Category Archives: Nick’s Net

Goalie talk and more from a former DekHockey goalie, as well as all kinds of things written by Nick Lanciani and some projected stats.

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Pittsburgh Penguins

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.

Pittsburgh Penguins LogoPittsburgh Penguins

Current Retired Numbers- 21 Michel Briere, 66 Mario Lemieux

Recommended Numbers to Retire

87 Sidney Crosby

To say the Pittsburgh Penguins will never retire Crosby’s number 87 sweater after his career is over is like saying penguins can fly.

71 Evgeni Malkin

The same goes for Malkin, as long as the relationship between the club and player never goes sour.

81 Phil Kessel

That’s right, I’m calling it. The Penguins will retire Phil Kessel’s number 81 one day. Not only am I crazy for making this declaration before he even touches the ice in a Pittsburgh sweater, but, well on second thought, that’s pretty much the only reason why I’m crazy. Kessel can score, that’s a fact. And anyone that plays alongside Crosby or Malkin is automatically made ten times better (if you’re not the one scoring, you’re the one passing the puck to Sid the Kid or Geno).

So that’s why I think his number will see the rafters in Pittsburgh in the future, aside from the fact that he’s finally found an organization he can settle in for longer than ever before. *I wrote this before the season started, as things are right now, his Pittsburgh venture is about as memorable as Colby Armstrong’s days in the Steel City.*

14 Chris Kunitz

Kunitz may be the first beneficiary of the Crosby-Malkin affect, as he is closest to retirement, but while he has been superb for the Penguins, his number 14 likely won’t rest alongside Michel Briere’s number 21 and Mario Lemieux’s number 66.

29 Marc-Andre Fleury

If he lets more beach balls by him, then all bets are off. Otherwise, Fleury’s the best goaltender Pittsburgh has seen in a long time, but is that enough to put number 29 out of commission after his career is over?

58 Kris Letang

Letang will likely be around for a long time in Pittsburgh and given the fact that he’s their best defenseman, there’s a good chance number 58 will see immortality above the ice at the Consol Energy Center. His health issues aside, Letang is one remarkable player in all of his resilience and persistence in the game. Including his health, Letang is superhuman.

9 Pascal Dupuis

As a player, Dupuis was committed to the Penguins through and through. He might not have been the greatest there ever was, but he’s certainly worthy of receiving the distinction of having his number retired by Pittsburgh. Best of luck to Dupuis in his transition to the front office aspect of the game within the organization.

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Philadelphia Flyers

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.

Philadelphia Flyers LogoPhiladelphia Flyers

Current Retired Numbers- 1 Bernie Parent, 2 Mark Howe, 4 Barry Ashbee, 7 Bill Barber, 16 Bobby Clarke

Recommended Numbers to Retire

10 John LeClair

The Philadelphia Flyers really have some catching up to do when it comes to their retired numbers. For starters there’s the Legion of Doom line left winger, John LeClair, who spent ten years of his career with the Flyers, which included two consecutive 97-point seasons from 1995-1996 to 1996-1997. LeClair would reach the 90 point plateau for the third time in four seasons in the 1998-1999 season.

So, umm, yeah, why exactly haven’t you sent his number to the rafters, Philadelphia? I’ll speak from a completely biased perspective for a moment- John LeClair was one of my favorite players to try to emulate while growing up and playing street hockey in my neighborhood.

88 Eric Lindros

The center from the famous Legion of Doom line, Eric Lindros is well known for having been oft injured and the reason why the Québec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche had one of the greatest Swedish forwards of the game. But in his time well spent in Philadelphia, one season in particular, stands out for Lindros- his 115 point season in 1995-1996. Lindros only broke the 90-point plateau three times in his career, all as a member of the Flyers.

He only barely missed never having a season in Philadelphia with less than 60 points total, but in 1999-2000, Lindros came up just short, with 59 points, after only having played in 55 games due to injury. So again, why haven’t the Flyers done anything to immortalize his career with Philadelphia?

8 Mark Recchi

Recchi had two very successful stints with the Flyers over his 22-year career. In the 1992-1993 season, Recchi had 53-70-123 totals in 84 games played. From a scoring point, that was his best year ever in his career, but his success didn’t end there.

Although he won a Cup with Pittsburgh in 1991, before joining the inner state rival, Philadelphia Flyers, and went on to win a second Cup with Carolina in 2006, and his third with Boston in 2011, Mark Recchi will- rest assured- always be one of the greatest Philadelphia wingers in franchise history. Recchi was a centerpiece in the trade with Montreal that brought LeClair to the City of Brotherly Love and he was one of the reasons why playing with the Flyers in NHL 2001 was so great, for the record.

Again I must ask the question, why haven’t you done anything yet, Philadelphia Flyers organization?

12 Simon Gagné

Gagné spent eleven years of his remarkable career with the Flyers and scored some of the biggest goals in franchise history, including the one in 2010 that completed the seven game series comeback from being down in a 3-0 hole to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Whether he is able to make a return to play since taking a personal leave of absence 23 games into his short tenure with the Bruins, or whether he’s forced to retire, the Flyers should do the right thing with his jersey number and send it to the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center.

