Hagg Bag: Plenty of home improvement plans for the Bruins

With the Bruins away on the road and suffering a new injury seemingly every night, there’s a lot of unrest in Bruins Nation. Seems like a perfect time to unleash the Hagg Bag mailbag, so here it is for everybody’s consumption. As always, cheap nhl jerseys china
these are real tweets to my Twitter account using the #HaggBag hashtag, messages to my NBC Sports Boston Facebook fan page and real e-mails to my JHaggerty@nbcuni.com email address. Now, on to the bag:

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I was very happy to see earlier this year that new Bruins John Moore, Chris Wagner and Joakim Nordstrom were assigned “normal” (any number under 30) jersey numbers of 27, 14 and 20. I was wondering if you knew why some players are given normal numbers and others keep their training camp numbers.


In the past, Milan Lucic had a training camp number of 62, but was given 17 when he became a regular on the team. But, others like Brad Marchand (63) David Krejci (46) and even Patrice Bergeron (37) were not given a normal number. I could go on and on…Matt Fraser gets 25, but Torey Krug (47), Adam McQuaid (54), and Kevan Miller (86) keep these Football Numbers. Fast forward to the past year…Anders Bjork (10) and Ryan Donato (17) have normal numbers and Danton Heinen (43), last year’s entire 4th line, Matt Grzelcyk (48) and worst of all…Charlie McAvoy (73) and Jake DeBrusk (74) do not. Brandon Carlo (25) makes the team two years ago out of camp, loses his training camp number in the 70s and McAvoy wears 73? Why isn’t McAvoy wearing 6? Jordan Schwarz (21) and Colby Cave (26) come up for a cup of coffee from Providence and wear numbers in the 20s and DeBrusk wears 74…74! Zack Senyshyn (19) and Forsbacka-Karlsson (23) are given normal numbers before they even make the team. Peter Cehlarik (22) and Austin Czarnik (27) have normal numbers when they were up and down and DeBrusk wears 74. I can deal with the double digit numbers like 33, 55, 88 (77 of course), but the other football numbers must go!

For a team with so many retired numbers…the Bruins actually have good numbers available… 6, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, 21, 22, 26, 28, and 29. Why Marchand was never given 13 is beyond me?

If I ever ran into Neely and Sweeney anywhere, the Jersey Numbers would be one of my first questions. Do you any insight or clue into how they assign numbers?

If you read to the end…thanks for letting me vent…

Tom Campanella

JH: I read till the end, Tom. That’s the least I can do when I’m getting paid to do it. I appreciate your passion for the uniform numbers and get your point about the low numbers that are still available. Here’s the deal: Any young Bruins player is free to pick a different number early in their NHL career if it becomes apparent that they’re going to be around for a while. Milan Lucic changed his number once he’d gone past the nine-game threshold for potentially being returned to junior hockey, and it’s also something that McAvoy or Jake DeBrusk could have done early in their Bruins careers when it was clear they were going to stick around.

The decision to hand out those specific numbers to those players is a combination of Bruins marketing/PR, the Bruins equipment guys and ultimately the general manager to sign off on in a bit of a collaborative effort. The problem is that once McAvoy was associated with No. 73 and DeBrusk was associated with 74 and jerseys were being sold with their names on, it’s too late to change numbers and go for something lower.

So the best advice to the young guys is to speak up if they want a lower number rather than what they get when they first make the team. But I also don’t think guys like McAvoy or DeBrusk are unhappy with their numbers. Maybe it’s just you, Tom, but as I said before I respect your passion for the uniform numbers.

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