NHL Numbers That Never Should Have Been Retired

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NHL Numbers That Never Should Have Been Retired
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

They billow majestically up high, glistening from the accelerated arena lights in NHL arenas and catch the eye of just about every young dreamer. They are the retired jerseys in stitched lettering that, if actually worn, would probably hold the likes of three bodies.

Ever wonder about the history of why numbers are retired? What kind of criteria should be used? Should a former player only be honored if he’s in the Hockey Hall of Fame or is the revelry also reserved for a longtime franchise asset who may have been a fan favorite or active in the community, or both? 

As it stands, there are currently 122 retired numbers in the NHL. Forty of those players who have been honored are not in the Hockey Hall of Fame, although several of them are surely going to get in. 

We analyzed the list of retired numbers and developed a short list of those that probably had no business being raised, or came across as rather cloying. Feel free to agree or disagree.

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