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Devils Announce Number Changes, Cammalleri To Be First To Wear No. 13

Cammalleri, Gelinas, Tootoo to change numbers.

Mike Cammalleri (Photo: Getty Images)

Mike Cammalleri (Photo: Getty Images)


With some of the changes the New Jersey Devils have been making this offseason, even a few players will be donning a new jersey number.

Mike Cammalleri will be making a little bit of Devils’ history when he first takes the ice for the 2015-2016 season. Cammalleri will become the first player in the team’s 33 years in the Garden State, to wear the number 13.

Since 1982, when Dr. John McMullen brought the franchise to New Jersey, the Devils have given out every number through 35, with the exception of lucky number 13, to at least one player that has worn the Devils sweater. Cammalleri, who wore number 23 with the Devils during the 2014-2015 season said about the number 13, “It’s the number I’ve just identified with from wearing it for so long. The only time I didn’t wear it was when someone else had it.”

Cammalleri’s connection to the number 13 goes back to when he was seven years old and the youngest player to make the cut on his triple-A team in Toronto. He said, “The coach came into the room and threw a box of jerseys on the floor, he said ‘You guys made the team. Here’s your jerseys, everybody pick a number.’”

The scramble was then on and every kid except for Cammalleri, who had to wait until the eight year old made their selections, picked out their numbers. He said, “I’m sitting there, it’s my first triple-A jersey and I remember being as anxious as could be, the last number in that box that nobody wanted was number 13.” The coach for his triple-A team was his father, Leo.

Cammalleri said, “The only thing I knew about the number 13 was that in Don Cherry’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em that year, Kenny Linesman wore it and the clip of him in the video was he scored into his own net, I was pretty upset about it, actually. I was angry with my dad.” He pretty much felt like the number felt like a zero. Leo had helped him see it from a different point of view. Cammalleri added, “We got home and he showed me his football jersey from high school, he actually wore number 13 and I still have the jersey that he wore. I’ve worn 13 ever since.”

Where he becomes the first player in New Jersey Devils history to ever don the number 13, only one other player in the history of franchise, going back to their days as the Kansas City Scouts has worn the number. Robin Burns, the cousin of former Devils coach Pat Burns, wore 13 for the Scouts from 1974 to 1976.

The superstitions with the number 13 have never added up for Cammaleri. He said, “In Italy, it’s actually a lucky number.” Last season he led the Devils in goals with 27. He recorded his career high 39 goals, in 2008-2009, wearing the number 13 with the Calgary Flames. When asked if it feels special to have the number 13 back, Cammaleri said “At the end of the day it is just a number, so I’m not going to make a huge deal of it.”

Cammalleri won’t be the only player changing his number for the upcoming season. Jordin Tootoo will change his number from 20 to 22, the same number he wore during his time with the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings as well. Eric Gelinas, who had the number 22 for the previous two seasons will swap it for the number 44. Gelinas, wore that number for his first Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team, the Lewiston Maineiacs.

As former President and General Manager, Lou Lamoriello, tried to keep the uniform numbers lower than 40, only one other Devil wore number 44.  Stephane Richer wore in both of his stints with the club. Including Richer, the Devils have only had six players wear uniform numbers higher than the number 40. Those other five players are; Jaromir Jagr (68), Alexander Mogilny (89), Doug Gilmore (93), Rocky Trottier and Garry Howatt (88).

Starting Thursday August 13 at the Devils Den Team Store at the Prudential Center, fans will be offered the opportunity to exchange their Cammaleri 23 jerseys for a 13 one, their Gelinas 22 ones for a 44 one and their Tootoo number 20 sweaters for a number 22.

To be eligible for the jersey exchange, the jersey being returned must be officially licensed by the NHL, be manufactured by Reebok and have been purchased either at the Devils Den or through  Exchanges must be made in person at the Devils Den Store in Prudential Center between August 13, 2015 and September 13, 2015. Complete details of the jersey exchange program can be found at

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