As someone who disagrees and would retire his number, I can't take issue with a single thing you said, an entirely valid opinion.
That being said, if you are of that mindset, then there is no way Brendan Shanahan or Chris Osgood could possibly have their numbers retired either. As long as the Wings are consistent on that definition of "royalty", I could accept Yzerman and Lidstrom, only, as the Wings' definition of "royalty" for this recent era of success.
Also, if Yzerman and Lidstrom are the only current Wings players equivalent to Delvecchio, Lindsay, etc. up in the rafters, then I think you have a really hard time arguing that Datsyuk and Zetterberg are deserving of that honor, unless they win more Cups.
Part of the reason I struggle with this is you can look at guys like Delvecchio, Lindsay, Sawchuk, and these guys were definitely not the "best", or often even the "2nd best" player on their teams at that time, yet they are in the rafters. And you could argue that the 1950's Red Wings were a great team in an era where it was MUCH easier for one team to sustain success. The Wings ripped off 4 Cups in 12 seasons, and did it amongst 25 to 29 other NHL teams. There's no "right answer" to this, but I don't think you can diminish the value of guys like Fedorov simply because they weren't the "best" guy on a team that obviously needed a lot of really great players to succeed as they did.
Agreed, the others mentioned don't deserve the honor either. Yet.
Yzerman and Lidstrom bled red and white. Not only is Fedorov's work ethic able to be called into question, his loyalty is as well. I don't fault him for signing the Carolina offer sheet - I do fault him for holding the Wings hostage by holding out and making his displeasure known on the ice. He always came across as a prima donna, which is probably why so many are against his number being retired. That's not the Red Wings way.
- hillbillywingsfan likes this