Let's just agree, for argument's sake, Scott Gomez signs with the San Jose Sharks. What number does he wear?
The first though is No. 23, which is what he wore for his first seven seasons in the NHL, all with the New Jersey Devils (he also wore 23 for the Alaska Aces during the lockout of 2004-05). Also, no one on the Sharks currently wears No. 23, which is what Gomez again donned for the Aces earlier this season.
As a New York Ranger, he switched to No. 19 because he lost a puck flip to Chris Drury, who also wore No. 23 and signed a free-agent deal the same day Gomez did.
In Montreal, neither 19 or 23 were available because they had been retired -- Larry Robinson had worn 19 and Bob Gainey had worn 23. So, Gomez started in Montreal with No. 91 (flipping the 1 and the 9 from his New York 19), then switched to No. 11, which is what he wore as a kid.
The Sharks have never retired a number, other than 99, which all NHL teams basically retired when Gretzky called it a career. So, No. 11 would theoretically be available, but that was also the number worn by former Sharks captain (now retired) Owen Nolan, who seems like at least a candidate to have his number retired by the Sharks at some point.
So, unless Nolan somehow encourages Gomez to wear No. 11, we'll take a flyer and say Gomez will sport No. 23. He got that number because that's the number that was put in his stall when he made the Devils. That's Devils hockey -- all about the team. You'll take whatever number we give you, and you'll like it.
Anyhow, we're definitely going with No. 11 for Gomez in California -- that's our best guess.
You know, if he signs with the Sharks.