The Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel announced yesterday that the star center has changed his jersey number from 15 to 9. While this isn’t a huge surprise seeing that Eichel wore 9 during his one season at Boston University and during some time with USA Hockey.
Here’s Eichel’s comment on the switch from the Sabres press release:
“For a long time, the number nine has always been a part of my identity as both a person and as a player,” Eichel said. “The opportunity opened up to switch and I felt it was the right time to make the change as I begin the next phase of my career as a Sabre.”
He wasn’t able to take the number when he began his career, due to Evander Kane claiming that number for his sweater. We all remember Eichel have to earn the number 15 after he showed up to development camp in his first-year wearing 41.
And the number change is here for Jack Eichel pic.twitter.com/frTnAZDiNd— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) July 6, 2018
Now, that Kane is sporting 9 for the San Jose Sharks, the 2015 second overall pick took the opportunity to claim his old number.
It’s not so much number change that has fans rubbed the wrong way. It’s how the Sabres are approaching it in terms of jersey sales. Fans who currently hold a 15 Eichel sweater may want to turn that in for a new one. Here is how the Sabres are handling it according to their press release:
“For fans that currently own an official-licensed Eichel jersey with the No. 15, the Sabres Store will offer a $49 credit toward the purchase of a new adult Eichel No. 9 jersey or $29 toward the purchase of a youth jersey. Starting Monday, July 9, jerseys can be exchanged exclusively at the Sabres Store, which is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, fans can call the store at (716) 855-4140.”