Хорошая старая статья про номера. Нашел случайно, чтобы не затерять привожу ниже текст полностью, самое интересное я выделил.
На русском у меня есть похожая статья, привожу пару отрывков из нее в дополнение к приведенной ниже.
Номер 0 был использован дважды в истории НХЛ - Полом Биболтом (Монреаль Канадиенс,1942) и Нейлом Шини- (Хартфорд Уэйлерз,1988). Сам Шини обьясняет свой выбор тем, что ,во-первых, когда-то его предки носили фамилию О'Шини и таким образом он вернул себе этот символ к фамилии, а во-вторых - из уважения к таланту Гретцки он хотел взять себе номер максимально удаленный от 99. Еще двое игроков НХЛ играли под двумя нулями. Это был вратарь Джон Дэвидсон (Рейнджерс, конец 1970-х), отыгравший под ним один сезон и Мартин Бирон, защищавший под этим номером ворота Баффало в свой первый сезон в 1995.Athletes play the numbers game for strange reasonsby Kerry Banks - Georgia Straight
В истории хоккея были и трехзначные номера. Мел Хьюитт из Солт Лэйк Голден Иглз в сезоне 1986-87 играл под номером 111, а Павел Буре в игре за Спартак против Ярославского Торпедо (это был своеобразный матч-реванш за поражение Звезд России от Торпедо в турне этой сборной по России во время локаута) вышел на лед в первом периоде под номером 010 (10-ка в Спартаке была занята). Правда уже ко второму периоду Павла попросили сменить номер.
Pavel Bure has changed his uniform number. He used to be a 10, now he's a 96. Bure made the switch because he wanted a unique number, something to call his own. After all, there are plenty of 10's around - Ron Francis, John LeClair, esa Tikkanen. Even Bo Derek used to be a 10.
Bure's not the only NHLer sporting new digits this year. Bob Probert has changed his number to 95 to mark the year he gave up drugs and alcohol and turned his life around.
Although this is the first time anyone has cited that particular reason, the practice of number-juggling is nothing new.
In fact, the NHL's three most famous No.9's - Rocket Richard, Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull - all began their careers with different numerals on their backs.Richard initially wore 15. He switched to 9 in honour of his firstborn
, a daughter who weighed nine pounds. Howe first wore 17. He switched to 9 to improve his sleeping arrangements. Players were allotted berths on trains according to their jersey numbers, and the lower berths were bigger
. Hull wore 16, then 7, before claiming 9 in his sixth season.
None of those changes generated any controversy. Things are more complicated today. Bure's switch annoyed some people, especially parents who'd bought their children replicas of his No.10 Canucks jersey. It's going to cost them another $150 to keep their kids in fashion. But the grumblings over Bure's conversion to 96 are nothing compared to the tempest created last spring when Michael Jordan returned to basketball wearing 45 in place of his former 23.
The NBA fined Jordan $10,000 for this unauthorized switcheroo, which suggests just how protective the league is about it's merchandising.
Ironically, Jordan's No.23 had been retired by the Bulls in 1994, when he left basketball to embark on a baseball career. Thus, Jordan became the first professional athlete to play with his own retired number.
There are normally only two reasons for a team to retire a number: to honour outstanding performance or to mark a tragic death. An exception to the rule is the lone number retired by the California Angels, 26. It was awarded to Angels owner Gene Autry, supposedly to recognize Autry's contributions as the club's 26th player (one above baseball's 25-man roster limit), although satisfying the demands of a grossly inflated ego sounds like a more accurate explanation.
Numbers were originally put on jerseys to make it easier to identify players.
The Pacific Coast Hockey League pioneered the concept in hockey in 1912, and the NHL copied it in 1918. The New York Yankees, who in 1929 became the first major-league baseball team to permanently adopt numbers, used them to indicate a player's spot on the batting order, which is why Babe Ruth became No.3 and Lou Gehrig No.4.
Over the years, ceratin numerals have developed their own mystique, reflecting the virtues of the athletes who wore them. In his book 'One size Doesn't Fit All", TV analyst and former NFL coach John Madden discusses the significance of football numbers. He associates No.12 with 'a leader with charisma' No.16 'has certain softness about it' and No.22 is 'speed number'.
Madden goes on to assign numbers to famous people. Woody Allen is a 2, Ronald Reagan a 16, Elizabeth Taylor a 32, Pope John Paul II a 73, and Dolly Parton a 76. The reason for this last choice escapes me. Dolly parton is clearly a 44.
Although many assume Wayne Gretzky was the first NHLer to wear 99, that's not so. High numbers were in vogue during the 1930's, and the Montreal Canadiens actually employed three No.99s during the 1934-35 season: Leo Bourgeault, Des Roche, and Joe Lamb. Interestingly, Gretzky never intended to wear 99. When he joined the OHL's Saulkt Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1975, Gretzky wanted 9, the number of his idol, Gordie Howe. But Brian Gualazzi already had 9 and refused to give it up.
Gretzky tried 14 and 19, but was still unhappy.
Then inspiration came from a surprising source - Phil Esposito. Esposito had worn No.7 with the Boston Bruins, but when he was traded in 1975-76 to the New York rangers, he found his favourite digit in the possession of Rod Gilbert. Espo's solution was to become No.77.
After hearing about Espo's move, Sault Ste. Marie coach Muzz McPherson took Gretzky into his office and said: "There's your new number. If you can't wear one 9, wear two." hanging on the door was a Greyhounds jersey with No.99 on it
Similarly, it was only by accident that Bobby Orr became a 4. orr wore No.2 in junior with the Oshawa Generals, but that numeral wasn't available when he joined the Boston Bruins in 1966. Two was the legendary Eddie Shore's number, and it had been retired by the Bruins.
Orr ws assigned 27 in training camp. Defenceman Junior Langlois was wearing 4. But Langlois got injured and didn't make the team, and so Orr took No.4, because it was the closest he could get to 2.
Others have been more calculating in their number choices. The advent of player names on baseball jerseys in the 1970's prompted Carlos May of the Chicago White Sox to don No.17. The name-and-number combination revealed his birthdate. John Neves, a minor-league ballplayer whose name spelled backwards is seven, wore a backward No.7. Eddie Gaedel the three-foot-seven midget whom the St.Louis Browns sent up to bat as a publicity stunt in 1951, wore the fraction 1/8.
Novelties aside, it's really only the numbers of the superstars that matter. If an athlete is talented enough, the numerals on his jersey can assume a magical aura.
In adopting No.96, Bure is simply staking out his own territory, just as Gretzky did with his double 9's and Mario Lemieux with 66. If Bure goes on to put the same numbers on the board as those two greats, in a few years only trivia buffs will care that the Russian Rocket was once a perfect 10