This is a complete list of numbers retired by the National Hockey League (NHL). A retired number is a jersey number that is taken out of circulation by a team as a way of honouring a former member of that team who wore that number; after the number's retirement, members of that team are not permitted to wear the number on their jerseys unless by permission of the original number holder.
Currently in the NHL, there are 128 retired numbers, 7 former retirements, and 23 honoured numbers. Most of the numbers retired by the Hartford Whalers and Quebec Nordiques were put back in circulation when those franchises relocated and became the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche, respectively, although the Hurricanes keep Gordie Howe's number 9 unofficially retired. The Minnesota North Stars' two retired numbers were carried over when that franchise relocated to become the Dallas Stars, and remain retired today. The Arizona Coyotes had a policy of retaining the numbers retired when the franchise was the Winnipeg Jets but reversed it after the Phoenix Coyotes were sold and became the Arizona Coyotes. Honoured numbers are similar to retired numbers, except that they remain available for use by other players. Presently, only the Calgary Flames, and the St. Louis Blues employ this designation. The Philadelphia Flyers have also unofficially retired number 31 in honour of goaltender Pelle Lindbergh since his death in 1985. Wayne Gretzky's number 99 has been retired league-wide in 2000, although the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings separately retired Gretzky's number.
Upon joining the league in 2000, the Minnesota Wild had a ceremony retiring number 1 from circulation as a tribute to their fans.
Twelve numbers have been retired by a team in honour of two different players: number 12 by the Montreal Canadiens for Dickie Moore and Yvan Cournoyer, number 16 by the Montreal Canadiens for Elmer Lach and Henri Richard, number 3 by the Chicago Blackhawks for Pierre Pilote and Keith Magnuson, number 5 by the Canadiens for Bernie Geoffrion and Guy Lapointe, number 9 by the New York Rangers for Andy Bathgate and Adam Graves, number 1 by the Toronto Maple Leafs for Johnny Bower and Turk Broda, number 4 by the Maple Leafs for Hap Day and Red Kelly, number 7 by the Maple Leafs for King Clancy and Tim Horton, number 9 by the Maple Leafs for Charlie Conacher and Ted Kennedy, number 10 by the Maple Leafs for Syl Apps and George Armstrong, and number 27 by the Maple Leafs for Frank Mahovlich and Darryl Sittler, and number 11 by the Rangers for Vic Hadfield and Mark Messier.
Only nine players have had their number retired by two different NHL teams:
- Bobby Hull – Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes
- Gordie Howe – Detroit Red Wings and Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes
- Wayne Gretzky – Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings (also retired league-wide)
- Ray Bourque – Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche
- Mark Messier – New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers
- Patrick Roy – Colorado Avalanche and Montreal Canadiens
- Tim Horton – Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs
- Red Kelly – Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs
- Scott Niedermayer – Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils
Retired numbers[edit | edit source]
|Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame|
|Number retired league-wide|
|Never played for that particular franchise|
|Number retired by a team for multiple players|
Italics denote numbers that will be retired during the 2018–19 NHL season.
Unofficially retired numbers[edit | edit source]
These numbers are not considered officially retired, but have still been removed from circulation.
Honoured numbers[edit | edit source]
Unlike the numbers retired by the Flames, these honoured numbers were not necessarily withdrawn from circulation. Some of the numbers honoured by the Blues remain in circulation, while others have been removed from circulation without being officially retired.
Former retired numbers[edit | edit source]
It is very rare for a team to reissue a retired number, and usually requires a special circumstance, such as a number being requested for a family member (such as Bobby Hull asking the Phoenix Coyotes to allow his son Brett to wear Bobby's number 9), or the player for whom the number was retired coming out of retirement himself (such as Mario Lemieux).
In cases of franchise relocation, the handling of existing retired numbers is at the discretion of team management. They may decide to continue honouring the retired numbers, such as the Dallas Stars and Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, or they may choose to make a "fresh start" and reissue the numbers, as the Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes have done.
The Hurricanes have an unusual exception with regards to Gordie Howe's number 9. While the Hurricanes have not made any formal recognition of the Hartford Whalers' retirement of the number, they have kept the number out of circulation since their 1997 relocation.
The Red Wings and Larry Aurie's number 6 are also something of a unique situation, as the number was officially retired, then un-retired so that his cousin, Cummy Burton, could wear it, much as the Jets/Coyotes did for the Hulls. It was then re-retired until 2000, when the Red Wings ordered it removed from the NHL's Official Guide and Record Book. Despite the unretirement, number 6 is still not available to be worn in Detroit.
References[edit | edit source]
- Perfect setting: Gretzky's number retired before All-Star Game. CNN Sports Illustrated. Associated Press (February 6, 2000). Archived from the original on November 12, 2013. Retrieved on June 9, 2014.
- Ottawa Senators to retire Daniel Alfredsson’s number 11. Ottawa Senators (August 16, 2016). Retrieved on August 19, 2016.
