Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:56 AM
Delaying Lidstrom's ceremony is the right thing to do. The lockout has cast a black shadow over everything the league and the teams will do this season, and you don't want that shadow to darken the most prestigious honor a Red Wings player can be given.
56 players in the Hockey Hall of Fame have played for the Red Wings at some point in their careers. Only 6 of them have had their numbers retired by the Wings. That's some pretty elite company. The more numbers you retire, the more you cheapen the honor.
Like it or not, but the standard for number retirement has been set by the careers of Yzerman and Lidstrom. If a player doesn't have a career that even comes close to theirs (notably, entirely in a Red Wings sweater, with Stanley Cups and other hardware to match), then they don't deserve to have their jersey in the rafters.
This is why I think the Wings need a "ring of honor" in the new arena. A place where they can recognize the great players (Fedorov, Shanahan), fan favorites (Grind Liners, Homer), etc, but still reserve the number retirement for the truly deserving players.
"I am the sword in the darkness... I am the watcher on the walls..."