With the 2022-23 season underway, Blues fans may be in the process of familiarizing themselves with seeing some new numbers on the ice, like Thomas Greiss’ No. 1, Josh Leivo’s No. 17, Noel Acciari’s No. 52 and Jake Neighbors’ No. 63.
Another Blues player, Alexey Toropchenko, is wearing a new number this season, as well.
Why did Toropchenko make the change? Why do any of the players have numbers they do, for that matter?
The stories you hear when you start asking are interesting. Some were handed their number in their first training camps and just stuck with them. Others have been wearing their numbers since they were kids or have other personal reasons to choose them. And the numbers they want aren’t always available, so sometimes players have to get creative, adding or multiplying the digits until they find a number that feels right.
“You wouldn’t think all of us are math geeks, but we think about random stuff like that,” Acciari says.
To get the stories behind the numbers, The Athletic asked each player on the Blues’ active roster to tell us why he has the number he does.
(Note: Some responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.)
no. 1 Thomas Greiss
“I wore No. 29 growing up. The team I watched in Germany, the goalie had No. 29, so I liked it. But then my rookie year in San Jose, No. 29 was already taken (by Ryan Clowe), so they gave me No.