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#6 What's the deal?

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As a Red Wings fan I am sure that you are aware that nobody in our lifetime has worn the #6, except one player, Cummy Burton (what a name),  we'll get back to that later. .   

Are you aware that the Red Wings #6 is actually retired?      

Yes, it's true.   

It's retired in the name of a scrappy right winger named Larry Aurie. 

Aurie was the first Red Wings captain and lead them to their first every Stanley cup

Aurie, who was 5 foot 6 and 145 pounds was willing to fight anybody, regardless of size.  One former teammate said "He'd fight a Tiger and win if it meant winning a game"

Red Wing owner James Norris was so impressed of Aurie that he retired his number in 1938 when Aurie's broken ankle ended his career.   Cummy Burton was allowed to wear it because he was Aurie's nephew and Aurie's widow gave her blessing.   The last time Burton wore that number was 1959.    Aurie died from a stroke at the age of 47 in 1952.  I'm sure all the helmetless years in hockey played a role in that, and that's another reason to honor him.  

His number was up in the rafters at Olympia until Mike Illitch moved the team to Joe Louis Arena where it was ordered removed. 

Nobody knows why and the Illitch family will not acknowledge this in any way. 

So today, still, nobody wears #6, but it sits in some sort of limbo.   It's ridiculous.   It's like Mike Illitch didn't know who he was and then when others pointed it out he stubbornly refused to be corrected.  

My friend Bernie Czarnecki worked as a page editor for the Free Press and wrote a great article about this.   His press credentials were then cancelled.   

I stood outside in the cold one night outside on the sidewalk of Hockeytown Cafe handing out flyers with Bernie to tell fans the story.  The cops threatened to arrest us.  When we asked for what he said "I'll think of something".  

Big dang ol' buncha bull****, if you ask me. 


And you might as well retire #16 if you're never going to issue it.  If the accident wouldn't have happened, Vladdy would have wound up earning that anyway.     

And get over your petty anger at Sergei and put #91 up there too.   

Edited by Motor City Sonics
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Posted (edited)

Next numbers to be retired

#6 (acknowledge it already)

#91.   Come on, stop being childish about this.  You're lookin stupid here 

#16  You might as well, it's kind of retired now anyway

#30 deserves strong consideration

I know eventually #13 and #40 will be up there too.  


Yep,  it should be

#1 Sawchuk 

#4, Kelly

#5 Lidstrom

#6 Aurie

#7 Lindsay

#9 Howe

#10 Delvecchio

#12 Abel 

#13 Datsyuk

#16 Konstantinov

#19 Yzerman

#30 Osgood

#40 Zetterberg

#91 Fedorov 

That's a lot of numbers, but it's a storied franchise.  

The way things are trending #71 may join them one day


Edited by Motor City Sonics
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I would retire McCarty’s #25 before Osgood’s #30. He had the iconic fight against the villain Claude Lemieux which I think most of his teammates agree was the catalyst for the 1997 Stanley Cup run, which broke the 40+ year drought, and which McCarty famously capped with a majestic breakaway goal which became the game winner and Cup clincher. 

He was the heart and soul of the Grind Line, which epitomized the grit of the Red Wings dynasty and the city of Detroit (before Dan Campbell had ever uttered the word). He also reminds us of some of the great tough but skilled forwards from that era like Bob Probert, Joe Kocur, Martin Lapointe, and, dare we add Brendan Shanahan… or does #14 deserve to be retired too?

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