Academic journal article The Mathematics Enthusiast

# Numberlines: Hockey Line Nicknames Based on Jersey Numbers

Academic journal article The Mathematics Enthusiast

# Numberlines: Hockey Line Nicknames Based on Jersey Numbers

## Article excerpt

That '70s Line: A Prelude

One of the greatest hockey line nicknames, in my opinion, was coined during the 2014 playing of the National Hockey League's (NHL) Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tanner Pearson (LW), Jeff Carter (C) and Tyler Toffoli (RW), a line for the 2014 Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings, was, at some point during the season, given the nickname That '70s Line. The nickname, deftly conflates the numbers they wear on their jerseys (#70, #77 and #73, respectively) and the period sitcom, That '70s Show (which aired on Fox for nearly a decade). The nickname stuck.

That '70s Line definitely has staying power. To be clear, I am referring to the staying power of the line's nickname, not the line, nor the individuals that comprise the line. Yes, individually and collectively, Pearson, Carter and Toffoli, i.e., That '70s Line, were integral to the Los Angeles Kings winning the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In that sense, both the line and also the individuals had a sense of staying power. However, in January of the 2014-2015 NHL Season, a scant few months after winning The Stanley Cup, Tanner Pearson suffered a broken ankle. Just like that, That '70s Line was no longer together. The nickname, though, it lives on and is still widely used.

That '70s Line became a meme. Hockey commentators and journalists, those on TV, radio and in print, without so much as a hesitation, drop the line's nickname; and, in most instances, use the nickname as if every person watching, listening or reading knows who was on the line, when the line existed, the importance of the line and on and on and on. The meme began to grow. For example, once Dwight King, who wears the number 74 on his jersey, replaced Tanner Pearson, the new line of King (#74), Carter (#77) and Toffoli (#73) was quickly dubbed That '70s Line 2.0. The new nickname nicely conflates the numbers they wear on their jerseys, That '70s Show and 2.0, which is read as 'two-point-oh'. (Originally, 2.0 was a computer-sciencebased term for the second version of some-thing, but, more recently, has turned into a marketing based term.) As another example, the Chicago Blackhawks almost got into the action... almost. With Patrick Kane (#88), Marian Hossa (#81), Antoine Vermette (#80) and Teuvo Teravainen (#86) all playing forward for the Blackhawks, the nickname, That '80s Line (yes, there was a TV show called That '80s Show), was proposed to some of the different line combinations that were playing together (e. …

Search by...
Show...

### Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.