Reporter proposes an idea for how the Leafs can honour Rodion Amirov following his passing

Mike Armenti
August 15, 2023  (11:45)

Leafs Nation is reeling over the loss of Rodion Amirov, a 21-year-old prospect who had his life taken from him way too soon after a near two-year battle with brain cancer. Yesterday's announcement was not only unexpected, but heartbreaking as well.

His home arena in Ufa is already the site of a memorial, which was set up by fans, displaying signs, photos, jerseys, flowers and teddy bears as his community mourns his loss. It wouldn't surprise me to see a similar situation develop at Scotiabank Arena. However, there is a way that the Leafs organization can honour Amirov in a more permanent fashion.
The Score's Kyle Cushman has proposed the idea of retiring Amirov's number, even though he had never actually worn it in an official capacity with the organization. Amirov had worn the number 27 back home in the KHL, but with Leaf greats Frank Mahovlich and Darryl Sittler having worn the number in Toronto, it is already retired. Therefore, Amirov would have worn #72 for the Leafs.
The idea of retiring a number that has never actually been worn by the player in a game setting might be met with some push-back from fans, especially those who already don't like the idea of organizations retiring jersey numbers. However, this is one I don't think many would mind and most might appreciate. #72 isn't exactly a household number. It's not as though it's a more popular, iconic number like #19. The number 72 was only worn twice before by a Leafs player. Mathieu Schneider wore it from 1996-1998, while Travis Boyd wore it in 2021.
Hanging Amirov's #72 in the rafters would be a massive sign of respect and a showing of love and support to a Leaf who never got the chance to bleed blue and white. The 2023-24 season was originally expected to be Amirov's first full NHL season back when he was drafted in 2020. How fitting would it be to see the team retire his jersey number during the same season in which he was supposed to have become a full-time Leaf?
I understand the arguments against such an idea, but it's an idea that I really do enjoy. Amirov deserves to be remembered. What better way to do that than to have the organization have his jersey number hanging from the rafters for all to see each and every time they step in the building?
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Reporter proposes an idea for how the Leafs can honour Rodion Amirov following his passing

Should the Leafs retire Rodion Amirov's jersey number this season?

Yes16548.7 %
No17451.3 %
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