The Hang Up on History
While great attention was paid to Steve Yzerman’s ceremony, it seems one old-time great for the Wings is being forgotten.
But as Ilitch celebrated the career of Yzerman with a spectacular ceremony, he simultaneously and purposefully desecrated the career of one of the Detroit’s earliest and true hockey heroes – right wing Larry Aurie.
Aurie, a fearless and talented right wing, played for Detroit from 1927 through 1939. Through his tireless, selfless play, he thoroughly impressed then-owner James Norris. In fact, Norris’ admiration of Aurie motivated him to retire Aurie’s jersey No. 6 in 1938. Aurie became the first-ever Red Wing to be honored in this manner
Czarniecki runs through how the Ilitch ownership has gone against the wishes of the former owners, the Norris family, to recognize Aurie as a Red Wing great. The current organization’s position is that Aurie is not a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, something I was a little surprised about actually, and therefore isn’t as deserving at the rest of the Wings who have their numbers hanging from the rafters. It’s quite a hardline stance to take, given other teams have retired numbers hanging that are not in the Hall. By that I mean more along the lines of the Islanders retiring Bobby Nystrom’s number, not the Avalanche retiring Ray Bourque’s.
Legends of Hockey: Larry Aurie