I recently purchased a copy of Scott Morrison's book entitled By the Numbers: From 00 to 99. It is extremely well written, and the comments from some of hockey's most famous analysts, such as Don Cherry, make it even more touching. For those who are avid watchers of "Hockey Night In Canada," you will understand why the foreward by Cherry grabs your attention to the point where you can't put the book down until it's done.
All of the featured commentators wrote about their own personal thoughts on the best players to wear each jersey number and explained why they believed they deserved the honour. Another benefit is the fact that you learn an in depth summary of the players they chose as the top individual to wear each number. It mentions their stats, background, and why they wore that number. It was interesting to learn the difference that having a certain number made in the early days of the NHL as compared to now. It explains why you do not see a lot of higher numbers being retired.
By far, the part that gets your attention the most is the section for each number titled "Bet You Forgot." It explains the story of someone that may have worn that number for only a day or two, but who is infamous for a particular jersey number now (even for the likes of Chris Chelios or Bobby Orr). This section also tells you about the players who maybe only played a few games total in the NHL, whose names were never known or maybe were never even mentioned until now.
Out of pure curiosity, I decided to take a look at which team was represented the most in the jersey numbers. No surprise here—the Montreal Canadiens leads the total with being the team of 116 of the players mentioned! One might expect all of the Original Six to be well represented, but shockingly enough the New York Rangers were mentioned less than the Calgary Flames or New York Islanders!
In summary, if you crack open this book and expect to find a bunch of things you already know, it is not going to happen. Each page shares a special story; every commentary note is unique. It is beyond a doubt worth every moment of your time. Buy it today and see if your favourites made the cut!
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