After the Sens acquired Mikkel Boedker from the San Jose Sharks earlier this offseason, Max McCormick admitted he was expecting a call about his number.
The pair have each donned #89 for the entirety of their NHL careers but McCormick was open to the option since it would allow him to move to a more familiar number.
"I got a call from our head equipment guy Johnny," recalled McCormick. "He mentioned that Boedker also wears #89 and asked if I would be ok with switching numbers. I was totally cool with it. I've actually worn #17 for my whole career so I was excited to get that number back again."
In fact, McCormick couldn't remember a time he didn't wear #17 and said that that was the earliest number he could recall wearing so the request to relinquish #89 was a win-win situation for everyone.
"I've worn it for as long as I can remember and pretty much every team that I've played for except Ottawa so this works out perfect for everybody," he said. "Mikkel is a 10-year NHL veteran and I definitely respect what he's been able to do in this league so he really didn't even need to ask. I'm happy to oblige."
"It means more to some guys than others," McCormick continued when asked about the importance of numbers to players in the NHL. "I definitely prefer wearing #17 but, to be honest, it means more to me to get to put on the jersey so I'll wear any number they want me to."
McCormick's number switch wasn't the only change he made this summer as the 26-year-old decided to complete the final 6 weeks of his offseason training in Ottawa..
"I wanted to come in early so that I could be around the other guys and skate with them well in advance of training camp," he said. "I've been here since the beginning of August and getting reps in with the other players here has been great. It definitely brings my game up being around these guys and it pushes me to be better."
Prior to moving his workouts to Ottawa earlier this month, McCormick was on the ice for a very different reason. The McCormick Hockey School just completed their fourth consecutive year in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin, a suburb of Green Bay, just down the road from his hometown of De Pere.
"After my first year as a pro, I was talking with my dad because I wanted to do something in our community," he said. "We came up with the idea to start a hockey school and it's pretty crazy that we just wrapped up our fourth year in a row."
As McCormick continues to pursue his own NHL dream, he's been ecstatic with the impact he's been able to make at his hockey school and credits his professional experience as the big reason it seems to get bigger every year. The one-week camp is incredibly hands on and features a variety of experienced councillors and on-ice instructors including his Ottawa and former Ohio State teammate Ryan Dzingel.
"One thing that we try to focus on is to give them the tools so when they go back home they can continue to make progress and improve," McCormick said. "I've seen that philosophy work firsthand as a prospect with the Senators and it's been great to pass on a lot of what I've learned from Development Camps and working with the trainers and coaches in Ottawa."