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Lou Lamoriello has already fixed the Islanders

Thank goodness, Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Ho-Sang and Adam Pelech have taken lower uniform numbers, so we’re all good.

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders
Just look at him, with that 72, celebrating a team goal like he’s the individual who scored it.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Beards shaved. Josh Ho-Sang not being allowed to talk to media during summer prospect camp. Ho-Sang’s AHL #26 showing up at that said camp. Adam Pelech dropping from #50 to #3. Scott Mayfield from #42 to #24 even.

Now Ho-Sang’s change from #66 is sounding official, and The Great Cultural Reformation Leap Backward has taken Anthony Beauvillier’s #72, too. Some of those moves maaaay have been player preference or coincidental, but we now know at least one of them was simply...mandated:

By golly, this is beautiful. Everything is fixed. “Culture change” is afoot.

Now we know why that grunt John Tavares is gone, amirite? Pompous un-team person guy thinking he was special could wear #91 from the very beginning. Maybe if he were forced to wear 21 — NOW THAT’S A HOCKEY NUMBER — when he first arrived as a 19-year-old, he’d still be here. With Cup rings too.

I expect a petition to unretire the #5, #9, #19, #22, and #23 of Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Bobby Nystrom any day now — not so much because that’s a lot of retired numbers for a franchise that only won 19 consecutive playoff series, but because we could really use those to make sure the current culture is on a winning track, ya’ know?

(Forget about Billy Smith’s #31, we wouldn’t need it. Goalies should only wear #1, #29 or #30. Evgeni Nabokov, you’re lucky your Islanders days are long past!)

Thankfully Alan Quine is already gone — that’s the last time an Islander will be allowed to wear #10 without being a true attacking midfielder!

Perhaps I doth protest too much? “This doesn’t matter if they win,” and all that, right?

...which is kind of my point. It’s not worth making even one young fan’s #72 jersey obsolete. (It’s not worth soothing the absurd rage Penguins fans had for someone DARING to wear #66 either.)

Nick Leddy’s beautiful, clean-shaven face is not going to pick up any more points in the standings. Making sure Anthony Beauvillier knows damn well that his 137 NHL games played haven’t earned him a Yashin-esque number is not going to fix the goaltending nor undo the additions of seven fourth-line forwards.

But sure. Change the uni numbers just because. (By the way, it stands to reason then that dads and ESPECIALLY moms don’t belong on any road trips, right? That relatively new team-bonding tradition is a product of the 2000s and has no business in the NHL with its rich history of...lockouts and cap circumvention and stuff.)

It’s one of those weird cases where Lou Lamoriello’s reputation precedes him — although again, his era of success is nearly as dated as these traditions — so it’s supposed to be fine, a completely superficial yet somehow magical ingredient of what is surely success to come. (On that note, it’s amusing to see younger fans who aren’t aware of this Lou trait react...going, “Wait...this is a thing? It’s just an ambiguous rule? That builds ‘team’?!” Have a seat, let me tell you about the days of playing through life-debilitating* concussions.)

*Not that there is any evidence of alink. No sir. Gary knows. Lou, too.

As a fan, I’m kind of partial to old school low numbers myself, aesthetically speaking. But I wouldn’t dream of dictating it, forcing players to change a personal choice just because. There is the argument that it’s an idiosyncrasy, but just a minor one, so hey, let Lou do his thing.

But if it doesn’t really matter, then why does it matter?