28 Claude Giroux

Giroux is the best player on the Flyers roster currently and will likely spend the majority of his career in Philadelphia black, white, and orange. After his career is over, the Flyers will no doubt bestow him the greatest honor from an organization and remove number 28 from circulation on the back of any Flyers jersey.

93 Jakub Voracek

The Flyers will need at least another eight years of Voracek to really determine if retiring his number is worthy of consideration one day, but we might as well include him in the conversation for the future.

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Ottawa Senators

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.

Unknown-2Ottawa Senators

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.

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- New York Rangers

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.

New York Rangers LogoNew York Rangers

Current Retired Numbers- 1 Eddie Giacomin, 2 Brian Leetch, 3 Harry Howell, 7 Rod Gilbert, 9 Andy Bathgate/Adam Graves, 11 Mark Messier, 35 Mike Richter

Recommended Numbers to Retire

18 Marc Staal

There’s a chance that if the New York Rangers could ever win a Cup one of these years and the stars align for Staal, then maybe his number 18 could hang from the rafters of Madison Square Garden one day.

27 Ryan McDonagh

This is just a reminder that the Montreal Canadiens got Scott Gomez in return for McDonagh, who is arguably the New York Rangers number one defenseman when Marc Staal isn’t playing up to his potential. So yeah, about that Cup thing again- it’d further solidify the chances of McDonagh’s number being retired, provided he sticks around the Big Apple for a long time.

30 Henrik Lundqvist

One of the greatest goaltenders in the world, Lundqvist has yet to find out how to win a Cup. When he does, the world will rejoice. He’s a face of the franchise for the Rangers and without a doubt will see his number ascend to the rafters of MSG. Need I say more? This one is rather self-explanatory.

61 Rick Nash

If Nash puts in at least a decade with the Rangers and is able to snag a Cup or two, as well as perform well in scoring, then there’s a good chance New York would retire his number and further enlarge the divide between Rick Nash and his former fans in Columbus.

Other Notes

If the Rangers finally pull off a Cup win for the first time since 1994, I fully expect either Staal, McDonagh, or Nash will have played a large enough role to put their numbers in consideration for retirement by New York some day. Maybe Derek Stepan too.

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- New York Islanders

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.

New York Islanders LogoNew York Islanders

Current Retired Numbers- 5 Denis Potvin, 9 Clark Gillies, 19 Bryan Trottier, 22 Mike Bossy, 23 Bob Nystrom, 31 Billy Smith, 1500 Al Arbour

Recommended Numbers to Retire

91 John Tavares

Before the New York Islanders became America’s team this past season, let’s face it- they were terrible. The only bright spot they had was Tavares and the future he might bring. Luckily the Islanders have drafted well enough to continue to build a team around their star center and have landed several notable players via free agency and trades- most notably, Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk.

So years from now, number 91 will hang from the rafters of the Barclays Center, alongside many other NYI greats. Other than that, Tavares is the only player that’s a step above the rest on the Islanders for now, such that he will deserve special recognition in the form of retiring his number.

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- New Jersey Devils

By: Nick Lanciani

I continue to explore 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.

New Jersey Devils LogoNew Jersey Devils

Current Retired Numbers- 3 Ken Daneyko, 4 Scott Stevens, 27 Scott Niedermayer

Recommended Numbers to Retire

30 Martin Brodeur

(This one was announced that it will be retired this season, after I wrote this, so here’s what I wrote before the announcement).

One of the greatest goalies of all time (other than Patrick Roy and Terry Sawchuk) will obviously have his number retired by the New Jersey Devils, right?

26 Patrik Elias

When Elias retires, there’s no denying the commitment he had to the Devils organization. It would be inconsiderate of them to not retire his number for all he has done.

19 Travis Zajac

At this point, his number would only be retired if he can lead them to the early 2000s glory they once had. So basically, he has to win a few Stanley Cups with New Jersey for his number to be raised to the rafters at the end of his career.

Other Notes

The Devils just don’t seem to be the type of team that 1) retires jersey numbers and/or 2) ever wants to change up their jerseys (or at least introduce an alternate jersey). I’m not saying their look is bad or that they are a lousy organization, but they not only look irrelevant on the ice, given their transition- they look irrelevant all around. A little something might liven up things or at the very least, remind everyone else they still exist. Your move, Ray Shero.*

*Obviously I wrote this before the season began, because the Devils have been quietly making noise this season. Good for them.

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Nashville Predators

By: Nick Lanciani

My look at what retired numbers around the league may look like in the future continues. 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.

UnknownNashville Predators

Current Retired Numbers- None

Recommended Numbers to Retire

11 David Legwand

When Legwand retires he’ll likely be the first to have his number retired in franchise history for the Nashville Predators. It’s fitting that he was their first successfully developed player- and longtime face of the franchise- so it will truly be something special for all to enjoy (fans, front office, and former teammates alike).

6 Shea Weber

When Weber retires, Nashville will have lost one of their best defenseman ever. Other than that, he’s Shea Weber and he’s spent his entire career with Nashville, thus far (aside from that offer sheet he signed with Philadelphia, but was ultimately matched by the Predators). He’s a shoe in for his number to be raised to the rafters of the Bridgestone Arena.