- Associated Press (2009). Oilers retire Anderson's No. 9. NHL.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-17.
- NHL (2016). Maple Leafs retire 11 jersey numbers at ceremony. NHL.com. Retrieved on 2016-10-16.
- "Flyers pay tribute to Barry Ashbee", AP, The Calgary Herald, October 13, 1977. Retrieved on October 30, 2013.
- "Saleski Scores 2 Goals As Flyers Top Hawks", The Milwaukee Sentinel, October 14, 1977. Retrieved on October 30, 2013.
- "This Date in Flyers History: October 11", Philadelphia Flyers, October 11, 2012. Retrieved on October 2, 2014.
- 2014–15 New York Rangers Media Guide, p.333–336
- Montreal Canadiens (2008). Montreal Canadiens retired numbers. Canadiens.com. Retrieved on 2008-03-06.
- Kings To Retire Rob Blake’s No. 4 Jersey In A Special Staples Center Ceremony In January. Los Angeles Kings (2014-08-11). Retrieved on 2015-01-18.
- Vecsey, George. "Bossy Left His Numbers Behind Him", New York Times, 1992-03-04. Retrieved on 2008-03-06.
- CBC Sports. "Bourque's No. 77 retired", CBC.ca, 2001-10-04. Retrieved on 2008-03-11.
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- Yerdon, Joe. "Hurricanes to retire Rod Brind'Amour's number in February", NBC Sports, 2010-07-15. Retrieved on 2010-10-26.
- Morreale, Mike G.. "Devils to retire Brodeur's number before Feb. 9 game", NHL.com, 2015-10-06. Retrieved on 2016-01-02.
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- Boston Bruins 2014–15 Guide & Record Book, p.237
- Vancouver Canucks 2016–17 Media Guide, p. 204–205
- Boston Bruins 2014–15 Guide & Record Book, p.236
- Meltzer, Bill. "Great Moments: Bobby Clarke Night", Philadelphia Flyers, November 27, 2007. Retrieved on October 2, 2014.
- Associated Press (2005). Edmonton retires defenseman Coffey's No. 7. ESPN. Retrieved on 2008-03-06.
- Associated Press (2006). Devils to retire Daneyko's No. 3. ESPN. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- Kings Retired Numbers. Los Angeles Kings. Retrieved on January 13, 2015.
- Coyotes to Retire Doan's No. 19 Jersey on Feb. 24. Arizona Coyotes (August 1, 2018). Retrieved on August 1, 2018.
- Devils retire Patrik Elias' No. 26 'Thank you for letting me be a Devil forever' (February 24, 2018). Retrieved on February 25, 2018.
- Chicago Blackhawks 2013–14 Media Guide, p.246–252
- St. Louis Blues 2014–15 Media Guide, p.254
- Legends of Hockey (2007). Frank Finnigan Page. LEgends of Hockey. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- Dater, Adrian. "Adam Foote to see his No 52 retired by Avalanche", Denver Post.
- Dater, Adrian. "Avalanche opens vs. Red Wings with tribute to Peter Forsberg Read more: Avalanche opens vs. Red Wings with tribute to Peter Forsberg", Denver Post. Retrieved on 9 October 2011.
- Associated Press (2006). Hurricanes honor Ron Francis, retire his No. 10. ESPN. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- Shea, Kevin (2007). One on One with Grant Fuhr. Legends of Hockey. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- Buffalo Sabres (2008). Buffalo Sabres retired numbers. Sabres.com. Archived from the original on 2008-09-12. Retrieved on 2008-03-06.
- 2014–15 Washington Capitals Official Guide, p.233
- New York Islanders (2008). Key Islander Dates. NewYorkIslanders.com. Retrieved on 2008-03-11.
- Zinsler, Lynn. "Graves Was Standout on and Off the Ice", New York Times, 2009-02-02. Retrieved on 2009-02-17.
- 2014–15 Edmonton Oilers Media Guide, p.161
- Cyrgalis, Brett (5 September 2018). Rangers to retire legend Vic Hadfield’s No. 11.
- Sabres to retire Hasek's number before Jan. 13 game.
- Chambers, Mike (January 6, 2018). Colorado Avalanche raised Milan Hejduk’s No. 23 to the rafters. Retrieved on January 10, 2018.
- "Flyers to retire Howe's No. 2", Philadelphia Flyers, March 5, 2012. Retrieved on October 2, 2014.
- "Panthers retire No. 37 in honor of former owner H. Wayne Huizenga", Sun-Sentinel, January 19, 2018. Retrieved on February 7, 2018.
- Associated Press (2006). Blues to retire Hull's No. 16 jersey in December. ESPN. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- Washington Capitals (2008). Washington Capitals retired numbers. WashingtonCaps.com. Archived from the original on 2008-04-28. Retrieved on 2008-03-06.
- Jarome Iginla's No. 12 jersey to be retired in 'humbling' tribute by Calgary Flames. CBC News (January 17, 2019). Retrieved on March 4, 2019.
