Not many players wore No. 19 for the Chicago Wolves. But those who did will always be recognized among the most important players in our history. Welcome to the newest episode of the 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, we are creating highlight reels of Wolves who wore the same jersey number and asking you to vote for your favorite.
On July 15, 1994, nearly six months after the Wolves announced the launch of their International Hockey League organization, the team revealed its first player: MacDonald. The signing of the veteran defenseman, who spent most of the previous six years in the IHL, meant the Wolves’ first squad wouldn’t come up short in the toughness department. In the Wolves’ inaugural home game, for example, MacDonald and beloved veteran forward Al Secord were sent off for fighting at the same time. Over the course of his two seasons in a Wolves sweater, MacDonald posted 3 goals, 18 assists and 664 penalty minutes. He continues to hold the franchise records for PIMS in a career and a season (390 in 1994-95) — a pair of marks that don’t figure to be broken.
In 1996, Murray made a triumphant return to Chicago to serve as team captain and center the team’s top line with Steve Maltais and Rob Brown as his wings. The popular Murray, who already had 914 NHL games, 230 goals and 354 assists on his resume, produced 21 goals and 29 assists in 81 games for the Wolves. He announced his retirement after the season and, one year later, launched his career as a TV and radio analyst for the Chicago Blackhawks. When the NHL season begins next month, it will mark Murray’s 15th year in the booth alongside John Wiedeman.
Featherstone joined the Wolves organization in 1998, shortly after the team captured its first league championship. The physical defenseman arrived after spending nine years in the NHL with St. Louis, Boston, the New York Rangers, Hartford and Calgary. Featherstone became a stalwart on the Wolves’ blue line for three seasons — contributing 18 goals, 49 assists and 452 penalty minutes in 195 regular-season games. When the Wolves climbed to the 2000 Turner Cup title, Featherstone appeared in all 16 postseason games and delivered 3 goals with 5 assists.
Following Featherstone’s retirement in 2001, No. 19 was passed to Atlanta Thrashers prospect Dan Snyder. It wasn’t long before Snyder won the fans’ hearts for his relentless play and his perpetual good nature. During 2001-02, the Elmira, Ontario, native posted 11 goals and 24 assists during the regular season — then cranked up his play to another level during the Calder Cup Playoffs. He recorded 7 goals and 10 assists in 22 postseason games, which included an absurd 5 game-winning goals, to help the Wolves win their third championship in five years.
Snyder split the 2002-03 season between the Wolves (11 goals in 35 games) and the Thrashers (10 goals in 36 games). On Sept. 29, 2003, less than two weeks before the next NHL season was scheduled to begin, Snyder suffered a fractured skull and internal brain injuries as part of a single-car accident with teammate Dany Heatley in Atlanta. Snyder died six days later.
No one has worn No. 19 since Snyder’s passing — and no one will again. A banner bearing his name hangs in the Allstate Arena rafters. The Wolves also honor Snyder’s life and his memory by presenting one player each season with the Dan Snyder Man of the Year Award.
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
Your Favorite Number 16
Your Favorite Number 17
Your Favorite Number 18