35 Pekka Rinne

And so is Rinne. He’s one of maybe five or six elite goaltenders in the world. He’ll likely be a Predator for life (and so will his number when it’s enshrined above the ice).

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Montreal Canadiens

By: Nick Lanciani

I’m back with my continued exploration of what retired numbers around the league may look like in the future continues. 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.

UnknownMontreal Canadiens

Current Retired Numbers- 1 Jacques Plante, 2 Doug Harvey, 3 Émile Bouchard, 4 Jean Beliveau, 5 Bernie Geoffrion/Guy Lapointe, 7 Howie Morenz, 9 Maurice Richard, 10 Guy Lafleur, 12 Yvan Cournoyer/Dickie Moore, 16 Henri Richard/Elmer Lach, 18 Serge Savard, 19 Larry Robinson, 23 Bob Gainey, 29 Ken Dryden, 33 Patrick Roy

Recommended Numbers to Retire

11 Saku Koivu

To have your number retired by the Montreal Canadiens is perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments in all of sports. Koivu was the definition of what it meant to be a Canadien in the 1990s and early 2000s, as well as the definition of courage in his battle with cancer. Saku Koivu was an exceptional player for Montreal and even Boston fans will agree with that statement. It was weird watching Koivu in a Ducks jersey, but it would be even weirder if the Canadiens don’t retire his jersey number.

Other Notes

Eventually, I’ll probably add Carey Price (number 31), Max Pacioretty (number 67) and P.K. Subban (number 76) to this list, but for the immediate future the Canadiens really should retire Koivu’s number and make Brendan Gallagher wear something else.

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Minnesota Wild

By: Nick Lanciani

My look at what retired numbers around the league may look like in the future continues. 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-4Minnesota Wild

Current Retired Numbers- 1 Minnesota Fans

Recommended Numbers to Retire

9 Mikko Koivu

Koivu has been one of the first- if not the first- products of the Minnesota Wild’s system. The franchise itself is still young, having first appeared in the 2000-2001 season, so not many players have gone through Minnesota for their entire career, or under extraordinary circumstances, hence as things stand right now, we’ll likely only see the Wild retire a number in the next ten or fifteen years.

Zach Parise's legend continues to grow each year in Minnesota. Will he lead them on a Cup run in the near future? (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Zach Parise’s legend continues to grow each year in Minnesota. Will he lead them on a Cup run in the near future? (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

11 Zach Parise

Provided Parise spends the majority of his career with the Wild, there’s a good chance they’ll honor him and his legendary Minnesota family. Also, if he keeps scoring hat tricks like the one he had Thursday night, they’ll probably honor him too.

20 Ryan Suter

Likewise, it’s the same case with Suter- minus the hat tricks (see above).

Other Notes

Minnesota fans are number 1 in the State of Hockey, especially after having to live through the whole North Stars relocation to Dallas- probably hence why the number is set aside to make that connection between a committed franchise and their fans.

Otherwise, I really got nothing for you in terms of what the future could look like for the Minnesota Wild’s rafters.

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Los Angeles Kings

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.

UnknownLos Angeles Kings

Current Retired Numbers- 4 Rob Blake, 16 Marcel Dionne, 18 Dave Taylor, 20 Luc Robitaille, 30 Rogie Vachon, 99 Wayne Gretzky

Recommended Numbers to Retire

32 Jonathan Quick

Quick is one of the best goaltenders in Los Angeles Kings history. Period. Also, he has two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings that also happen to be the first two Cups in the entire existence of their franchise, so yeah, Quick’s kind of a big deal in Los Angeles.

Don't you ever wish you could be as slick as Quick?(Photo via nhlpa.com)
Don’t you ever wish you could be as slick as Quick?(Photo via nhlpa.com)

8 Drew Doughty

Drew Doughty is the Rob Blake of our current era for the Los Angeles Kings. It would be only fitting that when Doughty retires someday, the Kings hang up his number as well.

23 Dustin Brown

Brown’s a King for life and helped bring two Stanley Cups in three years to Los Angeles (2012 and 2014). The Kings have many current stars within their organization as a result of the strong teams they’ve put together for the last few years. With the exception of missing the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Los Angeles is still a team to be on the lookout for. Sure it might be a lot of retired numbers one day for the Kings, but it’ll be a lot of meaningful numbers for players that were intrinsically connected to significant events in franchise history.

Anze Kopitar is worthy someday, you guys. I shouldn't have to write anything else. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Anze Kopitar is worthy someday, you guys. I shouldn’t have to write anything else. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

11 Anze Kopitar

Kopitar is a Kings great and he’s only turning 28 on August 24th. At this point I’d be repeating myself to say everything that I’ve already said, so I’ll just stop writing now.

Other Notes

Who knows what numbers may eventually be retired from That 70s Line someday. Many of the Kings players are still under 30 years old, so it’s difficult to predict how well each player will perform in their career, let alone be around with Los Angeles in their career.