Breaking a team moratorium, Tampa Bay Lightning D Matt Carle will wear No. 25 next season
Here is something sure to rile up some Tampa Bay Lightning fans. Newly acquired defenseman Matt Carle will wear No. 25 next season. It will be the first time a player has worn that number since then-captain Dave Andreychuk retired after the 2005-06 season.
It has long been believed Andreychuk, who played four seasons for Tampa Bay and many believe was one of the primary catalysts for its transformation from doormat to 2004 Stanley Cup champion, would have his number retired. Carle wore No. 25 with the Flyers, though when he was last with the Lightning, during the 2008-09 season, he wore No. 5. That number now belongs to defenseman Mattias Ohlund.
"The organization fully recognizes Dave Andreychuk's impact as a Lightning player and as captain of the 2004 Stanley Cup champions," team spokesman Bill Wickett wrote in an email. "We look forward to properly saluting and celebrating him for his contributions to the franchise."
Andreychuk, who is Tampa Bay's vice president of fans and business development, apparently was approached about the change by general manager Steve Yzerman. Neither Carle nor Andreychuk were immediately available to comment.
Andreychuk scored his 600th goal while a member of the Lightning and established an NHL record 274 career power-play goals. But his greatest contributions might have been helping what was then a young team understand what it took to win. His leadership, along with others such as Tim Taylor and Grant Ledyard, made Lightning players much more accountable to each other.
Andreychuk's backing of then-coach John Tortorella's tough-love approach also was key in helping Tortorella's quest to ransform the team's culture.