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Alexander Peter "Fats" Delvecchio (born December 4, 1931) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player, coach, and general manager who spent his entire National Hockey League (NHL) with the Detroit Red Wings.[1] In a playing career that lasted 24 seasons, Delvecchio played in 1,549 games, recording 1,281 points. At the time of his retirement, he was second in NHL history in games played, assists and points. He won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct three times, and helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup three times.[2] Delvecchio's 1,549 games with the Red Wings are the most by one player who spent their entire career on one team, and is only one of three to play at least 1,500 games with one team (the other two, Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidström, also played for the Red Wings). Immediately after retiring in 1973, Delvecchio was named head coach of the team and was also named the team's general manager in 1974, serving in both roles until 1977. Delvecchio was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1977, and in 2017 was named one of the "100 Greatest NHL Players" in history.[3]

Alex Delvecchio
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1977
Alex Delvecchio Chex card.jpg
Born (1931-12-04) December 4, 1931 (age 87)
Fort William, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Centre/Left Wing
Shot Left
Played for Detroit Red Wings
Playing career 1950–1973
A row of six red banners. The banners, from left to right, read "Yzerman 19" "Sawchuk 1" "Delvecchio 10" "Lindsay 7" "Abel 12" "Howe 9". The Yzerman banner has a small "C" at the top right corner.
Delvecchio's #10 banner (third from left) hanging in Joe Louis Arena.
A large bronze statue of an ice hockey player in the act of shooting the puck. The player's hands and stick are shown numerous times in order to simulate motion. At the base of the statue is inscribed "Alex Delvecchio Born: December 4, 1931 Fort William, Ontario, Canada

Playing careerEdit

After playing a single junior league season for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) (during which he led the league in assists) and six games with the Indianapolis Capitals of the American Hockey League (AHL), Delvecchio made his NHL debut on March 25, 1951, playing against the Montreal Canadiens in the Red Wings' final game of the season.[4] He spent six games with the team's minor league affiliate, the Indianapolis Capitals of the AHL, scoring nine points, before joining the Red Wings full-time in the 1951–52 season.[4] He helped the team to win the Stanley Cup that year.[5] He would go on to excel both at centre and left wing for 22 full seasons and parts of two others, and was notable for his spot on the "Production Line" with linemates Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay.

A broken ankle kept Delvecchio out of 22 games in 1956–57, but other than that, he hardly missed games, only missing 14 games over the final 16 seasons of his career.[4]

No player except Nicklas Lidström in NHL history played more games in a career spent with only one team. Despite his impressive career, Delvecchio was never the Red Wings' leading point scorer in a season, primarily due to Howe's presence. The closest he ever came was in the 1969–70 NHL season, where he was just three points behind Howe for the team lead.

Post-playing careerEdit

Following his retirement as a player in 1973, Delvecchio served two stints as Detroit's head coach and one as general manager until leaving hockey in 1977 to go into business. Delvecchio is an "Honored Member" of the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association and is active in its efforts to raise money for children's charities in Metro Detroit. At the time of his retirement, he ranked second in nearly every significant offensive category in Red Wings history behind only Howe. He has since been passed in most of those categories by Steve Yzerman, and in assists by Nicklas Lidström as well, but only Howe and Lidström have played more games as a Red Wing.

