For the past 10 years, Paul Stastny and the number 26 have been inseparable. Although he spent a portion of his All-Rookie 2006-2007 campaign donning the number 62, he quickly found his way to 26 and kept the number throughout his entire eight-year stint with the Colorado Avalanche and three and a half seasons with the St. Louis Blues.
However, after his recent trade to the Winnipeg Jets, Stastny and 26 are no longer.
As a member of the Jets, he will wear 25.
Stastny’s interest in number 26 wasn’t random. He wore the number as a nod to his father, NHL Hall of Famer Peter Stastny. Waiting for him with the Jets was another longtime wearer of 26 – Captain Blake Wheeler.
Aware of the number’s significance to his team’s new acquisition, Wheeler actually offered it to Stastny, despite that fact that he himself has worn the number for nearly a decade.
As a new arrival and pending unrestricted free agent, Stastny didn’t want to make waves. He cited not wanting to “disrupt number chemistry” as the reason for declining Wheeler’s offer.
Fortunately, 25 is also of some importance to the 32-year-old.
Having already spent the overwhelming majority of his career sporting his father’s number, Stastny looked elsewhere on the family tree to his older brother, Yan. Though not a standout player on the level of Peter, or even Paul, Yan did crack the NHL, appearing in parts of five seasons across three teams. He wore number 25.
Additionally, 25 happens to be the number of another great Winnipeg center – Thomas Steen (the father of Stastny’s best friend, Blues forward Alex Steen). By wearing the number during his likely brief stay in Winnipeg, Stastny can pay respects to a handful of people all at once.