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.
Jimmy Carson and Carson Cooper wore the same number? Huh.
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).
I enjoy both the idea of this piece and the execution, I will continue to read through the other numbers.
Thanks for stopping by Zach! Keep reading!