Detroit Red Wings: The Mystery of Larry Aurie


Their is a mystery in Hockeytown that some fans may not know of. The Detroit Red Wings currently have seven numbers retired. There use to be another.

The Detroit Red Wings had a player by the name of Larry Aurie from 1927-1939. Red Wings owner (at the time) Larry Norris declared the number retired but it was never raised to the rafters.

Back then it was not customary for numbers to be raised to the rafters like they are now. But when Mike Illitch bought the Red Wings back in 1982 he started raising the jerseys to the rafters… except for Larry Aurie’s.

Kukla’s Korner had a very good article on this issue several years ago. The Red Wings say Larry Aurie’s number is not retired because he is not in Hall of Fame.

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The Red Wings have taken the number six out of circulation as is 16 and 91. Although, as I wrote in a previous article, the Red Wings need to formally retire 91.

Obviously this is a issue not many people know about due to Aurie’s play being mostly outside of living memory. What Mike Illitch should’ve done, in my opinion, is respect the Norris’s wishes and kept Aurie’s number six retired.

They could’ve said from this point on a player has to be in the Hall of Fame or in the case of Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom a no brainer Hall of Famer.

The Red Wings are usually pretty good about retiring deserving numbers but the case of Larry Aurie is very strange to many Red Wings fans.

A very easy thing the Red Wings could do is, when they move into the new arena, is to make a Red Wings Hall of Fame. There they could honor the Grind Line, Larry Aurie, Vladimir Konstantinov, and others. Players who were integral parts of Red Wings history but weren’t to the level of being NHL Hall of Famers.

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What do you guys think? Should the Detroit Red Wings retire number six or just have a Hall of Fame in their new arena and put players in their. Comment below!