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By the Numbers :: 1 – 10

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.


First Wearer :: Frank Frederickson, 1926
Current Wearer :: Nicklas Lidstrom
Other Notables :: Ebbie Goodfellow, Leo Reise, Doug Harvey, Serge Lajeunesse, Marcel Dionne, Darren Veitch.
The story of #5 :: When Lidstrom retires, it will never be worn again.
Reserved in 1938 :: Larry Aurie
First Wearer :: Jack Walker, 1926
Most Recent Wearer :: Cummy Burton, 1959
The story of #6 :: There’s a lot of kurfuffle made about Aurie’s number 6 (which I refuse to get into here), but there’s little doubt as to his historic role in Detroit hockey – playing for all three incarnations of the team.
Retired in 1991 :: Ted Lindsay
First Wearer :: Russell Oatman, 1926
Most Recent Wearer :: Tom Bissett, 1991
Other Notables :: George Hay (again), Hec Kilrea, Ken Kilrea, Brian Kilrea, Carl Liscombe, Norm Ullman, Garry Unger, Red Berenson, Tony McKegney.
The story of #7 :: Woo baby, look at that list!
First Wearer :: Art Duncan, 1926
Current Wearer :: Justin Abdelkader
Other Notables :: Syd Howe, Guy Charron, Dennis Polonich, Claude Loiselle, Ted Nolan, Dave Silk, Mark Lamb, Jim Nill, Igor Larionov, Jiri Fischer (during “The Hatcher Years”), Matt Ellis.
The story of #8 :: Handful of coaches, and a professor, on that list.
Retired in 1972 :: Gordie Howe
First Wearer :: John Sheppard, 1926
Most Recent Wearer :: Gordie Howe, 1970
Other Notables :: Sid Abel (again, briefly), Roy Conacher
The story of #9 :: The first banner at the Joe says everything.
Retired in 1991 :: Alex Delvecchio
First Wearer :: Frank Foyston, 1926
Most Recent Wearer :: Jimmy Carson, 1991
Other Notables :: Frank Sheppard, Bobby Connors, Ebbie Goodfellow (briefly), Carson Cooper, Carl Liscombe, Metro Prystai, Dale McCourt, Ron DuGuay, Joe Murphy
The story of #10 :: Is Metro Prystai the coolest name you heard today? Yes. Yes, it is.

4 thoughts on “By the Numbers :: 1 – 10”

  1. In my best Wayne Campbell voice:

    "Oh hold on…Dick York. Dick Sargeant. Sargeant York. Wow, that's weird…"

    Another interesting fact about Jimmy Carson: He's probably the only guy in Red Wings history to wear two different numbers with the team that BOTH went on to be retired (10 and 12).

  2. I enjoy both the idea of this piece and the execution, I will continue to read through the other numbers.

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