Well, we’re back here again. Another year down.
DetroitHockey.Net turns 27 today.
For the first time in awhile, I can say that the last year for the site has been about what I expected. Last year I mentioned that I was going to be stripping down the site. DH.N would become just the blog. That happened. A separate site would house all the random little hockey-related projects. That’s now projects.detroithockey.net. I liked that approach so much that I applied it to my personal site as well.
Social media went nuts over the last year. In addition to the site’s long-standing Twitter (ugh… “X”) account and much-ignored Facebook page, DH.N added accounts in the Fediverse over at mastodon.hockey and also with Bluesky. There was also a short-lived DetroitHockey.Net Instagram account but it got banned for some reason (I’m trying to get it back), which is why DH.N is not on Threads.
I also pulled ads off of the site. They were annoying and didn’t bring in enough revenue to justify them. If you like what’s happening here, there’s a Ko-fi widget up and to the right; give it a click. I did that over on FantasyHockeySim.com, too.
And, as I said I would, I mostly spent the last year focusing on Stupid Stats of the Day and jersey number geekery. Is it particularly ground-breaking stuff? Of course not, but it’s a matter of focusing on what I want to work on.
Coming up next? I’ve got a jersey number project I want to work on (shocking no one, I’m sure). There’s a tweak to my SSOTD process that I want to make. I’ve got some infrastructure changes I’m working on, which shouldn’t have any public visibility. We’ll see if any of that happens.
Now for the traditional jersey number geekery…
When this site was founded, #27 was assigned to Stacy Roest. The Red Wings’ 1996 training camp was the only time he wore it for Detroit, as he’d been assigned #54 as a try-out in the team’s 1995 camp. By the time Roest was back with the Wings, he was wearing #23, with #27 having been assigned to Aaron Ward as part of Ward’s odyssey of Detroit jersey numbers.
Ward was acquired by the Red Wings from the Winnipeg Jets in 1993, out of the University of Michigan. He wore #29 for his first season in the Detroit organization. Then, in the summer of 1994, the Red Wings acquired Mike Vernon, who took #29 despite never having worn it in his career previously. This saw Ward switch to #8 for his second season in the organization, keeping it through his third training camp. Then, in the fall of 1995, the Red Wings acquired Igor Larionov, who took #8 despite never having worn it in his career previously. This saw Ward switch to #14 for his fourth training camp with the organization. He wore that number for one regular season game. Then, on the day of the team’s 1996 home opener, the Red Wings acquired Brendan Shanahan, who took #14 despite never having worn it in his career previously. Ward shifted to Roest’s #27 and kept it for the rest of his time in Detroit (aside from one game when his jersey was missing).
Ward’s trade to the Carolina Hurricanes in the summer of 2001 coincided with the Red Wings’ signing of Fredrik Olausson, so Olausson got #27 for his single season in Detroit. For training camp in 2002, the number was assigned to Tomas Kopecky. Kopecky spent the entire 2002-03 season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, so when Patrick Boileau (who wore #53 in camp) was called up, he got #27.
Boileau was gone by camp in 2003 but Kopecky didn’t get his number back, switching to #44 instead (before going to #22 in 2005 and #28 in 2006 and switching to #82 upon Detroit’s acquisition of Brian Rafalski in 2008). Darryl Bootland, who’d worn #46 in 2002 got #27 in 2003 and kept it for the rest of his run with the Red Wings.
With Bootland’s departure in 2007, the number went straight to Ryan Oulahen (who’d previously worn #25 in camp and needed a new number with the return of Darren McCarty). Oulahen never wore #27 in a regular season game for the Wings and in 2010 it went to Travis Erhardt (who wore #45 in the previous year’s camp), who also never wore it in a regular season game.
When Kyle Quincey was re-acquired (in return for the draft pick that became Andrei Vasilevski, natch), he took the #27 that he’d worn with the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche rather than the #45 or #4 (then assigned to Chris Minard and Jakub Kindl, respectively) he’d previously worn in Detroit.
Upon Quincey’s departure in 2016, Joe Hicketts was assigned #27 in development camp. Hicketts was reassigned #2 the next year, with Michael Rasmussen taking over #27 and holding it to this day.