When William Nylander hits the ice with the Toronto Maple Leafs in October, it’ll be with a new, but familiar, number on his jersey to his Swedish fans. Nylander announced on Monday that he will be wearing number 88 next season.
But for the owners of #29 Nylander jerseys, don’t worry. Nylander also revealed that he will be footing the bill for fans to make the jersey number swap.
Until December 15, fans can bring their number 29 Nylander jerseys into a Real Sports Toronto store to have the cresting swapped to number 88 for free, courtesy of Nylander.
Nylander announced his intention to switch digits on social media, accompanied by a photo of himself wearing number 88 with his SHL team, Modo Hockey.
Making the switch … what’s old is new again #88
I’ve got you covered Leafs Nation, go to @realsportstoronto to have your jersey recrested on me. pic.twitter.com/gQWHZVxQMo
— William Nylander (@wmnylander) July 15, 2019
“Making the switch,” he wrote. “What’s old is new again.”
Nylander has said in the past that he intended to wear number 92, like his father and former-Capital Michael Nylander. But father and son briefly played on the same team in Sweden with Modo Hockey, and the younger Nylander was forced to go with number 88 as his father had number 92 locked down. William also wore number 88 with Sweden in the 2019 World Championship.
This is the second jersey number switch Nylander has made as a Maple Leaf. Nylander wore number 39 in his rookie season and switched to number 29 the following year.
TSN posted a photoshop of what the #88 jersey will look like.
The expense of changing jersey numbers will likely barely make a dent in Nylander’s pocket. The 23-year-old forward signed a six-year, $45 million contract with the Maple Leafs in December 2018.
Helping fans pay for a jersey number switch is not unheard of. In 2013, Antoine Roussel switched from #60 to #21 at request of management, and offered to foot the bill for any fans who had already bought his #60 jersey.
Similarly, the NHL official store offers a “Jersey Assurance” program to fans which replaces a player-customized jersey if the player is traded within 90 days of purchase. However, the program does not cover jersey number changes if the player stays on the same team.
Headline photo: @wmnylander
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