The Mathematics Enthusiast






The purpose of this article, in general, is to expound Chernoff’s (2016) notion of numberlines, that is, hockey line nicknames based on jersey numbers. The article begins with a brief discussion of the history of hockey line nicknames, which allows for the parsing of numberlines and quasi-numberlines (nicknames based on numbers associated with hockey players). Focusing, next, on jersey number restrictions for the National Hockey League (NHL), a repeated calculation of the number of possible numberlines winnows down the number from a theoretical upper bound to a practical upper bound. Moving beyond the numbers, the names of natural numbers – those with a certain panache (e.g., Untouchable, McNugget, Frugal, Hoax, Narcissistic, Unhappy, Superperfect and Powerul numbers) – act as a gateway to the notion of numberlining, the process of attempting to coin a numberline. Two particular examples, The Powers Line and The Evil Triplets provide a window into the process of numberlining. Prior to concluding remarks, which explain how numberlines and numberlining fall in line with the NHL’s recent embrace of fans’ use of social media, the article details how adopting hockey line nicknames based on jersey numbers can be used as a possible venue to rename questionable hockey line nicknames.

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