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Larry Aurie

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Larry Aurie, a great Red Wing during the 1930s, had his number 6 retired by the Norris family, who owned the Red Wings prior to Mike Ilitch.

For years, the number was listed in the NHL records as being retired.

However, Mike Ilitch has never hung Aurie's number 6 from the rafters. (The retired numbers were replaced and modified this January on Steve Yzerman day.) Also, Ilitch had his number 6 removed from the NHL records. In addition, the number 6 has never been reissued.

Do any of you hockey nuts out there have any explanations for this?

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Larry Aurie, a great Red Wing during the 1930s, had his number 6 retired by the Norris family, who owned the Red Wings prior to Mike Ilitch.

For years, the number was listed in the NHL records as being retired.

However, Mike Ilitch has never hung Aurie's number 6 from the rafters. (The retired numbers were replaced and modified this January on Steve Yzerman day.) Also, Ilitch had his number 6 removed from the NHL records. In addition, the number 6 has never been reissued.

Do any of you hockey nuts out there have any explanations for this?

nobody nows this guy

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Hard to retire the memory of a guy you've never seen.

I think all retired numbers should be unretired upon the death of the athelete. After all the numbers were around long before they were - and to keep a number retired long after the era in which they performed has passed is kind of ridiculous.

My apologies to Dutch Clark - the greatest #7 the Lions ever had.

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Hard to retire the memory of a guy you've never seen.

70 years from now the same may be said about Yzerman, Howe, and Lindsey. That's not an excuse not to recognize a great player IMO.

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70 years from now the same may be said about Yzerman, Howe, and Lindsey. That's not an excuse not to recognize a great player IMO.

Every era has their own heros. If you are a HOF player you will be enshrined and your greatness recognized. A retired jersy is merely a marketing technique. It's done so that the fans can look up and tell their family that 'I saw him play' and pass down a tradition.

Once that era of fans have left the scene it really no longer serves that purpose. If you don't unretire a number eventually you'll have numbers for each generation and players will have to go to triple digits so as not to offend the lost memories of the ghosts that played before them.

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Every era has their own heros. If you are a HOF player you will be enshrined and your greatness recognized. A retired jersy is merely a marketing technique. It's done so that the fans can look up and tell their family that 'I saw him play' and pass down a tradition.

Once that era of fans have left the scene it really no longer serves that purpose. If you don't unretire a number eventually you'll have numbers for each generation and players will have to go to triple digits so as not to offend the lost memories of the ghosts that played before them.

You are wrong.

Actually, I like the way the Maple Leafs do it. They hang players' jerseys from the rafters, but they still issue the number. Nothing wrong with that.

As far as Aurie is concerned, if his number is retired, it is retired and should be treated that way - like the rest of the retired numbers. Once this issue hit the Free Press in an article by my good friend Bernie, the Illitches have been brutal to deal with - someone pointed out they were wrong.

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Hard to retire the memory of a guy you've never seen.

I think all retired numbers should be unretired upon the death of the athelete. After all the numbers were around long before they were - and to keep a number retired long after the era in which they performed has passed is kind of ridiculous.

My apologies to Dutch Clark - the greatest #7 the Lions ever had.

I don't agree with that. What if a former player dies a month after his number is retired, do you still unretire the number? I think teams should just be careful about retiring numbers and only retire the numbers of players that are truly great and really deserve it. I think a number should stay retired once it is retired. Even if teams were to unretire numbers, I just don't think there is anyway they could unretire Howe's or Sawchuk's number. Gordie Howe is one of the top 5 greatest hockey players of all-time and to unretire his number would just be wrong. Same with Sawchuk, he is one of the greatest goaltenders of all-time.

I heard the reason Larry Aurie's number was unretired was because he didn't get in the HOF. That's what Devellano said. I don't know if there is any truth to that because Yzerman hasn't gotten in the HOF yet and they still retired his number.

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You are wrong.

Actually, I like the way the Maple Leafs do it. They hang players' jerseys from the rafters, but they still issue the number. Nothing wrong with that.

As far as Aurie is concerned, if his number is retired, it is retired and should be treated that way - like the rest of the retired numbers. Once this issue hit the Free Press in an article by my good friend Bernie, the Illitches have been brutal to deal with - someone pointed out they were wrong.

I like the Maple Leafs idea too, but I think certain numbers shouldn't be re-issued. It wouldn't be right to see someone wearing the 1, 7, 9, 10, 12, and even the 19. I wouldn't have a problem with hanging banners up there and re-issuing the number for guys like Shanny, Chelios, Larionov, Fedorov, etc.

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You are wrong.

Actually, I like the way the Maple Leafs do it. They hang players' jerseys from the rafters, but they still issue the number. Nothing wrong with that.

You may not agree with me but it's awfully demagogic of you to declare my opinion as wrong without explaining why.

I like the Maple Leaf method too. It's similar to what the Lions did with #20, only they shouldn't have officially retired it. Maybe we'll get another Sims, Barney or Sanders to honor the number.

