Matt Carle to wear No. 25 with Lightning
Matt Carle wore jersey No. 25 for four seasons with the orange and black.
The 27-year-old, who signed with the Lightning in July as a free agent, understands what that number -- worn for four years by revered captain Dave Andreychuk -- means to Tampa Bay and its fans.
So when Carle requested to wear No. 25, it was done delicately, according to Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times
"It started with some discussions with (GM) Steve Yzerman, and we got Dave's blessing as well," Carle said Friday. "That was a big thing for me."
Carle said he began wearing the number, which he wore at the University of Denver, when he was 8. When Carle was with the San Jose Sharks, veteran Mike Grier donned No. 25., and in his first tenure with Tampa, he wore No. 5.
The defenseman has 32 goals and 170 assists in 471 games between the Flyers, Lightning and Sharks. He signed a six-year deal worth an average of $5.5 million per year with Tampa Bay earlier this off-season.
Carle will become the first Lightning player to wear No. 25 since Andreychuck retired in 2006.
"I just want to reiterate what the number means to me and what an honor it is for me to be the first guy to wear it since him," Carle said. E-mail Tim Riday at firstname.lastname@example.org