New year, new number for Jesse Puljujärvi.
Puljujärvi will now sport number 13 instead of 98. On the surface this appears nothing more than a cosmetic change, but Puljujärvi’s number change has apparently provided ample relief in the eyes of people who believe that the number 98 is entirely too close to 99. The mere thought that the number 99 being the next sequential number from a currently used jersey number is enough to cause fright and despair in the hearts of some. Fortunately, the healing can now begin.
13 was last worn in Edmonton by defenceman Jason Garrison for a couple games in 2019.
Strangely enough, the crowd who believes that 98 is entirely too close to the aura of Wayne Gretzky do not believe that 97 is too close when it’s worn by Connor McDavid, or that 94 was too close when it was sported by Ryan Smyth. This very same crowd doesn’t seem to be upset that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins currently wears number 93, or that Gaetan Haas can currently be found on the Oilers roster holding down the number 91. There was no bellyaching from this crowd when Sam Gagner or Mike Comrie donned the number 89, and you will not be surprised to know that nobody made a peep when fun-time goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made use of the number 80 during his stint as an Oiler.
Anyhow, it’s 13 going forward for the 4th overall pick in 2016.
Everyone concerned can breathe easy now.