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The Number Game

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Defenseman Dennis Wideman will be in his familiar No. 6 jersey when he takes to the ice for the Panthers this season. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
By Glenn Odebralski for floridapanthers.com


Changes.

Each year teams go through them. Some years more than others.

This summer the Panthers have seen their fair share already, thanks to the hand of new General Manager Dale Tallon.

Out are the likes of longtime Panthers Gregory Campbell and Nathan Horton, as well as Keith Ballard, Nick Tarnasky, Kamil Kreps and others.

In their places are new faces - Dennis Wideman, Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner, Chris Higgins, Marty Reasoner, Andrew Peters, Mike Weaver and others will all be counted on by head coach Peter DeBoer to play significant minutes for the team this season.

And with rookie camp to start in 12 days, and training camp just 19 days away (both at the Saveology.com Iceplex), FloridaPanthers.com thought it would be a good idea to share the numbers that each of the new guys will be donning for the 2010-11 season.

Starting with the newbies; Wideman will wear No. 6, Bernier will go with No. 26 and Grabner will stick with No. 40. Higgins will retain the number he's had since the 2005-06 season, No. 21, Reasoner is wearing the number he had with Edmonton and Atlanta, No. 19, Peters will go with No. 11 and Weaver will take No. 43.

Now before you scratch your head about that last one, you did read that right. Weaver will be No. 43. That's because Cats super-soph Dmitry Kulikov will be putting on a different number in his second season. And that number will be No. 7.

"No. 43, I didn't choose. It was the number I was given when I got to training camp last season," said Kulikov. "I just wanted to change it to a number that I like. I like how it looks."

Other players that will go into the season with different numbers include Shawn Matthias (No. 18), Kenndal McArdle (No. 15), Keaton Ellerby (No. 4) and Mike Duco (No. 16).

And if you're looking for the Panthers big time prospects when the rookies take to the ice on Sept. 12, Jacob Markstrom will be No. 33, Erik Gudbranson will wear No. 44, Quinton Howden will don No. 42 and John McFarland will be suiting up with No. 45 on his back.

All of the players numbers can be seen on the roster page and in the system page. Whether they earn the right to keep those numbers, now that’s a different story.
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