By the Numbers
It’s always a fun topic, why do athletes choose their numbers. Some athletes are very superstitious about it, sometimes even affecting where they will sign. I took a minute to ask a few GHLers about their numbers.
Louie Senpaski - 22 - California Seals
Louie Senpaski is an interesting one. He has had a few numbers this season. Most recently dawning the number 8 in the Seals most recent broadcast. “Well I started the season out with number 6, because when I played for the Nailers it was just assigned to me it, ya know? It grew on me. However, 22 is my favorite number, I grew up in Dallas, Texas. There were a couple athletes who wore 22 and I idealized them. Emmitt Smith was so dominant, his strength was amazing, and then Brett Hull obviously had the most lasting impact on me. Seeing Hull lift the Cup with 22 on his back is an image I’ll never forget. In the most recent broadcast however we were on the world stage, and in California, I thought it would be a nice tribute to wear the 8 for Kobe.” Senpaski assures fans “don’t worry, number 22 isn’t going anywhere.”
Dominik Rettberg - 39 - Austin Americans
Dominik Rettberg has been number 39 since pee-wee hockey. Dom has Goaltending in his blood. “Well, my dad was a goalie in the ECHL, so I have always been a fan of goalies, like Roy, Brodeur, Miller and obviously Hasek.” Dom’s number stems from wanting to pay the ultimate respect for the 2 time champ. “I wear 39 for Hasek, my goal from the beginning was to make it to the GHL, lift The Stanley Cup over my head for Hasek.” A dedicated hockey fan and player, Rettberg, has taken the first steps to his goal, being drafted by the Thunder Bay Bucks, 42nd overall. He was soon traded to the Austin Americans to back up Tuuka Rask. “Tuuka has been amazing to me, he has helped my development since I arrived in Austin. He goes out of his way to help whenever he can.”
Tony Ferelli - 14 - Athens Flames
Tony Ferelli discovered at the age 14, that the GHL was his target. Ferelli chose the number 14 for his age at the time and also for his favorite player Theoren Fleury, who he recognized as one of the most hard working players. “He didn’t have an off-season, he lived hockey 24/7, and I knew if that’s where I wanted to be, I had to as well.” Tony can often be found on the exercise bike after every game. “Win or lose, my job isn’t over, I have to be better. So I get off the ice and into the gym. The number on my back just reminds me, I have to work to get what I want, and for me, that’s to win the Cup.” The comparisons are obviously being made, Fleury helped the Flames win their first cup in 1989, Ferelli is on a similar path, helping his Flames to the top of the west, setting up for a deep playoff run.
Crash Andrews - 48 - Seattle Tusks
Crash Andrews knows that family comes first. “The name on the back of the jersey is just as important as the number, the name and number is like a trademark.” Crash joked “Iginla wearing 88 just looked wrong” Andrews attributes his success to his dad, “You’re here because of what your folks did to get you here, I always wore 11 growing up. One day I was playing in a charity hockey game in my hometown, I knew my dad would be there, so decided to honor him, I’d wear number 48.” Andrew’s dad born in 1948, would host events and fundraisers for their small town. “He was amazing at coming up with out of the norm ideas for his events. So while hosting mine, the number was just a way to show he was a big part of this event even without doing anything. The number 48 just stuck, it felt right.”
Joesph Tylers - 28 - California Seals
Tylers grew up in the greater Toronto area, Born on May 28th, the young boy admired Leafs’ small but tough forward # 28, Tie Domi. “As a kid you just kinda gravitate to whoever wears your favorite number, mine being 28, but when you saw number 28 get on the ice, you knew Tie was going to give it 110%. Even as a kid I noticed that.” Tylers still wears Domi’s old number 28 for that reason. “Not going to lie, when the Seals traded for Max Domi earlier in the season, I was a little star struck, sometimes you see Tie at practice and it’s just crazy. Max is also a center so we practice faceoffs a lot together, it’s all just surreal.” From pretending to be Tie Domi out on the outdoor rinks of Ontario, to playing with Tie’s son Max in the GHL, Tylers full hockey circle feels almost complete. “One things missing, to share a championship with Domi and the boys, would just cap it off for me.”
Sean Lewdenski is the Head Analyst and insider for The GHL. Originally from Warsaw, Poland, he has moved to the states to pursue the American Dream.