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