There are a ton of superstitious stuff happening today, given that today is the ominous "Friday the thirteenth". There were horror movies made that had very little premise about the superstitious day, but they were somewhat-entertaining. What is it about triskaidekaphobia - the fear of the number thirteen - that gets people so superstitious anyway? Historically, we can go back to the Code of Hammurabi which left out the thirteenth law, but it has been proven that the laws were not numbered. In the end, it's all superstition, and HBIC wants to take a look at some of the men who were brave enough to sport "13" on the back of the jerseys in the NHL. After all, superstitions be damned!
- According to research, there have been 70 players who have worn #13 in the NHL since the 1950s.
- There are only two teams to not have any players (that I could find) wear #13 in the last sixty years: the Minnesota Wild, and, surprisingly, the New Jersey Devils. Maybe Jacques Lemaire had something to do with that?
- The Boston Bruins have had the most #13s in the NHL with seven players dressing in that number. They are Stanislav Chistov, Bill Guerin, Ken Linseman, Glen Metropolit, Gregori Panteleev, Jim Schoenfeld, and Wes Walz.
- The New York Rangers have the second-most players wearing #13 with six. They are Bob Brooke, Valeri Kamensky, Sergei Nemchinov, Richard Scott, Jack Stoddard, and Nikolai Zherdev.
- The Edmonton Oilers take bronze in the battle of #13. They have five players, and they are Andrew Cogliano, Todd Harvey, Risto Jalo, Ken Linseman, and German Titov.
- Bill Guerin is the most-traveled #13 in the NHL. He has worn #13 for six different teams - Boston, Dallas, San Jose, St. Louis, the New York Islanders, and Pittsburgh.
- Mats Sundin currently holds down the top spot for most years wearing #13 in the same city. Sundin spent nine seasons in Toronto wearing #13. However, with the opening of the 2010-11 season, Pavel Datsyuk will tie Sundin's mark. Looking forward, Datsyuk may break this record with ease in setting a new longevity mark in one city.
- There are a few cities where the #13 hasn't played long. Buffalo had five players wear #13, but only two of them put in a second year as #13 - Yuri Khymlev and Jiri Novotny. St. Louis had four players wear #13, and only one has played two years there - Dan Hinote. Hinote is currently playing in Sweden, so these two cities will have to wait for a longer 13 legacy. Nashville had only had two players to wear #13, and neither made it to a second year... yet. Nick Spaling might be able to continue as #13 in this upcoming season.
- The most famous players to wear #13, in my opinion, are Pavel Datsyuk, Teemu Selanne, Mats Sundin, Ken Linesman, Bill Guerin, Ray Whitney, and Mike Cammalleri. That list is in no particular order, either.
- Detroit has had very good luck with #13. Both Pavel Datsyuk and Vyacheslav Kozlov wore #13 in Detroit, and both men have hoisted the Stanley Cup while wearing the unlucky number. Detroit is the only such team to have accomplished this feat since the 1950s.
- There have been six teams to have only one player wear #13 since the 1950s - Chicago (Alexei Zhamnov), Columbus (Nikolai Zherdev), the Kansas City Scouts (Robin Burns), the Hartford Whalers (Geoff Sanderson), the Cleveland Barons (Bjorn Johansson), and the Quebec Nordiques (Mats Sundin).
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!
***Huge thanks goes out to Hockey-Reference.com for assistance in this research! And a big thanks to the Anonymous commentor who caught my football-induced KC name!***