- Coppinger, Mike. "Ducks will retire Paul Kariya's, Scott Niedermayer's jersey numbers", Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2018.
- Red Kelly Number Retirement. Detroit Red Wings (October 11, 2018). Retrieved on October 12, 2018.
- Guy Lapointe will be honoured on November 8. Montreal Canadiens (2014-09-12). Retrieved on 2014-10-12.
- Vincent Lecavalier Becomes Second Bolt In Team History To Have Number Retired. Tampa Bay Lightning (September 25, 2017).
- Robinson, Alan. "Lemieux Teary as His Jersey Retired", November 20, 1997. Retrieved on March 3, 2013.
- Red Wings to retire Lidstrom’s No. 5.
- Flyers to Retire No. 88 Jersey of Eric Lindros. Philadelphia Flyers (August 28, 2017). Retrieved on January 10, 2018.
- Flames set to retire Mike Vernon's No. 30. Calgary Flames (February 4, 2007). Retrieved on March 19, 2017.
- Tony Care and Rob Sinclair. "Honouring No. 11", CBC.ca. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- Middleton 'Honored' To Take His Place Alongside Bruins Legends. Boston Bruins (July 31, 2018). Retrieved on August 3, 2018.
- This Day in MN Hockey History: October 11. Minnesota Hockey Magazine (October 11, 2014). Retrieved on July 2, 2015.
- Stepneski, Mark (2013-06-06). Nine To Be Raised To The Rafters. Dallas Stars official website. Retrieved on 2013-06-06.
- Botta, Christopher (December 16, 2011). Scott Niedermayer's Jersey Is Retired by Devils. Retrieved on November 9, 2015.
- Pinkert, Chris (February 3, 2017). Blues retire Plager's No. 5 to the rafters. St. Louis Blues. Retrieved on February 11, 2017.
- Jean Ratelle's Number 19 to Be Retired on February 25, 2018. New York Rangers (August 28, 2017). Retrieved on August 28, 2017.
- ESPN (2003). Avalanche retire Roy's No. 33. ESPN. Retrieved on 2008-03-11.
- "Avalanche Retires Sakic's #19", Colorado Avalanche, October 1, 2009. Retrieved on June 8, 2015. Archived from the original on November 29, 2009.
- Ducks to retire Selanne's No. 8 on Jan. 11 vs. Jets.
- Lapointe, Joe. "This Time, His Number Will Raise to the Roof", New York Times, 1993-02-20. Retrieved on 2008-03-11.
- Vancouver Canucks (2008). Stan Smyl Profile on Canucks.com. Canucks.com. Archived from the original on 2008-03-21. Retrieved on 2008-03-06.
- Martin St. Louis gets his No. 26 retired by Tampa Bay Lightning (Video). Yahoo Sports: Puck Daddy (January 13, 2017). Retrieved on January 15, 2017.
- CBC Sports. "Devils honour Scott Stevens", CBC.ca, 2006-02-04. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
- Florida Panthers 14–15 Media Guide, p.14
- "Golden Knights Retire Jersey No. 58", 31 March 2018.
- Associated Press (2009). Hurricanes honor Wesley, retire No. 2. NHL.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-17.
- Allen, Kevin. "Red Wings retire Yzerman's No. 19 jersey", USA Today, 2007-01-03. Retrieved on 2008-03-06.
- Kukla's Korner Hockey - Kukla's Korner.
- Tusa, Susan. Hurricanes always honored Howe, quietly and unofficially — DeCock.
- Seravalli, Frank. "Pelle Lindbergh's spirit lives on, 25 years after fatal crash", Philadelphia Daily News, November 11, 2010.
- St. Louis Blues. History. blues.nhl.com. Retrieved on 2012-11-09.
- Arizona Coyotes – Team. Arizona Coyotes. Retrieved on July 2, 2015.
- Arizona Coyotes 2014–2015 Media Guide, p.294
- Vest, Dave (March 4, 2014). Coyotes Add Erat on Night Before Trade Deadline. Arizona Coyotes. Retrieved on July 2, 2015.
- 'Yotes Notes: Gagner Embraces Pressure of Providing Offense. Arizona Coyotes (September 19, 2014). Retrieved on July 2, 2015.
- Vickers, Aaron. "'Forever a Flame', MacInnis savours special moment", National Hockey League, 2012-02-28. Retrieved on 2012-03-01.
- Cruickshank, Scott. "Nieuwendyk will be Forever a Flame", Calgary Herald, 2014-02-07. Retrieved on 2014-02-07.
- Arizona Coyotes 2014–2015 Media Guide, p.295
- BOBBY HULL UN-RETIRES NO. 9 FOR SON BRETT HULL. Phoenix Coyotes (October 8, 2005). Retrieved on July 2, 2015.
- Red Wings Retired Numbers. DetroitHockey.Net.
- 2014–2015 Colorado Avalanche Media Guide, p.190
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