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Should #9 be retired across the NHL?


hf101

Should #9 be retired across the NHL?  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. Should #9 be retired across the NHL?

    • Yes
      5
    • No
      11


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Wayne Gretzky seems to think it should be.

 

If it was to be done it should have been retired a long time ago, imo  Lots of players have worn # 9 over the years over various NHL teams.

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I don't see Howe as a top 5 player in history and there are players ahead of him in my book (Orr, Richard) that don't have their numbers retired.  He's top 10 yes but how many numbers can the entire NHL retire?  

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Even as a Wings fan I wouldnt think so. 42 for Jackie Robinson was not so much for the player that he was (a Damn good player but not the greatest ever at his position by a long shot) but because of what he represented. Howe meant a lot to Hockey but in a completely different way. Sorry to have to say no.

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#9 is one of the most famous numbers of all time, with many,many greats, Hall of Famers and stars of today....just fotted down a few that looked interesting....man,what a list!!

 

9)Gordie Howe- the nickname says it all Mr.Hockey

9)Bobby Hull....easily top 10 player of all time, one of the hardest, wickedest and famous slap shots of all time....

9)Maurice Richard- Mr.fire in the eyes....maybe best sniper ever....

9)Ron Francis- one of the most important players in his era...

9)Ted Kennedy-another all time great

9)Johnny Bucyk- one of the best captains of all time

9)Brett Hull....a close race with his Dad for best Hull of all time...ha ha.

9)Andy Bathgate-an all time great...

9)Mike Modano-superstar #1 franchise center...

9)Clark Gillies-"don't wake the sleeping bear" they used to say....so true...

9)Darryl Sittler-many, many top 10 finishes in the scoring race

9)Rick Middleton-Tricky Ricky was so super smooth...

9)Pavel Bure- best sniper of his era?

9)Bernie Nicholls- member of the vaunted Triple Crown line in LA with linemates Marcel Dionne and Dave Taylor...

9)Denis Maruk- super talented guy, vastly under rated  and is not talked about nearly enough...

9)Rick Martin- 1/3 of the famous French Connection

9)Denis Savard-inventor of the "spinorama"

9)Kevin Dineen-Blood and guts warrior

9)Dave Poulin- all time Flyer great and many Flyer fans smile knowing his name is on the Cup.

9)Lanny McDonald - famous for his mustache and filling the net as Sittler's primary winger.

9)Doug GIlmour- stud #1 franchise center

9)Adam Graves- most don't know, but he did score 50 one year...outstanding captain and had one of the best work ethics ever.

9)Stan Johnathan-toughest #9 ever?

9)Zach Praise- NJ all time great

9)Wilf Paiement- one of the very first snipers on the Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies....and later the Leafs

9)Igor Larinov-one of the famed *Russian 5*

9)Tyler Johnson- young star will only get better

9)Paul Karia- best known for being concussed? ha ha...a respectable scorer

9)Bob (Battleship) Kelly- man oh man....did he make the game fun!! One of the great personalities to ever play

9)Matt Duchene- young star getting better....can he top 90pts next year?

9)Pelle Eklund

9)Bill Flett- great winger for the Atlanta Flames....famous for his cowboy nickname and accompanying hat

9)Ron Flockhart (Flockey Hockey!!)- had a cult like following considering his very short career....

9)Filip Forsberg-  one of the games bright young stars...

9)Henry Boucha (red head-band man!)

Alexander Diagle (BUM!!)

 

I'm thinking more than a few teams have #9 retired already...IMHO, it would be disrespectful of Gordie and his family to not do this....certain guys transcend the game, Gordie was one of them. He deserves this honour....very proud that Windsor and Detroit chose to name our billion dollar project "the Gordie Howe International Bridge". Think about that....his name will be front and center on the absolute biggest and busiest span in all of North America.....that is just wicked....and it really speaks to Gordie transcending the game....we was that great.

 

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3 hours ago, yave1964 said:

Even as a Wings fan I wouldnt think so. 42 for Jackie Robinson was not so much for the player that he was (a Damn good player but not the greatest ever at his position by a long shot) but because of what he represented. Howe meant a lot to Hockey but in a completely different way. Sorry to have to say no.

 

This. Baseball retired 42 for obvious reasons. Hockey retired 99 because in no other sport is the greatest player ever ** that ** much better than the next guy. Not a knock on Howe at all but you have to draw a line somewhere. Otherwise, when my grandkid is starting for the Pens he'll be "number" &#.

 

 

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No.  I am not a fan of retiring numbers either way.  I may have a differing point of view than most in this regard.  My opinion is the old adage you play for the crest on the front of the jersey.  To me a number is just a number.

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1 hour ago, Poulin20 said:

No, teams should not be forced to retire numbers for guys that did not play for them IMHO. 

 

 

I get your stance....I really do. I have always thought that retiring a number league wide should always be limited to one player. Anything else would have been overkill, but I've changed my mind.  Gordie's list of accomplishments is astounding. He plays a full 25 years for the Red Wings (from 1945 to 1971.....um, wow) then sits out a few years and resurfaces in the WHA, where he first gets to play with his sons. Follows up the 25 in the NHL with a full 7 in the fledgling WHA....and then wraps it up with a Detroit Vipers one game stint in the IHL. The longevity is staggering. Makes Cal Ripkin Jr's career look like a cakewalk.

 

For myself, it was not the longevity that made him special...it was the skill and grit combo. Take the 52-53 season. Gordie gets 45 goals and 47 assists. The next closest in the Art Ross race is his teammate Ted Lindsay....and he was a full 24 pts behind. Next closest non Red Wings...Maurice Richard of the Habs, a full 34 pts behind the blistering pace that Gordie set that year. In many ways, that 92 pt season was equal to Wayne Gretzky's 200+ pt years. Think about it....he puts up 92 pts in just 70 games...in the original six?!?  In an era where you have 5 opposing goalies who were Hall of Fame bound (or close to it)...in an era where the d-men were elite defensively. There was only 35 opposing d-men in the entire NHL. Literally everyone of them knew everyone's moves....thing was with Howe, he freely imposed his will on opponents night in and night out...everyone knew what was coming, no body could stop him....the modern day equivalents might be Mark Messier or Cam Neeley. Not saying they are as great....but the skill sets are real close.

 

 Just the fact the phrase "Goride Howe hat-trick" exists speaks volumes. In other words, he is the perfect example of toughness and skill.....decades from now, people will still be saying "Gordie Howe hat trick"....and that is something special.

 

 How do you even wrap your head around a career spanning the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's.  I know the final 1 game played for the Detroit Vipers in the IHL during the 97-98 season was a total scam. It was a big deal around here in the Windsor and Detroit area. Still offically, he played pro hockey in 6 different decades.....CRAZY!!

 

EDIT....another CRAZY stat...Gordie scored 20+ goals in 29 of his 34 pro seasons....makes Mike Gartner's stats look silly!!!

 

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=2378

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8 hours ago, Polaris922 said:

I don't see Howe as a top 5 player in history and there are players ahead of him in my book (Orr, Richard) that don't have their numbers retired.  He's top 10 yes but how many numbers can the entire NHL retire?  

 

 

Yes, I was just musing over this very point. If #9 is retired league wide, then how can you leave out Bobby Orr's #4?  I see where folks are going here....once you do it more than once, it's slippery slope territory.

 

I do think that Gordie transcended the game. Part of his allure was how very humble he was, and how he treated everyone equally, from the Hot Dog vendors to his teammates. This quality is what made him such a HUGE ambassador to the game. Much like Gretzky after him, there was no ego, no bragging....and not one single off the ice incident....ever. Of course, you could honestly say the exact same thing about Bobby Orr. It's a lot like Yaz and Al Kaline in baseball, just super classy individuals who lived life the right way.

 

 I was just kinda thinking...

1)When Gordie and Bobby Hull left for the WHA, they were such big draws....it allowed for that crappy league to survive years and years longer than it should have...it really was an inferior product.

2)The fact Gordie and Bobby saved the WHA from certain doom (and of course Wayne near the end of their run) allowed for the 79-80 WHA and NHL merger.

3)This brought 4 new teams into the league...Hartford, Edmonton, Quebec and Winnipeg.

4)If Gordie does not save the WHA, Quebec never enters the NHL, never moves to Colorado and that franchise would never have won a cup. Same scenario with Edmonton, if the WHA is not there for a young 16 year old Gretzky to play in, then Wayne stays in the Sault, gets drafted at 18 and the Edmonton dynasty never happens...

 

 It may sound kinda far fetched, but Gordie was so big of a name, he altered the course of hockey history.

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@jammer2

 

That is one helluva list.  But how many of those players selected number 9 specifically in honor and tribute to Gordie?  How many others "wanted" #9, but settled for #19, 91, or 90, because of its retirement by the individual team?  I agree with @hf101 that it should have been done long ago.  It's been over 30 years since his last shift in the NHL and 40 since his last "full" season.  Without casting any aspersions,  how many players before Wayne Gretzky or after (before its retirement) opted to wear #99.  It was much easier to remove the number league-wide than it would be for #9.

 

Personally, I think the #9 DID deserve retirement at the time, but that ship has sailed.  Now and forward, I suggest the continued circulation of the #9 as each respective team allows.  Think of it this way, the NHL will still allow the spirit of Gordie to be on the ice wherever and whenever he wishes, and not relegated up into the rafters (again, nothing against The Great One).

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10 hours ago, Polaris922 said:

I don't see Howe as a top 5 player in history and there are players ahead of him in my book (Orr, Richard) that don't have their numbers retired.  He's top 10 yes but how many numbers can the entire NHL retire?  

 

OK so I agree on the not retiring the number league-wide, but not a top 5 all time???

 

Taking players in the context of the times they played in, I'm not sure I can find 5 to put in front of him

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13 minutes ago, sarsippius said:

 

Taking players in the context of the times they played in, I'm not sure I can find 5 to put in front of him

 

I'll go one step further.  @Polaris922, I'll (good-naturedly) buy you a beer if you can put together a plausible list of 10 players in NHL history who were better than Gordie.

 

Challenge...! :toast: 

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45 minutes ago, sarsippius said:

Taking players in the context of the times they played in, I'm not sure I can find 5 to put in front of him

 

 

Same here....of course, the obvious

 

1)Bobby Orr

2)Wayne Gretzky

3)Mario Lemieux

 

I think 99.9% of fans can rattle off the top 3 quickly, their spots on the all time list are ingrained....but then, the waters turn a bit murky...

 

The one thing I would not want to do is go to far back.....cause I can read stats, but unless I physically saw Howie Morenz and some of the older greats, it's just impossible to gauge properly.

 

4)Gordie Howe

5)Bobby Hull, Maurice Richard, Larry Robinson....

 

I'm a HUGE fan of Larry Robinson, he may not be in my top 5 (but that is iffy), but he is certainly in my top 10.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, jammer2 said:

 

 

Same here....of course, the obvious

 

1)Bobby Orr

2)Wayne Gretzky

3)Mario Lemieux

 

I think 99.9% of fans can rattle off the top 3 quickly, their spots on the all time list are ingrained....

 

Exactly right, and to be honest if you take Howe's 1850 NHL points in the context of what scoring was in his heyday vs the "juiced puck" era of Gretzky and Mario......I might slide Howe in at #3, no disrespect to Mario. Tough to order them though, really I only like to say "here's my top x in no particular order" in any such conversation 

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I think it's a long shot, having #9 retired league wide....but how do you handle that??  We never had this problem with Wayne, cause no one else wore #99.....but what happens to all the current #9's....is this thing grandfathered in.....so players would not have the number ripped off their backs?

 

 Guys like Matt Duchene, Flip Forsberg....they should get to keep their numbers, but no new players would have access to #9.

 

Speaking from a totally selfish point of view, as a Flyer fan, I hope that Ivan Provorov would still get to wear #9....been looking forward to buying a #9 jersey with his name on it!! It has been a LONG TIME since a Flyer rookie broke onto the scene and commanded a single digit number. Quick Ivan, save that #9!!!

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11 hours ago, WingNut722 said:

 

I'll go one step further.  @Polaris922, I'll (good-naturedly) buy you a beer if you can put together a plausible list of 10 players in NHL history who were better than Gordie.

 

Challenge...! :toast: 

 

I said he'd be in my top ten...  But I'd put Mario, Gretzky, Orr, Richard... But then it gets a little blurry for me.  Lafleur and Esposito ran off bunches of 120 point seasons consecutively.  Marcel Dionne?  Mike Bossy's goal scoring rate was ridiculous.  If he'd been healthy past ten years he Would have caught Gretzky.  A lot of Howe's stats are as much due to longevity as talent.  He was a great hockey player.  From what I've read he was a great person.  But he also played several hundred more games than those around him on the charts.  

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Gordie Howe was on top of being one of the best players ever to lace up a pair a skates, was THE BEST HOCKEY AMBASSADOR EVER. People who never even followed hockey knew who he was. Retiring his number across the board and hanging his Redwings sweater in EVERY hockey venue in the NHL would be a fitting tribute to the man and his well earned legend. IMHO he has done more for the game than any person alive or dead. If there is any question to the idea of this being done, they should put it to a vote from the current NHL players. If you had less than 100 % of the vote in favor of, don't do it. I still say that if that is done, we see his sweater hanging in every arena in the NHL.

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Theoretically, yes. Practically, no. Props to @jammer2 for the list with so many great #9's. Retiring #99 was one thing (I'm not sure that anyone other than Gretzky ever even wore it), but #9 is a much more frequently used number. Mr. Hockey is certainly worthy, but in practice, I don't think it's quite so easily done.

 

As for Howe being a top 5 player... His rivalry with Richard in the 50s is the stuff of legend, but it's now nearly universally accepted that Howe is the winner. I'll echo @sarsippius in saying no offense to Lemieux and then go a bit further by saying that as great as he was, I don't personally see any way to put him ahead of Howe. I personally now put him at #2 behind only Orr. To me, it's extremely difficult (virtually impossible) to envision leaving him out of the top 5.

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Funny...  Before Howe died we'd bantered about the order of Gretzky, Lemieux and Orr as the top 3 all time.   Don't remember anyone throwing Howe into the mix.  Not saying it didn't happen but it certainly wasn't the general consensus at the time. 

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6 minutes ago, ScottM said:

Theoretically, yes. Practically, no. Props to @jammer2 for the list with so many great #9's. Retiring #99 was one thing (I'm not sure that anyone other than Gretzky ever even wore it), but #9 is a much more frequently used number. Mr. Hockey is certainly worthy, but in practice, I don't think it's quite so easily done.

 

As for Howe being a top 5 player... His rivalry with Richard in the 50s is the stuff of legend, but it's now nearly universally accepted that Howe is the winner. I'll echo @sarsippius in saying no offense to Lemieux and then go a bit further by saying that as great as he was, I don't personally see any way to put him ahead of Howe. I personally now put him at #2 behind only Orr. To me, it's extremely difficult (virtually impossible) to envision leaving him out of the top 5.

 

Universalky accepted by whom?  I still see plenty of lists that keep Richard higher.  And what about points per game?

 

lets face it... When players are this close and history fades it becomes more and more subjective.  As they say everyone has an opinion.  

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12 hours ago, Polaris922 said:

 

  But he also played several hundred more games than those around him on the charts.  

 

That in itself is a testament to his high level of skill and physical ability, no?.  Players typically end their careers for two main reasons...either they can no longer contribute to a high degree, or they are hampered by the lasting effects of injuries.    

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1 minute ago, Polaris922 said:

 

Universalky accepted by whom?  I still see plenty of lists that keep Richard higher.  And what about points per game?

 

lets face it... When players are this close and history fades it becomes more and more subjective.  As they say everyone has an opinion.  

 

I said that it is nearly universally accepted. Far more lists will show Howe above Richard than the other way around.

 

As for points per game, you can't base it on that alone. The two biggest points in favor of Howe are the fact that he was one of the most complete players to ever play the game and that he remained at a stratospherically high level for years after almost any other player would have been retired.

 

I didn't say what I did to slam your or anyone else's opinion, but again, it's nearly universally accepted that Howe is the game's top right winger and a top five player. It's pretty rare relatively speaking that you'll find him ranked anywhere lower than fourth. Again, to me, I just can't see the argument.

 

And btw, Gordie was definitely included in conversations here. Back when I first joined here and hadn't really delved much into history, I started this thread: 

with the assumption that Gretzky would be nearly universally accepted as #1 (something I no longer believe), and Howe was quite frequently mention as a top 2 or 3 guy, and Jager then followed up with this thread: 

with the assumption that Gretzky, Howe, Lemieux, and Orr in some order would be considered the top four, which was an assumption that went unchallenged.

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