NHL rookie Ho-Sang and No. 66

No. 66 scored his first NHL goal!

Not the famous No. 66, Mario Lemieux. We’re talking about New York Islanders’ 21-year-old rookie, Joshua Ho-Sang who wears the same number and has been going through hell for it.

Ho-Sung scored his the goal in a recent 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers, but every story you find goes on to talk about him accomplishing the feat wearing No. 66 on his back.

Ho-Sang, a first round pick by the Islanders in 2014, and his No. 66 has made headlines since he took the ice. Regarding league-wide retired numbers, the NHL retired Wayne Gretzky’s No. 99 league-wide, like the MLB retired Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, but Lemieux’s No. 66 is still fair game for players around the league. But only a few have donned it.

Of those players, Vancouver Canucks’ Gino Odjick and Philadelphia Flyers’ Yanick Dupre wore it while Lemieux was still playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Since then, few have gone to the No. 66 sacred ground. One was Calgary Flames defenseman TJ Brodie who wore it as a rookie for three games in the 2010-11 season. He received so much criticism , he swapped out to No. 7 the following season.

Ho-Sang seems to be standing firm on his choice, defending it and calling it a sign of ultimate respect towards Lemieux. In a recent interview, Ho-Sang said:

“I wore it in junior and no one ever really bugged me about it. Then I get to the NHL and it’s like a really big deal.”

Well, we know how social media creates a hashtag and takes off with it so we’ll see how this plays out. Will the 21-year-old kid from Toronto buckle under pressure like TJ Brodie did, or will he stand his ground?

Be interesting to see how the Penguins’ fans respond when the Islanders take the ice in Pittsburg on March 24th.

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