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Walman Dons New Number In Red Wings Season Debut

Jake Walman played his first Red Wings game wearing No. 96

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Jake Walman, Red Wings
Jake Walman made his debut on the Detroit defense and so did his new sweater number.

While the eyes of Detroit Red Wings fans were mostly fixed on forward Tyler Bertuzzi as he was returning from a broken hand in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks, he wasn’t the only Detroit player coming back from an ailment.

Jake Walman was seeing his first game action on the Red Wings defense since undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. He was skating in the third pairing alongside Jordan Oesterle. And yes, that was a different number he was wearing on the back of his Red Wings jersey.

Last season, after his late-season arrival in Detroit following an NHL trade deadline deal with the St. Louis Blues, Walman was wearing No. 8. Tuesday, he was adorned in No. 96 as he skated around the ice at the Honda Center.

“It’s pretty simple,” Walman explained. “It’s my birth year. I thought it was a cool look.

“Hopefully it can bring me some swag. I think the guys like it, though.”

Walman Second Red Wings Player To Don No. 96

Walman is only the second player in franchise history to go with 96 as his digits of choice. The other one was just recently in town with the reunuon of the 1996-97 and 1997-98 Red Wings Stanley Cup championship squads.

Tomas Holmstrom wore No. 96 on his back as he made a name for himself as the most effective net front presence on four Detroit Cup-winning clubs.

Walman had to admit that orginally, he didn’t make the connection.

“Yeah I think I got some word that he . . . I was searching up who wore it,” Walman, said, stumbling over his words as he sought to explain. “It must have slipped my mind for a second.

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“Then I asked around, making sure I can wear it without pissing anybody off. Hopefully I can represent it well.”

Like Walman, 96 wasn’t Holmstrom’s original choice. When he made his arrival to the Red Wings in 1996, he at first wore No. 15. However, following a 1998 NHL trade deadline deal to get defenseman Dmitri Mironov, Holmstrom chose to give Mironov his usual No. 15 and chose 96, because it was the year he arrived in Detroit.

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