Ever wondered why players have numbers on their helmets?


You’ve probably noticed that NHL players are wearing numbers on their helmets this season. But if you didn’t know why, here’s your answer – television.

Via the Toronto Star:

According to TSN production head Paul Graham, broadcasters had been asking the National Hockey League to add helmet numbers for some time. The reason is to help camera operators and directors find players on the benches.

When the director calls for a shot of Nikolai Kulemin sitting on the bench, camera operators often have difficulty finding him — especially as they became less and less specialized. Camera operators often do multiple sports and aren’t as familiar with the players as those who do hockey regularly.

“The more identification for the broadcasters, the better,” says Graham. “It helps the viewers identify players, too.”

Makes sense. It’s way easier to put numbers on the helmet than make every camera operator memorize each player’s face.

Besides, some people just aren’t as good at recognizing faces as others. For example, how many of you have had the “nice to meet you — yeah, we’ve already met” exchange? That happens to me all the time, and I hate it.

At the end of the day, people’s faces should be far different than they are right now. But until evolution makes the necessary changes, the NHL will have numbers on the helmets.

Video: Hextall comments on AHL d-man Pyett, who was diagnosed with sarcoma in leg

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) Defenseman Logan Pyett of the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL affiliate has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and will be out indefinitely.

The team said Friday the 27-year-old Canadian has a sarcoma in his upper leg. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall says the club offers “heartfelt thoughts and prayers.”

Pyett signed a one-year contract with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms after being at the Flyers’ training camp. He was selected by Detroit in the seventh round of the 2006 NHL entry draft. He signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers in 2012 and spent two seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Update: Wisniewski tore ACL 47 seconds into ‘Canes debut

James Wisniewski, John-Michael Liles, Elias Lindholm
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Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.

Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.

From the club:

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.

Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.

This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.

Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.