associate it with 3 time Stanley Cup Champion Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks. Needless to say those are some truly gigantic shoes to fill when you put on that number, and I do not think for a second that Nylander is trying to suggest that he will be on par with either of those players come next season.
So how is this a gift to Leafs Nation you might ask? Well Nylander took to Instagram on Monday to announce that he would be making the jersey change, news that could dismay those who have already invested their hard earned money into a jersey with the players former number on it. Well it seems Nylander has already thought of that and has in fact already solved that problem for every single Leafs fan that may currently own a Nylander jersey.
Nylander has directed every fan dealing with this issue to head to Real Sports Toronto where the player himself has offered to cover the cost of having each and every Nylander jersey recrested to the new and correct numbers. I don't know if you have heard but Toronto is a pretty damn big hockey market and I imagine that this will result in a pretty hefty bill for William Nylander when it is all said and done. Nylander's hold out last season may have hurt his reputation among some segments of the Leafs fan base, but this will certainly go a long way to repairing that damaged relationship.
Truly a great show of class, and one that was above and beyond anything Nylander had to do.