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I don't agree with that. Even if teams were to unretire numbers, I just don't think there is anyway they could unretire Howe's or Sawchuk's number. Gordie Howe is one of the top 5 greatest hockey players of all-time and to unretire his number would just be wrong. Same with Sawchuk, he is one of the greatest goaltenders of all-time.

I heard the reason Larry Aurie's number was unretired was because he didn't get in the HOF. That's what Devellano said. I don't know if there is any truth to that because Yzerman hasn't gotten in the HOF yet and they still retired his number.

Aurie's No. 6 jersey was officially retired by Wings owner James Norris after the 1938-39 season. Why should a business be obligated to follow a marketing decision made 70 years before by another owner?

Aurie died in 1952, the people who remember seeing him play are either dead or care very little about the fate of his jersey.

Howe and Sawchuck were the greatest players of their original 6 generation. But that era only lasted 25 years and is itself a distant memories to fans. 100 years from now their records will long be eclipsed and they will be remembered only by stat freaks.

There is no such thing as immortality.

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Aurie's No. 6 jersey was officially retired by Wings owner James Norris after the 1938-39 season. Why should a business be obligated to follow a marketing decision made 70 years before by another owner?

Aurie died in 1952, the people who remember seeing him play are either dead or care very little about the fate of his jersey.

Howe and Sawchuck were the greatest players of their original 6 generation. But that era only lasted 25 years and is itself a distant memories to fans. 100 years from now their records will long be eclipsed and they will be remembered only by stat freaks.

There is no such thing as immortality.

I guess I don't think a new owner should be able to change the team's history by unretiring numbers. That is changing history. What's the point of even retiring numbers if they are just going to be unretired? Might as well not even bother retiring them at all.

Some teams have retired numbers that don't deserve to be retired, but for the most part the Wings made good choices on their number retirements. Greats like Howe and Sawchuk will always be remembered. Maybe some of the other players who numbers are retired will be forgotten, but definitely not Howe.

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what does it hurt to have his number retired? they arent running out of numbers and at one time someone thought he was great enough to have the honor of a retired number

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You may not agree with me but it's awfully demagogic of you to declare my opinion as wrong without explaining why.

I like the Maple Leaf method too. It's similar to what the Lions did with #20, only they shouldn't have officially retired it. Maybe we'll get another Sims, Barney or Sanders to honor the number.

I don't agree with you and I will tell you why.

The point of retiring a number is that the number will never be used by another player on that team, and therefore the number would always refer to that player. Always.

Consider the first number retired. Lou Gehrig's 4. A truly great player, felled by tragedy. He wasn't expected to live long, and he didn't. This act was designed that he be remembered forever -- to give him a bit of immortality.

As such, it's a damn shame that Aurie's 6 doesn't hang from the rafters, and that we don't pass his history down through the oral tradition of Detroit hockey.

The real problem is that many teams are too loose in the retiring of numbers. It should be for a player that has that intangible special quality that often puts a player into the HOF, but doesn't have to. But once it's done, it's done. It shouldn't be revoked.

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Greats like Howe and Sawchuk will always be remembered. Maybe some of the other players who numbers are retired will be forgotten, but definitely not Howe.

If message boards existed decades ago, someone could have said the same thing about Larry Aurie.

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As such, it's a damn shame that Aurie's 6 doesn't hang from the rafters, and that we don't pass his history down through the oral tradition of Detroit hockey.

The real problem is that many teams are too loose in the retiring of numbers. It should be for a player that has that intangible special quality that often puts a player into the HOF, but doesn't have to. But once it's done, it's done. It shouldn't be revoked.

We don't pass on the oral tradition of Aurie because there's no one left to pass it on - whatever it was. All we have is his stats from an era that no longer exists and is no longer relevant in this day and era of hockey.

The intangible quality that he had was as a customer draw. That was the reason his number was retired. He should not even be mentioned in the company of the greats who hang there now. It's an insult to put him in that company. Illitch did the right thing in taking him down.

Seems to me your argument boils down to mistakes made in the past should never be corrected because of the tradition that surrounds them.

To quote Fiddler on the Roof - "Traditon! - Bah!"

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I don't agree with you and I will tell you why.

The point of retiring a number is that the number will never be used by another player on that team, and therefore the number would always refer to that player. Always.

Consider the first number retired. Lou Gehrig's 4. A truly great player, felled by tragedy. He wasn't expected to live long, and he didn't. .

Quick - what number is associated with the great Chuck Hughes? If you have to google to find out you are not part of the oral Lion tradition. His only claim to fame is that he died in the middle of a game. That's a hell of a tradition to pass on. The Lion's act was not designed that he be remembered forever -- but out of guilt feelings. Not every guy who dies gets a plaque where he falls.

If a guy like Calvin Johnson insisted on wearing his number, do you really think the Lions wouldn't let him? They let Pat Swilley use Joe Schmidt's number and they weren't even close to the same player. Face it . This is a marketing technique.

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Quick - what number is associated with the great Chuck Hughes? If you have to google to find out you are not part of the oral Lion tradition. His only claim to fame is that he died in the middle of a game. That's a hell of a tradition to pass on. The Lion's act was not designed that he be remembered forever -- but out of guilt feelings. Not every guy who dies gets a plaque where he falls.

I'd bet, though, that if a guy died at a business you owned, you'd be inclined to remember him in some way. The Lions probably chose to do so by retiring Hughes' number.

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We don't pass on the oral tradition of Aurie because there's no one left to pass it on - whatever it was. All we have is his stats from an era that no longer exists and is no longer relevant in this day and era of hockey.

The intangible quality that he had was as a customer draw. That was the reason his number was retired. He should not even be mentioned in the company of the greats who hang there now. It's an insult to put him in that company. Illitch did the right thing in taking him down.

Seems to me your argument boils down to mistakes made in the past should never be corrected because of the tradition that surrounds them.

To quote Fiddler on the Roof - "Traditon! - Bah!"

My kids and grandkids could easily say the same about Howe and Lindsay and even Yzerman. They never saw them play.

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Quick - what number is associated with the great Chuck Hughes? If you have to google to find out you are not part of the oral Lion tradition. His only claim to fame is that he died in the middle of a game. That's a hell of a tradition to pass on. The Lion's act was not designed that he be remembered forever -- but out of guilt feelings. Not every guy who dies gets a plaque where he falls.

If a guy like Calvin Johnson insisted on wearing his number, do you really think the Lions wouldn't let him? They let Pat Swilley use Joe Schmidt's number and they weren't even close to the same player. Face it . This is a marketing technique.

Unlike the NHL and MLB, the NFL discourages the retirement of numbers, because of the association between numbers and position and the size of NFL rosters. To honor Hughes, who died on the field of play -- a rare tragedy, the Lions both retired his number and also have a team award named for him.

Frankly, I don't know what the Lions would do if Calvin Johnson insisted on courting the ill-will of the club and the fans by insisting on wearing 85. IIRC, the Lions asked Joe Schmidt before they let Pat Swilling wear his number. I didn't know Pat Swilley wore it too.

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My kids and grandkids could easily say the same about Howe and Lindsay and even Yzerman. They never saw them play.

And they'd have a great point. I'd agree with them.

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Unlike the NHL and MLB, the NFL discourages the retirement of numbers, because of the association between numbers and position and the size of NFL rosters. To honor Hughes, who died on the field of play -- a rare tragedy, the Lions both retired his number and also have a team award named for him.

Frankly, I don't know what the Lions would do if Calvin Johnson insisted on courting the ill-will of the club and the fans by insisting on wearing 85. IIRC, the Lions asked Joe Schmidt before they let Pat Swilling wear his number. I didn't know Pat Swilley wore it too.

And to quote Schmidt at the time: - "what are you going to do say no? I don't own the number."

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I'd bet, though, that if a guy died at a business you owned, you'd be inclined to remember him in some way. The Lions probably chose to do so by retiring Hughes' number.

I probably wouldn't sit anybody at his desk for a awhile but I sure wouldn't retire his cubicle for 30 years.

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I probably wouldn't sit anybody at his desk for a awhile but I sure wouldn't retire his cubicle for 30 years.

You should call Steinbrenner and tell him it's time to clean out Munson's locker.

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You should call Steinbrenner and tell him it's time to clean out Munson's locker.

Is that the one next to Corey Lidel's? Guess there was no market for his jersey.

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We don't pass on the oral tradition of Aurie because there's no one left to pass it on - whatever it was. All we have is his stats from an era that no longer exists and is no longer relevant in this day and era of hockey.

The intangible quality that he had was as a customer draw. That was the reason his number was retired. He should not even be mentioned in the company of the greats who hang there now. It's an insult to put him in that company. Illitch did the right thing in taking him down.

Seems to me your argument boils down to mistakes made in the past should never be corrected because of the tradition that surrounds them.

To quote Fiddler on the Roof - "Traditon! - Bah!"

What about Aurie's family and relatives? Maybe even Gordie and Lindsay watched him play. Larry Aurie helped the Wings win 2 Stanley Cups. If the Wings can keep up all the old Stanley Cup banners up then I don't see any reason why they can't keep a banner up for Aurie. I think history should be remembered not forgotten. That's what makes the Wings so special is it's long storied history with all the great players.

I do think teams need to be careful about retiring numbers and make sure the player is truly deserving of the honor. It shouldn't be done just to draw customers or for marketing purposes. Those type of players shouldn't have their numbers retired. Teams can have a ceremony for them, but just don't retire their numbers. For the most part the Wings have been pretty good about it. They retired 6 numbers in what? 81 years? That's not too bad. Yzerman is the first one that they've done in a while and he's the only player that isn't in the HOF. Ideally it probably would be best to just have Howe's and Sawchuk's number retired and then eventually Lidstrom's number retired. Those 3 players fall in the top 5 of their position, while the other 4 players (Lindsay, Abel, Delvecchio, and Yzerman) don't.

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