Sports jerseys are a valued commodity, especially if they're signed.  Fans spend hundreds of dollars for their favorite player and numbered jersey.

Hockey, in particular, has frenzied fans, retired numbers, and is steeping in history.

As I was thinking about sports numbers, like #37 Patrice Bergeron, my favorite Bruins player, I pondered what the numbers represent.

In a recent Reddit post, which asked "Which player do you think of if the number is 42?", I immediately went to Jackie Robinson.

If someone asked about number 3, I would immediately think of Dale Earnhardt.  And what would you say about jersey number 12?  Yes, Tom Brady.

According to, the Boston Bruins have the 3rd most retired numbers in the NHL, at 12.  The Toronto Maple Leafs have 13, and the Montreal Canadiens have the most retired numbers at 16.  Considering they are all part of the Original Six, it's no surprise, as these players are legends of their team.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Another question: is number 69 allowed in the NHL?  The numbers which players stay away from are 66, 69, and 99 for obvious reasons. In fact, according to, only two players in NHL history have ever worn #66 and only two wore #69.

Ironically, Pittsburgh Penguins superstar, Mario Lemieux, was one who wore a number 66 sweater.  His reason was based on his manager's suggestion to pick Wayne Gretzky's number flipped upside down.  Lemieux's name is synonymous with #66.

Gretzky is known as the greatest player of all time in the NHL.  That's common knowledge, but did you know no team is allowed to use his number 99? Not the Bruins, Canadiens, Blackhawks, Red Wings, Maple Leafs, nor the Rangers or  Original Six are allowed to use #99.

Mike Powell/Getty Images
Mike Powell/Getty Images

In 2000, in honor of Gretzky's phenomenal career and all he did for the NHL both on and off the ice, the league retired #99 across the NHL. That's why no team can ever use that number again.

Meanwhile, I'll keep wearing my #37 for good luck to the team who has the best record and most points ever in the NHL, our Boston Bruins.

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