While the debate rages on regarding whether or not the Detroit Red Wings should retire the #91 of former All-Star Sergei Fedorov, the team announced today that there will be a new number added to the collection of honored former players.
Leonard Patrick “Red” Kelly, who played 13 years with the Red Wings and then another eight with the Toronto Maple Leafs, will have his #4 retired by the Red Wings. The ceremony will take place on February 1, 2019 before a matchup against Toronto.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 11, 2018
As a 19 year old, Kelly joined the Red Wings in 1947. Throughout his career, he was chosen as a first-team All-Star defenseman six times, and he was a member of four Stanley Cup championship winning squads. He was later traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs after nixing a trade to the New York Rangers. With Kelly, the Leafs would win the Stanley Cup four times – the same number as with Detroit.
When he finally retired, he was second in number of games played only behind Gordie Howe. He scored 281 goals to do with 542 assists in 1,316 regular season games, and he scored 33 goals and 59 assists for 92 points in 164 playoff games.
Several Detroit Red Wings players have worn #4 in the past two decades, including Jamie Pushor, Uwe Krupp, and Jamie Rivers. However, with this announcement, Kelly’s #4 will now hang from the rafters at Little Caesars Arena, never to be worn by a another Red Wings player again.
EDITORIAL: Black seats at Little Caesars Arena will be more of an eye-sore
What are the people running Little Caesars Arena thinking?
For those who haven’t heard, the venue will be installing new black seats to replace the original and barely into their second season of use red seats. Why? Team officials are apparently still bothered by the noticeable lack of people sitting in them. It was a regular theme last season for both the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons. Despite the fact that every Red Wings game was sold out, empty seats were obvious on television broadcasts.