It’s the middle of July. It’s the weekend. Yup, I’m officially bored.
With hockey news and stories dwindling as free agency approaches Week #4 — and the weekends being notoriously slow in the hockey world anyway — I thought we’d do something fun and totally inconsequentially ’round these parts at the Production Line: take a look at some numbers.
But not statistics or contract details (ya know… numbers that kind of sort of matter), we’re going to look at jersey numbers.
With the help of a couple websites, I read through all the players that wore each sweater number in Detroit – whether it was with the Cougars, Falcons, or the Red Wings. Listed below are the first wearer, the current or most recent wearer (NHL regular/post-season games ONLY), and other notables throughout the years — the Hall-of-Famers, the nostalgic chioces, and the downright ridiculous.
Retired in 1994 :: Terry Sawchuk
First Wearer :: Harry “Hap” Holmes, 1926
Last Wearer :: Glen Hanlon, 1991
Others Notables :: Alec Connell, Cecil “Tiny” Thompson, Johnny Mowers, Harry Lumley, Glenn Hall, Roger Crozier, Jim Rutherford, Corrado Micalef.
The story of #1 :: Plenty of Hall-of-Famers and NHL executives in that list. Oh, and Glen Hanlon.
First Wearer :: Clem Loughlin, 1926
Most Recent Wearer :: Jiri Fischer, 2006
Other Notables :: Jack Stewart, Al Arbour, Jim Schoenfeld, Barry Melrose, Mike O’Connell, Brad McCrimmon, Ulf Samuelsson, Derian Hatcher.
The story of #2 :: While it’s not technically retired (in fact, it’s been used the last two prospect camps), no one has worn number 2 since Jiri Fischer collapsed on the bench in November, 2005.
First Wearer :: Pete Bellefeuille, 1926
Current Wearer :: Andreas Lilja
Other Notables :: Bill Quackenbush, Marcel Pronovost, Steve Chiasson.
The story of #3 :: RIP Steve Chiasson.
First Wearer :: Archie Briden, 1926
Most Recent Wearer :: Kyle Quincey, 2008
Other Notables :: Harry Meeking, George Hay, Sid Abel (briefly), Red Kelly, Bill Gadsby, Bob Baun, Colin Campbell, Rick Zombo, Mark Howe, Uwe Krupp.
The story of #4 :: Red Kelly arguably began drawing the blueprint for the current Red Wings philosophy on the blueline.