Are you ready for the newest installment of the Chicago Wolves’ Your Favorite Number series, presented by Jewel-Osco?
Over the course of the organization’s first 26 years, most Wolves jersey numbers have been shared by several great players. To celebrate their brilliance — and to link them together in our memories — we are unveiling highlight reels of Wolves who wore the same jersey number and asking you to vote for your favorite.
Brett Hauer already owned 29 games of NHL experience with the Edmonton Oilers when he joined the Wolves for the 1996-97 season. He paced all Wolves defensemen with 10 goals and 30 assists to help the squad reach the playoffs. Once in the postseason, Hauer posted two goals in four games. He went to play 11 more seasons as a professional — including brief stints with the Oilers and Nashville Predators — before retiring in 2008 at the age of 36.
Late in the 2001-02 regular season, the Wolves traded Jarrod Skalde to the Philadelphia Phantoms in order to get physical defenseman Joe DiPenta. That turned out to be a great move because DiPenta became indispensable on the Wolves’ run to the 2002 Calder Cup. He played all 25 games during the postseason and contributed one goal and three assists. He and his teammates also apparently ate chicken parmesan before every postseason game. DiPenta spent two more seasons with the Wolves before becoming an NHL regular — and helping the Anaheim Ducks hoist the 2007 Stanley Cup.
Brian Sipotz (2004-10) was a mainstay on the Wolves’ blue line for six full seasons. Picked by the Atlanta Thrashers in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Sipotz graduated from Miami (Ohio) University before joining the Wolves. In 369 regular-season games (tied for fifth-most in team history), the 6-foot-7, 250-pound Sipotz served as the prototypical stay-at-home defenseman while also contributed nine goals and 45 assists. During the 2008 postseason, Sipotz handed out four assists in 20 games to help the Wolves capture the Calder Cup.
When Nolan Baumgartner joined the Wolves for the 2011-12 season, he was closing out a long and decorated career. Baumgartner served as the captain and contributed two goals and 20 assists in 60 games while leading the team to the 2012 Midwest Division title. On Feb. 25, 2012, Baumgartner played in his 1,000th professional game — a milestone recognized by the Wolves. He announced his retirement after the season and launched his coaching career as a Wolves assistant. He just wrapped up his third year as a Vancouver Canucks assistant coach.