Sweater numbers are synonymous with players. Most hockey fans can instantly tell you a great player by the number they wear on their back. There are many different stories about how players became associated with the famous numbers. Many odd and interesting facts surround these numbers as well. As we count down the start of the 2023-24 NHL season, we take a look at the story behind the numbers. Today we continue with sweater number 60. Keep up to date with the series everyday until the start of the 2023-24 NHL season.
Behind the Sweater Number: 60
The First 60s
According to Hockey Reference, 41 players have worn sweater number 60. The first player that took the digits according to the website is Chicago Blackhawks backup Jimmy Waite. He wore the number in the 1989-90 season after donning 30 the season before. The Sherbrooke, Quebec native would only take the number for four games before shifting to 36 among other numbers.
Andy Ryshma was the next player to take 60 with the Quebec Nordiques in the 1991-92 season. Ryshma would only take the number for six games before he’d never make another NHL appearance. Michal Grosek took the number next for three games in the 1993-94 season with the Winnipeg Jets.
Jose You Say
Jose Theodore would be the next player to wear sweater number 60. Theodore would debut with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1995-96 season. However, the Laval, Quebec native started his career with 37 for just one game. He’d make the change to 60 after Tomas Vokoun took 37. Theodore was going to go with 20 in honour of Vladislav Tretiak, but he went 60 because he’d be the first Montreal goalie to have the number.
The veteran would keep the number for the rest of his career, including a Vezina Trophy and Hart Trophy in 2001-02. Theodore would play 648 games and pick up 286 wins in his career. He’d rack up 33 career shutouts and have a 2.68 goals-against-average. Theodore would carve out a pretty nice career in the NHL in over 16 seasons. He’d also get a Masterton Trophy in the 2009-10 season with Washington.
Other 60s and the Future
There are other players have worn sweater number 60 in NHL history. Mark Stone actually had 60 before shifting over to 16 and settling on 61. Markus Granlund wore the number for a few seasons with three different teams. Collin Delia has worn the number for his few stops in the NHL and he’ll take it with the Winnipeg Jets this season. Joseph Woll will also keep the number this season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Juraj Slafkovsky actually had 60 before switching over to 20 in the 2022-23 season. Sweater number 60 hasn’t been worn a lot, but it’s been a great number for goalies growing up watching Theodore.
Main photo by: Dave Sandford/Getty Images