Each one of your statements is true individually, and they add to the qualifications for a guy having his # retired. But to extrapolate each of those into a rule that ALL future nominees must follow like checklist? Sorry, no. Jarome Iginla should have his number retired in Calgary, and he'll have played on at least 2 other teams hopping around looking for a contender. I really don't fault him for it either, and neither do most Calgary fans.
Eras are different, business differs by era, and every player's career is different. What if the Wings had botched the '89 draft and didn't end up with Lidstrom or Fedorov. Maybe the Wings make a few first rounds, get bounced, and are back out of the playoffs. Maybe some of those veteran players we later acquire don't want to play for the Dead Wings. You can tell me, with full certainty, that a mid-30's Steve Yzerman who never won anything here, NEVER would have left because he just loved Detroit so much? I don't think anyone can know that. Yzerman deserves the praise he gets, but he wasn't the only one determining his situation. And the Red Wings organziation, with the help of almost a dozen other Hall of Fame players here and there helped to make that situation pretty darn nice.
Plus, as has been mentioned, Howe, Sawchuk and other retired numbers didn't play their whole careers as Wings.
Here we go:
1. I never said it would be for all teams, it is just the way it is done in Det. So your Iginla comparison is a moot point, much like saying because COL retired Ray Bourque's number Det should retire Shanny's.
But to play along:
IF Iginla was drafted by the Wings and left at the end of his career, maybe his number gets up there like Howe, however if Iginla was on the Wings, and as loyal to them as he was to Calgary. he more than likely wins at least one cup and due to the org doing what they did for him, probably never leaves.
But the difference between them and the reason your comparison makes no sense is Shanny played for other teams both before and after the Wings, Iginla was drafted and only played for Calgary until the twilight of his career, never asking to be traded or complaining until they rebuilt yet again around him.
2. What people tend to forget about the different era's is the different owners. Many players left Detroit due to ownership being complete A-holes. I suggest reading "What it means to be a Red Wing". And you will realize many of those guys you mentioned above left due to the Norris family being complete and utter ****** Canoes!
If you do not have an understanding of how the Norris family ruled this organization you really should not comment on players leaving during that era and getting their #s retired.
3. You can speculate about what would have or would not have happened if Yzerman leaves or the Wings botch the draft, that does not change the fact that in the Illitch era in order to get your # retired you need to be the embodiment of what it means to be Red Wing.
If Yzerman leaves in his mid thirties with no cup, his number does not end up in the rafters, not saying he doesn't still go into the HOF, but he doesn't end up as THE Captain, and 19 is not in the rafters. Again though your argument is moot because Yzerman won a cup in his early 30's.
But the reverse is true as well, if Lids and Yzerman don't take pay cuts and don't make the sacrifices they made the Organization is not what it is.
That is what puts Yzerman and Lids in the rafters and guys like Ozzie, Draper, and Shanny will always be looking up at the rafters.
Edit: BTW; this is not my opinion on how # retirements should or will go after the Illitch family hands over the reigns, but is just my take on how they do it currently and why players in the past that may have played on other teams are in the rafters!
Edited by Opie, 08 August 2013 - 01:33 PM.
"The more I know about people - the better I like my dog." - Mark Twain
"A wise man once told me, ‘Don’t argue with fools. Cause people from a distance can’t tell who is who'." Jay Z, Takeover
"When I was looking for a captain, I wanted a guy with the Red Wings crest tattooed on his chest," said former Detroit coach Jacques Demers, who named Yzerman captain in 1986. "Steve Yzerman was that guy."
“Told him if he wasn't ultra-competitive he couldn't come here. If he didn't bring it every day he couldn't come here, because he was going to hate it if he didn't, dislike the coach and dislike playing here.
“It's real straightforward. If you don't do it right, you're not happy here." Babcock