In alot of cases this may be accurate, but in this situation IMO this way of thinking is too simplistic. In the case of Fedorov, people that have to "discuss it" are people who are using emotion to cloud their judgement. Had Fedorov had his career cut short in 2003 due to injury and not leaving to Anaheim, I think he would be in the same category as Lidstrom & Yzerman.
Here are my thoughts:
I've come around on Fedorov. The guy is one of the greatest to ever wear the Winged Wheel, and he should be up there with LIdstrom/Yzerman.
Datsyuk IMO was a very special player, one that not many people have the same skill set as. Based on that alone, and based on how good he was a as two way player at his peak, I would say yes. He may not have the point totals, but imagine if his body didnt let him down, and imagine if he played in a different era where there was more scoring.
Z - How can you say no to him and Yes to Datsyuk.
Osgood - At this point no, but I see the argument as he accomplished ALOT and if he gets into the HHOF, that could alter my opinion.
That's just the thing, there are no defined requirements to retire a number. It just has to do with precedent and "how the franchise feels," which I think emotion has a lot to do with. Why do you think they took Larry Aurie out of the rafters? His accomplishments stand, but his number didn't. Yes, all of the players you mention have a very special place in Red Wings history and are elite players, but 100 years from now, looking back, I don't think they will mean the same to the franchise as Yzerman or Lidstrom, much less the production line and the Red Wings dynasty of the 40s-50s.
The other point I'll make is this. Retiring Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio Sid Abel and Sawchuk's numbers were also in discussions.
Only Howe, Yzerman and Lidstrom were players whose numbers were immediately retired.
Lindsay and Delvecchio had their numbers retired in 1991
Sawchuck was retired in 1994
Abel in 1995
Discussing is completely unrelated to likelihood of retirement. Sid Abel retired from the game in 1954 and his number wasn't retired till 40 years after that.
I would love to see you start a thread and call into discussion whether we should have retired Lindsay, Delvecchio, Abel and Sawchuck.
These are players from a dynasty of league domination and five Stanley cups. The production line included players in contention to be the top 1, 2 and 3 leading scorers year after year. Thumbing through the history books, you will always notice that blip of tremendous success. Again, this sets a precedent for future retired jerseys and looking back, I only see Yzerman and Lidstrom contributing in the same type of way. Yzerman captained this team for nearly 2 decades and brought them to championship caliber. Lidstrom is arguably the best defenseman of all time, captaining the team to an additional cup after Yzerman.