Montreal’s Gallagher gives Ryder No. 73

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In his second stint with the Canadiens, Michael Ryder will be wearing his trusty No. 73.

That was the word out of Montreal on Wednesday as the club announced rookie Brendan Gallagher gave the number to Ryder, who has worn 73 since breaking into the NHL in 2003.

“It was nice of [Gallagher] to give me the 73,” Ryder told the Canadiens website. “It’s the number I wore my whole career.”

Ryder also sported the number in Boston and Dallas, the latter being the club that traded him to Montreal on Tuesday in exchange for Erik Cole.

TSN’s John Lu notes that Gallagher will now wear No. 11, which became available after the Habs bought out Scott Gomez in January.

In making the move, Gallagher will now join some stellar company of No. 11s in Montreal history — four-time Stanley Cup champion Yvon Lambert, current Carolina Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller and former Montreal Captain Saku Koivu.

For those of you thinking this is a gesture of respect from Gallagher, honoring a veteran NHLer making his second tour of duty with his original club….uh, check out Chris Johnston of Sportsnet’s tweet: