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Friday, July 10, 2020

5 Detroit Red Wings who should have their number retired

There is no question about it that the Detroit Red Wings have had a storied history which has included some great players. Of those players, only eight have had the honor of having their number retired.

  • No. 1 – Terry Sawchuk
  • No. 4 – Red Kelly
  • No. 5 – Nicklas Lidstrom
  • No. 7 – Ted Lindsay
  • No. 9 – Gordie Howe
  • No. 10 – Alex Delvecchio
  • No. 12 – Sid Abel
  • No. 19 – Steve Yzerman

Though each of the players listed above are more than deserving of having their number in the rafters, there are some players missing from the list. Here are five more players who are deserving of having their number retired.

Pavel Datsyuk No. 13

Pavel Datsyuk spent 14 seasons in Detroit, where he played in a whopping 953 games. Throughout his career, Datsyuk racked up 314 goals and 604 assists for a total of 918 career points ( ranks 7th in Wings history).

In addition, Datsyuk also has two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings, one from 2002 and one from 2008. He is a 4-time Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winner and a 3-time Frank J. Selke Trophy winner.

At some point, Datsyuk’s No. 13 will be retired.

Vladimir Konstantinov No. 16

Vladimir Konstantinov should have played even longer with the Detroit Red Wings had his career not been cut short by a tragic accident that took place after the Stanley Cup victory in 1997.

Konstantinov was an outstanding player and an outstanding leader on the Red Wings. He was tough and always gave his all with the team’s success on his mind. Konstantinov may not be one of the all-time great but because of his inspiration to the Red Wings following his accident, Vlady deserves to have his No. 16 hanging for everyone to see.

Norm Ullman No. 79

Ullman scored 490 regular-season goals and 739 assists for 1229 points in 20 seasons (13 in Detroit), which ranks him amongst some of the greatest centers to ever play in the NHL. He led the Red Wings in goals in three seasons and led the entire NHL during the 1964–65 season with 42 goals.

Though he didn’t play his entire career in Detroit, Ullman is still a piece of Red Wings history. Interestingly, Ullman shares a number with the great “Terrible” Ted Lindsay, who already has his No. 7 retired. Ullman also wore the No. 7 sweater after Lindsay departed.

So, how should Ullman’s number be retired?

After Ullman was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, he changed to No. 9. That number, of course, was worn by the great Gordie Howe so that would not work either. So, in order to honor Ullman, there are a few options. First, his name could be added to Lindsay’s banner (not happening and shouldn’t happen). Second, they could retire the No. 16 that Ullman wore to begin his career in Detroit (Nope, that is for Vlady). Or third, the Red Wings could retire another number to honor Ullman. My suggestion is to retire No. 79 as it could be a combo of two of the numbers he wore in his career.

Henrik Zetterberg No. 40

Through fifteen seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, #40 racked up 337 goals and 623 assists for 960 points. Zetterberg helped the Red Wings to their 11th and most recent Stanley Cup victory in 2008 and was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player of the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs. His 13 playoff goals tied with teammate Johan Franzen for the Red Wings record for most in a single postseason. 

Not only was Zetterberg a great player on the ice but he was an equally good leader both on and off the ice. There is absolutely no question in my mind that Zetterberg’s No. 40 should be hanging in the rafters at Little Caesars Arena.

Sergei Fedorov No. 91

This one is a no-brainer.

Sergei Fedorov was arguably the best player on the Detroit Red Wings during each of their 3 Stanley Cup runs while he was on the team. During the Stanley Cup Playoffs (162 games) with the Red Wings, Sergei had 50 goals and 113 assists.

Fedorov won the Selke Trophy for best defensive forward twice in his career and following the 1993-1994 season, he won the Hart Trophy as the Most Valuable Players of the NHL. During that season, he scored 56 goals and dished out 64 assists.

I would argue that without Fedorov, the Red Wings probably would not have won 3 Stanley Cups.

Fedorov was the most dynamic forward of his generation and a Hall of Famer. He absolutely deserves to have his jersey hung from the rafters.

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