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Hockey God

The Forgotten Wing

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Larry Aurie was considered by owner James Norris as the heart and soul of the Detroit NHL franchise from 1927 through 1938. He was known for his remarkable all-around play, goal-scoring achievements and for being instrumental in the Red Wings' winning their first two Stanley Cup championships in 1936 and 1937. Aurie's No. 6 jersey was officially retired by James Norris after the 1937-38 season. His jersey was displayed in the Olympia Stadium lobby during the 1960s, but present owner Mike Ilitch – for some inexplicable reason – refuses to display the number at Joe Louis Arena with the other retired numbers, despite several published accounts to support the retirement of the number.

You can get the full story here http://bleacherreport.com/articles/15757-dear-red-wings-raise-no-6-to-the-rafters

And sign a petition to hang Aurie's number at Joe Louis here http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/larry-aurie-to-the-rafters.html

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Yeah it's been talked about here before, and it seems very unclassy by Ilitch, especially since he refuses to explain himself.

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Yeah it's been talked about here before, and it seems very unclassy by Ilitch, especially since he refuses to explain himself.

As we've discussed on this board many times, this is one of the only black marks on an otherwise pristine Ilitch era...

Even though it is still technically unofficially retired and the team will not issue it to any other players, Aurie still deserves the honor he was once bestowed to be returned

#6 should be in the rafters. period.

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Agreed. For all reasons listed and then some.

See this for details.

Edited by 55fan

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I signed it. Gotta respect all those who have given major parts of their life to this organization.

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Larry Aurie was considered by owner James Norris as the heart and soul of the Detroit NHL franchise from 1927 through 1938. He was known for his remarkable all-around play, goal-scoring achievements and for being instrumental in the Red Wings' winning their first two Stanley Cup championships in 1936 and 1937. Aurie's No. 6 jersey was officially retired by James Norris after the 1937-38 season. His jersey was displayed in the Olympia Stadium lobby during the 1960s, but present owner Mike Ilitch – for some inexplicable reason – refuses to display the number at Joe Louis Arena with the other retired numbers, despite several published accounts to support the retirement of the number.

You can get the full story here http://bleacherreport.com/articles/15757-dear-red-wings-raise-no-6-to-the-rafters

And sign a petition to hang Aurie's number at Joe Louis here http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/larry-aurie-to-the-rafters.html

He didn't even play in the 1937 playoffs.

My personal opinion...based only on what I can tell from stats and other stories as I've obviously never seen him play, he never should have had his number retired in the first place. HOWEVER, he did have his number retired and becuase of that, it should still be honoured as such, regardless of what new owner may think.

Think about it this way: If the team gets sold and a new owner comes in and decides he doesn't want to have Howe's and Yzerman's numbers retired anymore......what would you think?

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He didn't even play in the 1937 playoffs.

My personal opinion...based only on what I can tell from stats and other stories as I've obviously never seen him play, he never should have had his number retired in the first place. HOWEVER, he did have his number retired and becuase of that, it should still be honoured as such, regardless of what new owner may think.

Think about it this way: If the team gets sold and a new owner comes in and decides he doesn't want to have Howe's and Yzerman's numbers retired anymore......what would you think?

Blasphemy.

wingnut40 likes this

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He didn't even play in the 1937 playoffs.

My personal opinion...based only on what I can tell from stats and other stories as I've obviously never seen him play, he never should have had his number retired in the first place. HOWEVER, he did have his number retired and becuase of that, it should still be honoured as such, regardless of what new owner may think.

Think about it this way: If the team gets sold and a new owner comes in and decides he doesn't want to have Howe's and Yzerman's numbers retired anymore......what would you think?

Agreed... except about the "he never should have had his number retired in the first place".

I've read about Larry Aurie quite a bit - and the best way I can describe him is a heart and soul player and leader, who gave 110% effort each and every night, on both ends of the ice.

Think of Kris Draper - and what he has meant to the team, only much better offensively.

If Draper had won the Rocket Richard, led the team in points in the playoffs and finished Top 4 in points in the league twice -- you better believe a lot of folks would believe he deserved to go up to the rafters. Heck, many think he deserves it already.

When a young Gordie Howe joined the Red Wings, Jack Adams was often asked if he would be the "next Larry Aurie".

He actually was a player/coach in 1937. Injured for the playoffs, but was behind the bench.

Edited by egroen

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Agreed... except about the "he never should have had his number retired in the first place".

I've read about Larry Aurie quite a bit - and the best way I can describe him is a heart and soul player and leader, who gave 110% effort each and every night, on both ends of the ice.

Think of Kris Draper - and what he has meant to the team, only much better offensively.

If Draper had won the Rocket Richard, led the team in points in the playoffs and finished Top 4 in points in the league twice -- you better believe a lot of folks would believe he deserved to go up to the rafters. Heck, many think he deserves it already.

When a young Gordie Howe joined the Red Wings, Jack Adams was often asked if he would be the "next Larry Aurie".

He actually was a player/coach in 1937. Injured for the playoffs, but was behind the bench.

"Free Iran?"

"I'll take it!"

::dials phone::

"Saudi Arabia, I have something you may want, muahahaha"

sorry... every time I see your signature I feel the need to make that slightly modified Family Guy reference...

F.Michael likes this

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"Free Iran?"

"I'll take it!"

::dials phone::

"Saudi Arabia, I have something you may want, muahahaha"

sorry... every time I see your signature I feel the need to make that slightly modified Family Guy reference...

:lol:

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Interesting question: Why was his number removed from Olympia in the '60s? We talk about Illitch "un-retiring" it, but why was it removed before Illitch came on the scene?

