As part of SB Nation’s Jersey Week, we profiled the best and worst jerseys in our personal collections. To wrap up the theme, today I want to profile the best and worst jersey numbers in Columbus Blue Jackets history.
I created a highly subjective metric that rated numbers based on the best player to wear it, the number of stars to wear it, and the number of players with longevity (3 or more seasons) to wear it. A jersey would lose points for the number of “nobodies” to wear it. (Basically, could I remember that you played?) Again, this is HIGHLY subjective. Only numbers used at least five times were considered.
8: Geoff Sanderson, Jan Hejda, Scottie Upshall, Maksim Mayorov, Nathan Horton, Zach Werenski
Sanderson was an early star for the franchise, scoring 30 goals in the inaugural season. Werenski is, of course, a rising star in the league. He leads all NHL defensemen in goals so far this season. Jan Hejda was a top defenseman for the team in the late 2000s. Nathan Horton looked great in the brief time that he was healthy. Alas.
3: Frantisek Kucera, Jaroslav Spacek, Marc Methot, Jordan Leopold, Seth Jones
Obviously Seth Jones carries much of the load for the number 3. However, there’s not much bringing it down, as Spacek and Methot were both productive blue-liners themselves.
9: David Vyborny, Colton Gillies, Jeremy Morin, Gregory Campbell, Artemi Panarin
Panarin made a huge impact in a short time in Columbus, setting franchise records for assists and points in a single season. Vyborny was the one constant for the first seven seasons of Blue Jackets hockey. He scored over 20 goals and over 50 points three times each.
21: Espen Knutsen, Radoslav Suchy, Alexandre Picard, James Wisniewski, Kerby Rychel
Knutsen was the first CBJ all star. Wisniewski was a top pair blue liner when the Jackets first returned to the playoffs in 2014. Picard played five seasons here despite only scoring two points, mostly because he was a former top 10 draft pick. Rychel is another first round bust.
22: Chris Nielsen, Luke Richardson, Mike Commodore, Vinny Prospal, Sonny Milano
No stars here, but several solid contributors and few clunkers.
Honorable Mention: 14 (Ray Whitney, Gus Nyquist) and 18 (R.J. Umberger, Pierre-Luc Dubois)
29: Alex Selivanov, Krzysztof Oliwa, Grant Marshall, Marc Methot, Justin Williams, Nick Holden, Andrew Joudrey, Cody Golubef, Lauri Korpikoski, Zac Dalpe, Devin Shore
Who is the best player here? Grant Marshall and his 61 points in 1.5 seasons, or second season (9 games) Marc Methot?
44: Rostislav Klesla, Peter Sarno, Aaron Johnson, Aaron Rome, Grant Clitsome, Justin Falk, Taylor Chorney, Vladislav Gavrikov
This was Klesla’s first number, and those early seasons weren’t very good. The obvious best player is Gavrikov, but I’m not giving credit for potential here.
36: Sean Selmser, Don MacLean, Mathieu Roy, Jonathan Marchessault, Michael Paliotta, Jussi Jokinen
No player on this list wore the number more than one season here. The best of those seasons was Roy’s 10 points (all assists) in 31 games.
12: Ted Drury, Sean Pronger, Mathieu Darche, Jiri Novotny, Mike Blunden, Ryan Craig
The “star” here is Novotny’s 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 107 games over two seasons at the end of his career.
23: Alex Selivanov, Kevin Dahl, Derrick Walser, Dick Tarnstrom, Tom Sestito, Milan Jurcina, Brett Lebda, Matt Frattin, Brian Gibbons, David Clarkson, Ian Cole, Stefan Matteau
This is the most common number in Jackets history. The longest tenured was Walser’s 91 games over four seasons. The best was ... 26 games of Ian Cole.
Huge thanks to Hockey Reference for their sweater numbers page. Check it out and share your own picks for best and worst numbers.
The week that was
The Cleveland Monsters Calder Cup-clinching victory will be replayed today at 3 p.m. on Fox Sports Ohio. Elaine wrote about what that victory meant to her and her family.
Rachel discussed The Last Dance and other sports documentaries she wants to see made.
The Cannon Cast discussed the new Elvis Merzlikins contract, the (delayed) signing of Mikhail Grigorenko, and the prospect of the NHL playing games in Columbus this summer.
Play me out
This week on SB Nation, it is Marvel week. We’ll spend the week discussing the Marvel Cinematic Universe and making comparisons to the sport of hockey and the Columbus Blue Jackets. In honor of that, let’s watch two of the best opening credits sequences in recent film history: