The Red Wings made official on Wednesday what has been known for years: No Detroit player will ever again wear Steve Yzerman’s No. 19 jersey.
The team announced that Yzerman’s number will be raised to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena on January 2, 2007, when the Red Wings host the Anaheim Ducks.
It will be the Red Wings’ sixth officially retired number. Terry Sawchuck’s No. 1, Ted Lindsay’s No. 7, Gordie Howe’s No. 9, Alex Delvecchio’s No. 10 and Sid Abel’s No. 12 are all honored by banners at the Joe. As well, Larry Aurie’s No. 6 and Vladimir Konstantinov’s No. 16 are no longer used by the team but do not hang from the arena’s rafters.
“For a long time, there was no doubt in ownership’s mind that Steve Yzerman would play his entire career with the Detroit Red Wings and that his sweater would fittingly go up into the rafters along with the other all-time greatest Red Wing players – Abel, Delvecchio, Howe, Lindsay and Sawchuk,” Red Wings senior vice-president Jim Devellano said in a statement.