As a person who routinely deals with the business problem of increasing celebrity value, I would have advocated that Commodore take the number.*
Sure, it's a bit punny, but Commodore had plenty of reasons and excuses to wear it:
IT WAS POSSIBLE AND THERE WAS DEMAND FOR IT
- Commodore initially floated the idea himself
- Puck Daddy, the Yahoo Sports Hockey Blog, pledged a $64 donation to the charity of Commodore's choice, with an invitation to fans to follow suit. Over 100 people signed up. That's a very good number of avid fans putting their money where their mouths are--and almost certainly represents thousands of other fans.**
- The Red Wings were open to the idea
IT WOULD HAVE CREATED OPTION VALUE FOR COMMODORE
- While Commodore is a 10 year veteran, he is not a particularly high-profile player. The recall from wearing a pun jersey would have increased his visibility dramatically, especially for an avid, nostalgic crowd that might not even be hockey fans. Wearing 64 would have been good for Hockey and good for him.
- A higher profile would allow for a greater number of future options for Commodore, especially in the areas of endorsements, broadcasting, entrepreneurial endeavors and more.
- It is a differentiator--and a positive one (sense of humor)--with low to no risk. It sets him apart from a sea of sameness.
Of course, Commodore may have had many reasons not to wear 64. He's a millionaire many times over, and probably would have had to hear endless sniping on the ice. And maybe he doesn't want the added publicity/distraction, or perhaps he didn't want to give a free endorsement. But from a pure business point of view, for a player in the latter half of his career, it would seem that this was an expensive choice to make.
* I do not work with Commodore and have never spoken with him.
** Commodore will match these $64 donations (if people are still willing to give) to a charity to be named later. Cool.