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Your Favorite Number 34

Only seven players have donned No. 34 for the Chicago Wolves, but many of them stood out during their time wearing that rare number. Let’s celebrate their careers in this episode of Your Favorite Number, 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.

This week’s clips feature four Wolves who made a difference while wearing No. 34: Gord Donnelly, Ravil Gusmanov, Norm Maracle and Kari Lehtonen.

Seeking help on the blue line one month into the 1996-97 season, the Wolves signed the 34-year-old Donnelly. His extensive resume featured 28 goals, 41 assists and 2,069 penalty minutes in 554 NHL regular-season games. The Montreal native provided similar production during his season with the Wolves as he contributed 3 goals, 5 assists and 144 penalty minutes in 59 games. He appeared in all four postseason contests and handed out 2 assists. The 1996-97 season marked his 14th and final pro season in North America, but Donnelly extended his career with three seasons in Austria.

Gusmanov also spent just one season with the Wolves, but he was much more adept at lighting the lamp. The Naberezhnye Chelny, Russia, native, was a huge part of the 1997-98 squad’s early success. He piled up 27 goals and 28 assists by March 1, but suffered an injury that forced him to miss the final 19 regular-season games and the first 11 postseason games. He returned to the lineup for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against Long Beach and played the rest of the way — notching 1 goal and 3 assists to help the Wolves hoist their first Turner Cup. After that, Gusmanov spent 12 more seasons playing in Russia.

Maracle initially wasn’t a Wolves fan favorite — because he backstopped the Orlando Solar Bears when they defeated the Wolves 4 games to 1 in the 2001 Turner Cup Finals. Then the Belleville, Ontario, joined the Wolves as part of the team’s move from the International Hockey League to the American Hockey League…and all was well. Maracle handed 51 regular-season games for the Wolves during the 2001-02 season while also making one appearance for the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers. The following year, Maracle again played the majority of the games. He wrapped up his Wolves tenure with a 43-38-10-5 record, 5 shutouts, a 2.89 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.

Lehtonen arrived in Chicago in the fall of 2003 with an incredible amount of hype after being selected second overall in the 2002 NHL Draft by Atlanta. The Helsinki, Finland, native lived up to every word during his Wolves tenure that featured two full seasons (2003-04 and 2004-05) and two brief rehab stints (2007-08 and 2009-10) after he became the Thrashers’ regular goaltender. Lehtonen backstopped the 2005 squad all the way to the Calder Cup Finals and posted sparkling lifetime numbers in his 102 regular-season appearances with the Wolves: a 61-28-10 record with 8 shutouts, a 2.33 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.

Lehtonen went on to spend 13 full seasons in the NHL with the Thrashers and the Dallas Stars. He stacked up 310 regular-season wins, which ranks 31st in NHL history.

To vote for your favorite Wolves player who wore No. 34, 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
Your Favorite Number 16
Your Favorite Number 17
Your Favorite Number 18
Your Favorite Number 19
Your Favorite Number 20
Your Favorite Number 21
Your Favorite Number 22
Your Favorite Number 23
Your Favorite Number 24
Your Favorite Number 25
Your Favorite Number 26
Your Favorite Number 27
Your Favorite Number 28
Your Favorite Number 29
Your Favorite Number 30
Your Favorite Number 31
Your Favorite Number 32
Your Favorite Number 33