In Chicago Wolves lore, some uniform numbers hold a little extra meaning. In this installment of the Chicago Wolves’ Your Favorite Number series, presented by Jewel-Osco, meet the three men who wore No. 16.
When the Wolves made their debut on Oct. 1, 1994, 26-year-old Tim Breslin stepped on the ice wearing No. 16 and representing his hometown of Addison. For the next five seasons — the remainder of his professional career — Breslin donned No. 16. He scored 37 goals and handed out 82 assists during his 330 regular-season games. He added four goals and eight assists in his 41 postseason appearances — and he was in the lineup on June 15, 1998, when the Wolves won their first championship by defeating the Detroit Vipers in Game 7 of the Turner Cup Finals.
Breslin announced his retirement on the first day of 1999 training camp. No. 16 passed to Brian Noonan, the Boston native who made his home in Elmhurst after spending the first half of his 12-year NHL career with the Blackhawks. Noonan, who won the Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers in 1994, added a Turner Cup to his resume in his first season with the Wolves. He piled up 30 goals during the regular season, then added four more during the playoffs as the Wolves captured the 2000 Turner Cup. Noonan finished his two-year Wolves stint with 51 goals and 64 assists in 162 regular-season games.
Upon Noonan’s retirement, No. 16 passed to high-scoring newcomer J.P. Vigier. Part of the young group of prospects that moved from the Orlando Solar Bears to the Wolves as part of Chicago’s shift to the American Hockey League, Vigier promptly helped the Wolves grab the 2002 Calder Cup as he ranked third on the team with 25 regular-season goals. He added seven goals and seven assists during the playoffs. Vigier spent two more seasons with the Wolves and finished his time with 83 goals and 84 assists in 201 regular-season contests.
During the 2004-05 season, Vigier’s last with the team, Breslin was diagnosed with appendiceal cancer. Cruelly, the cancer progressed swiftly and Breslin passed away on Feb. 9, 2005. However, the impact Breslin and his family made on the Wolves organization and his community will live forever. The Wolves created the Tim Breslin Unsung Hero Award and the Breslin Memorial Scholarship to ensure his values will continue to flourish and grow. In addition, the Wolves determined Breslin, Noonan and Vigier will remain the only three players to wear No. 16.
To share your thoughts about the Wolves players who wore No. 16, visit one or more of the team’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and make your opinion known!
If you missed any of the previous episodes, here they are:
Your Favorite Number 2
Your Favorite Number 3
Your Favorite Number 4
Your Favorite Number 5
Your Favorite Number 6
Your Favorite Number 7
Your Favorite Number 8
Your Favorite Number 9
Your Favorite Number 10
Your Favorite Number 12
Your Favorite Number 13
Your Favorite Number 14
Your Favorite Number 15