BROSSARD – Erik Cole
chose Montreal on July 1. On Thursday he made another tough choice.
In Brossard to tour the facilities and take part in the Canadiens Hockey School on Thursday, the 32-year-old power forward also helped answer the question that’s been on some people’s minds since he signed with the Habs: what number will Erik Cole
wear? With his No.26 already filled by Josh Gorges
, Cole had to settle for his second-favorite digits.
“I asked Brian Gionta
how nice a watch it would cost me to get Josh to give up his number, actually. He never got back to me about that, so I took it as a ‘No’,” explained Cole with a laugh. “I figured 26 wasn’t an option.”
The former Hurricane and Oiler decided to turn to his teenage years for inspiration, opting to make his Habs debut in No.72.
“Most people wouldn’t know this because it doesn’t show up on my stats page, but I played one season in Junior B in Gananoque, Ontario,” described Cole. “My number there was 72 that year so I decided to go back to that.”
No stranger to the rich history of the Canadiens, Cole also realized that with so many jerseys hanging from the Bell Centre rafters, his choices might be limited in his new NHL home.
“I had a few other options. I wore No.24 in high school and then No.21 at university. With all the retired jerseys here, you have even fewer options,” he grinned. “Plus, there are a lot of 70-somethings here, so I figured I’d join in the trend.”
Before Cole, the only other player in Habs history to suit up in No.72 was Mathieu Carle.
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