Nicklas Backstrom

Oh yeah, that’s much better: Backstrom ditches No. 99 for No. 69


Last week, Nicklas Backstrom raised eyebrows by opting to wear No. 99 while playing for Dynamo Moscow.

Now…more eyebrows.

According to Magnus Nystrom of Swedish website Hockey Expressen, Backstrom is going to ditch No. 99 after November’s international break in favor of a new number:


Yeah. Sixty nine.

Here’s a priceless Google translation:

But last submission is that Backstrom is promised to change the numbers after the national team break. Then state exist. Signatures must be accurate and all old stamps sit where they should. No nation loves old time stamps Russia.

Well, soon will not have Backstrom # 99 and after the Karjala Cup, he is number 69 Nicklas Backstrom.

“Well, that certainly cleared things up,” said nobody.

(NOTE: Russian Machine Never Breaks has a much more comprehensible version of the article.)

Regardless of the rough translation, it’s clear the issue of wearing No. 99 never went away and Backstrom felt pressure to change.

And yeah, Nystrom’s been actively following the “Backstrom 99” story for a while.

Last week, he asked Backstrom about the decision to choose the number made famous (and practically untouchable) by Wayne Gretzky — and the Caps forward replied by saying he felt “wrong” about the decision and hoped to change the number soon.

(It’s believed Backstrom had to wear the number for a couple of games because Dynamo had already registered it with the KHL.)

On a related note, Backstrom scored his first KHL goal on Tuesday in a 3-1 win over Dinamo Riga wearing, that’s right, No. 99:

Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:



Commodore rips into Babcock on social media

Mike Commodore

Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.

Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.

As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.

Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.

“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”

Commodore wasn’t done there:

And there was much, much more.

To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.