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Player Jersey Number Selection

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The question of how FHS assigns player numbers has come up every now and then, so here is a rundown of that process.  I wrote about this on my personal blog five years ago but that was before FHS was spun off of DetroitHockey.Net and the logic has changed a little since then.

A note off the top: A team's retired numbers are only respected by the team's Pro Roster.

At the start of a league's season, each player's current number is loaded in as the player's "default" number.  If that player is traded or otherwise is in need of a new number, the first check will be to see if the default number is available and, if it is, it will be used.

If the player's default number is not available because another player is wearing it, but it is not the default number for the current owner, the current owner will get a new number, freeing up the default number for the player who wanted it.

In the case where the player has no way of getting his default number, the system moves on to a list of preferred numbers, based on the player's position.

If the player is a goalie whose default number is two digits, the first try will be to take the second digit of his number and prepend it to a 3 to give him a number in the 30s.  For example, a goalie whose default number is #45 finding #45 on his new team unavailable would next try #35.  Andrei Vasilevskiy's #88 would become #38.  If that number is also unavailable, it will try the traditional goalie numbers (#30, #31, #35, #1) until it finds a match.

If the player is a skater whose default number is single-digit, the system next tries that number appended to itself, then that number with a zero appended to it.  So a player whose default number was #9 would try #99, then try #90.  If neither of those work, numbers in the teens, twenties, thirties, and nineties are tried (in this example, #19, #29, #39, and #99 again).

If the player is a skater whose default number is double-digit, the first attempt will be a reversal of that number, so #19 would become #91.  If that didn't work and both digits are the same, it will try that digit followed by a zero and then that digit alone (#55 would try #50 and then #5).  Lastly, if it's a number in the sixties, it will try to add 30 to it (#67 would become #97).

However, there are exceptions to the above.  A skater cannot match to one of the traditional goalie numbers.  For example, a #53 won't switch to #35.  Similarly, a forward won't be assigned a traditional defenseman number (#2, #3, #4, #5, #6) and a defenseman won't be assigned a traditional forward number (#8, #9, #10, #12) unless it is his default number.

If, after all of these steps, no number has been found, skaters will start at their default number and find the closest available number to it that is not subject to the traditional position rule (for example, a skater trying #29 who has made it to this step on a team with #28 and #29 taken could get #27 rather than the closer #30).  Goalies will start at #30 and count up until an available number is found.

There is one further caveat to all of this.  If the new player (Player A) is on the Pro Roster and is requesting a number assigned to Player B, who is on the Farm Roster, and the number is not Player B's default number, the number will be treated as available and Player B will be assigned a new Pro Roster number.  This also works if Player A is joining the Farm Roster and Player B is on the Pro Roster.

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