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I thought this was going to be a thread about Stumpy Steve Thomas

I thought it was going to about that one guy, um... can't think of his name...

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I've done countless research on this and the only logical explanation is that the Red Wings don't retire numbers of players who aren't in the Hall of Fame.

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I've done countless research on this and the only logical explanation is that the Red Wings don't retire numbers of players who aren't in the Hall of Fame.

I don't know enough to have an opinion or not, but if that's the case, makes sense I guess.

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Think of Kris Draper - and what he has meant to the team, only much better offensively.

If Draper had won the Rocket Richard, led the team in points in the playoffs and finished Top 4 in points in the league twice

So not Kris Draper in any meaningful way. Got it.

But he played here awhile and tried very hard with good results. :)

crotty99 likes this

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I've always assumed there was a dark secret about Larry that the Ilitches knew but haven't made public out of respect to his family. (maybe he ate babies or kicked a puppy down the stairs or something like that)

That still doesn't explain why Red Kelly is being snubbed.

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Thinking of what Drake said re: a dark secret.... Given the era that he played - and mind you, this is just a shot in the dark and not an accusation - perhaps he was discovered to be a Nazi sympathizer or something? I mean, that would be something pretty damning.

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Thinking of what Drake said re: a dark secret.... Given the era that he played - and mind you, this is just a shot in the dark and not an accusation - perhaps he was discovered to be a Nazi sympathizer or something? I mean, that would be something pretty damning.

I still think it is more likely that is has a connection to Aurie not being in the Hall Of Fame and Illitch wanting to the team to have a legacy where retired numbers were of the utmost honor and due to Aurie being from SO far back in the teams history, not being in the HOF and not having a personal connection with the Illitch's...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Aurie

In a 1997 Detroit Free Press article, Wings vice president Jimmy Devellano said the team refused to hang the number because he wasn’t a Hall of Famer, despite the fact that the number was already retired before Ilitch became the owner in 1982.

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Agreed... except about the "he never should have had his number retired in the first place".

I've read about Larry Aurie quite a bit - and the best way I can describe him is a heart and soul player and leader, who gave 110% effort each and every night, on both ends of the ice.

Re-reading this thread gives me a chance to comment on something I didn't really think too much about before.

None of us saw this guy play, so all we can go on is stories and stats. Normally, when going back this far, I rely more on stories than stats, but in Laurie's case, some of the stories just don't add up. I'll quote the original post in the thread:

Larry Aurie was considered by owner James Norris as the heart and soul of the Detroit NHL franchise from 1927 through 1938. He was known for his remarkable all-around play, goal-scoring achievements and for being instrumental in the Red Wings' winning their first two Stanley Cup championships in 1936 and 1937.

If he was the heart and soul of the franchise for 11-12 years, why was he only the captain for one season? In terms of being instrumental in the first two stanley cups, in 1936, he finished with 2pts in the playoffs, good for an 11th place tie on the team with 2 other guys on a roster with 14 players. I know scoring isn't everything, but I'm not sure how instrumental he really was. In terms of 1937, he didn't even play in that cup run.

His number was retired because he was the owner's favourite, I'm convinced of that. I wouldn't really have much of a problem with it if the organization didn't hold back retiring numbers so much so that it's really only the true elite players in the history of the organization (we're talking more than just hall of famers here).

That said, I'll re-affirm my orginal comment, I don't agree with the number being retired and I can understand why Ilitch wouldn't want it up with the rest, but a previous owner retired the number, he should honour that decision. Keeping it out of circulation, but not up in the rafters is not "honouring" that decision, but I think keeping it out of circulation is what makes the organization feel better about themselves.

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Re-reading this thread gives me a chance to comment on something I didn't really think too much about before.

None of us saw this guy play, so all we can go on is stories and stats. Normally, when going back this far, I rely more on stories than stats, but in Laurie's case, some of the stories just don't add up. I'll quote the original post in the thread:

If he was the heart and soul of the franchise for 11-12 years, why was he only the captain for one season? In terms of being instrumental in the first two stanley cups, in 1936, he finished with 2pts in the playoffs, good for an 11th place tie on the team with 2 other guys on a roster with 14 players. I know scoring isn't everything, but I'm not sure how instrumental he really was. In terms of 1937, he didn't even play in that cup run.

His number was retired because he was the owner's favourite, I'm convinced of that. I wouldn't really have much of a problem with it if the organization didn't hold back retiring numbers so much so that it's really only the true elite players in the history of the organization (we're talking more than just hall of famers here).

That said, I'll re-affirm my orginal comment, I don't agree with the number being retired and I can understand why Ilitch wouldn't want it up with the rest, but a previous owner retired the number, he should honour that decision. Keeping it out of circulation, but not up in the rafters is not "honouring" that decision, but I think keeping it out of circulation is what makes the organization feel better about themselves.

That's how I felt. I was looking at his stats the other day and it just didn't add up. He didn't seem to stand out more than other players like Syd Howe, Ebbie Goodfellow, etc. I hate passing judgement like that on someone we've never seen play, but that's just how it appears to me.

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That's how I felt. I was looking at his stats the other day and it just didn't add up. He didn't seem to stand out more than other players like Syd Howe, Ebbie Goodfellow, etc. I hate passing judgement like that on someone we've never seen play, but that's just how it appears to me.

Stats don't always tell a whole story... the way I see it, it was retired and should be again, especially since it's already out of circulation...

Regardless of stance on this issue - They should completely un-retire it and allow it to be issued, or they should hang it in the rafters... just my opinion...

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