By: Nick Lanciani
What will retired numbers look like around the league 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.
With that in mind, I explore what each team around the NHL might do in the coming seasons. Feel free to speak your mind and 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- 8 Frank Finnigan
Recommended Numbers to Retire
11 Daniel Alfredsson
Alfredsson was the heart and soul of the Ottawa Senators. It really is a shame he could never win a Cup, but 17 years of winning over an entire city is nearly as good. It would only be fitting that the Senators first retired number of their own (and not from the previous installment of a Senators franchise in Ottawa) would be Alfredsson’s. He was the 75th player in league history to reach 1,000 career points in the NHL and played in 1,178 games for the Senators, which is now second to Chris Phillips for the most games played for the organization (Phillips surpassed Alfredsson’s mark on February 5th of this year).
19 Jason Spezza
Once Spezza calls it a career, it only makes sense that his number 19 hangs in the rafters of the Canadian Tire Centre alongside former linemate, Daniel Alfredsson. Spezza was influential in the Senators run to the Final in 2007 and was well respected by the city, fans, and management. The feeling was mutual, but ultimately, Spezza had asked to be dealt and was traded to the Dallas Stars on July 1, 2014.
What led to the demise of Spezza’s time in Ottawa, I can only think has to do with the bitter taste of Alfredsson leaving him to play his last season in Detroit, coupled with the bleak outlook the Senators had over the last few years leading up to Spezza’s departure. Since then, the deal has worked out for both sides. The Senators are a surging team in the Atlantic Division, poised to make consecutive playoff runs, while the Stars have a beyond superstar talent laden roster that really shouldn’t surprise to have a decent turnaround after missing the playoffs in 2015.
65 Erik Karlsson
Karlsson is Ottawa’s best offensive defenseman in franchise history, despite being 25 years old. It is without a doubt that, as captain, he will stick around with the Senators for the majority, if not entirety, of his career and will go down in history in Ottawa, if not league history for his remarkable scoring ability from the blue line that he so often leaves to find the net.