By: Nick Lanciani
I continue to explore an important element of the game and what retired numbers around the league may look like in the future. While there’s only a finite set of numbers to utilize on the back of a jersey, many teams choose to retire (or honor) some numbers based on extraordinary circumstances, dedication to the organization, or legendary status.
Many thoughts went through my head in each and every consideration. Feel free to agree or disagree- I want to know what you, the fans, consider worthy when evaluating a player, their career, and whether or not their number should be retired by a franchise. I am interested in seeing what you have to say, assuming you are actually a fan of the team and/or player that you argue for or against. Drop us a line in the comments or tweet to @DtFrozenRiver using #DTFRNumbersGame.
For each team, I thought of former and current players that should have their numbers retired now or once they hang up the skates.
Current Retired Numbers- 2 Glen Wesley, 10 Ron Francis, 17 Rod Brind’Amour
Recommended Numbers to Retire
9 Gordie Howe
Before the Hartford Whalers made the move to Raleigh, North Carolina a few numbers had been retired by the organization including “Mr. Hockey’s” number 9. It only makes sense that, like some other teams around the league, the organization should honor a true legend that once played for them, even though it was in a different time before the franchise’s current status.
12 Eric Staal
Staal became the franchise player that he currently is about the time that Rod Brind’Amour was beginning the twilight of his career. Despite the uncertain future in Carolina surrounding Staal and a few of his counterparts, he has proven worthy of being honored with the retirement of his number in the future as a dedicated player to the Hurricanes fan base and organization.
The decision would likely add a sense of history to the franchise that they could market to future generations of fans, depending upon if they stay in Carolina or not, as the team is still looking for a new owner.
There’s always the chance that Jeff Skinner or Noah Hannifin could go on to become cornerstones of the franchise, however Skinner’s name is still actively involved in trade rumors (whether they’re credible or not) and Hannifin was just drafted in June and obviously has big shoes to fill to become the face of the franchise. Then again, Skinner hasn’t been as impressive as his rookie campaign was, and Carolina as a whole has a plethora of young talent that is unpredictable, but not in the way that condones rising in league standings the way they hoped.