Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Detroit Red Wings

By: Nick Lanciani

The exploration of an important element of the game continues. I take a look at 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.

Unknown-1Detroit Red Wings

Current Retired Numbers- 1 Terry Sawchuk, 5 Niklas Lidstrom, 7 Ted Lindsay, 9 Gordie Howe, 10 Alex Delvecchio, 12 Sid Abel, 19 Steve Yzerman

Recommended Numbers to Retire

39 Dominik Hasek

If Buffalo could do it, surely Detroit could too.

96 Tomas Holmstrom

Tomas Holmstrom and Pavel Datsyuk have been one of a kind for the Red Wings in the last decade.  (Getty Images)
Tomas Holmstrom and Pavel Datsyuk have been one of a kind for the Red Wings in the last decade.
(Getty Images)

Holmstrom might be a stretch, as you really have to go above an beyond by the Red Wings standards to have your number enshrined above the ice for eternity, but Holmstrom did win four Stanley Cups with Detroit after all.

That’s something that cannot be ignored, especially when it accounts for about 36% of the Red Wings 11 total Cups in franchise history, dating back to 1926.

13 Pavel Datsyuk

If the Red Wings don’t retire Datsyuk’s number once he retires, he might make a few dekes to the rafters himself to hang a banner.

40 Henrik Zetterberg

He’s been instrumental in what it means to be a Red Wing in Detroit’s current model.

Chris Osgood was a phenomenal goaltender for  Detroit and was part of the dangerous duo in the crease during Dominik Hasek's Red Wings days. (Getty Images)
Chris Osgood was a phenomenal goaltender for Detroit. (Getty Images)

30 Chris Osgood

Three Stanley Cups with the Red Wings is certainly remarkable enough to put aside number 30 from ever being in circulation again.

When you ask even an average hockey fan who’s been watching for the last decade to name some iconic goaltenders from Detroit, they’ll respond to you with the names of Osgood and Hasek.

Other Notes

The Red Wings are going to have a lot on their plate when it comes to retiring numbers within the next decade, so I’ll give them some time before I start throwing around Gustav Nyquist’s name or Niklas Kronwall’s name (or whatever).