Why don't jersey numbers in the AHL and ECHL go above 40?

During the NHL lockout, my boyfriend and I got into AHL and, to a lesser extent, ECHL hockey. We still watch a bit of AHL. But we've noticed that unlike the NHL, players' jersey numbers never go above 40. Is there a reason for this?


I get that a lot of AHLers and ECHLers are looking to move to the next level, but there are also plenty of guys with AHL/ECHL contracts who will almost surely be career "minor leaguers".

3 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I don't watch AHL but I'm am guessing probably because the players don't really care because they aren't there for fame. The top players who get calls to practice with their affiliated NHL team are just eager to work hard and move up to join their affiliated NHL teams and the rookies can't really be finicky over numbers because they are expected to show performance first before demanding anything from the team. Lots of young players would see AHL as a ladder way to top level of professional hockey that they don't care what number indicates them.

    Just my guess.

  • 7 years ago

    For the most part players in the AHL and ECHL are moving toward the larger goal of playing in the bigs. There are fewer numbers in the minors that have been retired or honored, leaving many more numbers available.

    For example with the Maple Leafs, Kadri wore 13 on the Marlies but 43 with the Leafs. Somehow Nazem doesn't look like he'd fill out Mats' sweater. Also look at the Montreal Canadiens. There are 15 numbers retired between 1 and 33. Their major farm team the Hamilton Bulldogs have no numbers retired.

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    6 years ago

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