This afternoon, the New Jersey Devils announced this afternoon that three players will get new numbers for the 2015-16 season. Mike Cammalleri, who wore #23 last season, will become the first New Jersey Devil to wear #13. Cammalleri wore #13 with Los Angeles, Calgary and Montreal in the past, so it is clearly one that he prefers. The number was verboten in New Jersey as owner John McMullen thought it was bad luck and Lou Lamoriello held that tradition even when McMullen was no longer the owner. With Ray Shero now in charge, this is another obvious sign that things will be different for the Devils organization. Especially since the team's official website has an article that goes into great detail about it. Either way, Cammalleri gets his old number back, he gets to be the second person in franchise history to wear #13 (the first was Robin Burns when he was a member of the Kansas City Scouts), and Todd Cordell was proven right when he tweeted this news yesterday.
As for the other changes, they are a little less extreme. Jordin Tootoo will get to wear #22 again to the delight of announcers, writers, and fans that enjoy puns. That number is freed up because Eric Gelinas will take #44. Yes, the number most remember being for Stephane Richer will be now associated with Gelinas. Again, another obvious sign that things will be different as a defenseman is taking a high number and not out of necessity. As a result of all three changes, #20 and #23 are now freed up, possibly for someone to take in (or from) camp.
That said, there are three things about the announcement that I found interesting. First was Ray Shero's title. A follower of the blog's account on Twitter, Jon_Theuer, pointed it out to me. Shero was listed as the general manager/executive vice president. Perhaps the position came along with the job? I'm not sure it carries any legitimate powers beyond a GM, but that depends on the Devils' organization chart. It also reminds me that the Devils are still without a team president, as Lou Lamoriello moved on to Toronto. Perhaps that's something that gets taken care of this summer, too. I can't really speak to who I'd like to see as president provided they let Shero be Shero and only intervene to prevent something audacious from happening.
Second, the Devils also announced with these changes that there will be a jersey exchange. Starting next Thursday, the Devils will exchange any old Tootoo, Gelinas, and Cammalleri jerseys for a new one with the new numbers at the same size. In order to do that, the original jersey must have been bought from the Devils Den or from the NHL's online shop. I would guess a receipt would be necessary to prove that. It must also be an official jersey by Reebok, too. Lastly, the exchange will only take place at the Devils Den from August 13 through to September 13. It's not a bad thing to do in general since custom jerseys aren't cheap and it may boost business a little at the team's store during the remainder of this summer.
Third, check out that official article and take a close look at that picture. Those are games with dates, times, and seating locations. It appears to me that will be what the team's tickets will look like for 2015-16. An picture of the player in non-descript action, their name, and their number. It's not bad, but it isn't particularly great either. Then again, it's a picture on the ticket, it doesn't really need to be extremely visually appealing. We'll see whether that's the case when season tickets get shipped out later this year.
How do you feel about #13 now being used? What do you make the team's announcement of the number changes? Are you going to use the jersey exchange if you can? If so, let us know how it went. Please leave your answers and other thoughts about this news in the comments. Thank you for reading.