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1947–48 Fort William Rangers TBJHL 1 0 0 0 0
1948–49 Fort William Rangers TBJHL 12 16 8 24 53 1 2 0 2 0
1948–49 Port Arthur Bruins M-Cup 5 2 2 4 1
1949–50 Fort William Rangers TBJHL 18 16 20 36 36 5 4 4 8 15
1950–51 Oshawa Generals OHA-Jr. 54 49 72 121 36 5 4 10 14 5
1950–51 Detroit Red Wings NHL 1 0 0 0 0
1951–52 Detroit Red Wings NHL 65 15 22 37 22 8 0 3 3 4
1951–52 Indianapolis Capitals AHL 6 3 6 9 4
1952–53 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 16 43 59 28 6 2 4 6 2
1953–54 Detroit Red Wings NHL 69 11 18 29 34 12 2 7 9 7
1954–55 Detroit Red Wings NHL 69 17 31 48 37 11 7 8 15 2
1955–56 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 25 26 51 24 10 7 3 10 2
1956–57 Detroit Red Wings NHL 48 16 25 41 8 5 3 2 5 2
1957–58 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 21 38 59 22 4 0 1
1958–59 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 19 35 54 6
1959–60 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 19 28 47 8 6 2 6 8 0
1960–61 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 27 35 62 26 11 4 5 9 0
1961–62 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 26 43 69 18
1962–63 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 20 44 64 8 11 3 6 9 2
1963–64 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 23 30 53 11 14 3 8
1964–65 Detroit Red Wings NHL 68 25 42 67 16 7 2 3 5 4
1965–66 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 31 38 69 16 12 0 11 11 4
1966–67 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 17 38 55 10
1967–68 Detroit Red Wings NHL 74 22 48 70 14
1968–69 Detroit Red Wings NHL 72 25 58 83 8
1969–70 Detroit Red Wings NHL 73 21 47 68 24 4 0 2 2 0
1970–71 Detroit Red Wings NHL 77 21 34 55 6
1971–72 Detroit Red Wings NHL 75 20 45 65 22
1972–73 Detroit Red Wings NHL 77 18 53 71 13
1973–74 Detroit Red Wings NHL 11 1 4 5 2
NHL totals 1549 456 825 1281 383 121 35 69 104 29

AchievementsEdit

  • Third all-time in games played in a Red Wings uniform (Nicklas Lidström and Gordie Howe).
  • Retired as the overall leader and held record for 32 years for games played in a career spent with only one team (from 1980 until 2012), since passed by Lidstrom, still a record for forwards.
  • 3-time Stanley Cup champion with Detroit (1952, 1954, 1955).
  • Named a Second Team All-Star in 1953 (at centre) and 1959 (at left wing).
  • Played in the All-Star Game 13 times (in 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1967), a total surpassed by only six players.
  • Served as team captain for twelve years, a mark surpassed only in Wings' history by Steve Yzerman.
  • Remains 11th all-time in NHL history in games played and 27th in points scored.
  • Third in points and goals, and fourth in assists, in Red Wings history
  • In 1998, he was ranked number 82 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
  • Detroit Red Wings #10 retired on November 10, 1991
  • On October 16, 2008, The Red Wings unveiled a commemorative statue commissioned by artist Omri R. Amrany.
  • In January, 2017, Delvecchio was part of the first group of players to be named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.[3]

NHL coaching recordEdit

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
Detroit Red Wings 1973–74 67 27 31 9 (63) 6th in East Missed playoffs
Detroit Red Wings 1974–75 80 23 45 12 58 4th in Norris Missed playoffs
Detroit Red Wings 1975–76 54 19 29 6 (44) 4th in Norris Missed playoffs
Detroit Red Wings 1976–77 44 13 26 5 (31) 5th in Norris (resigned)
Total 245 82 131 32

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Shots, Tom Annelin, Net. "Delvecchio gets his due among NHL greats". The Chronicle-Journal. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  2. ^ "Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winners". ESPN. June 14, 2007. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "100 Greatest NHL Players". National Hockey League. January 1, 2017. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Hackel, Stu (January 2, 2017). "Alex Delvecchio: 100 Greatest NHL Players". National Hockey League. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  5. ^ "Stanley Cup Champions 1950-1959". National Hockey League. Retrieved November 30, 2017.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Gordie Howe
Detroit Red Wings captain
196273
Succeeded by
Nick Libett
rotating captaincy begins
Preceded by
Ted Garvin
Head coach of the Detroit Red Wings
1973–1975
Succeeded by
Doug Barkley
Preceded by
Doug Barkley
Head coach of the Detroit Red Wings
1976
Succeeded by
Larry Wilson
Preceded by
Ned Harkness
General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings
1974–77
Succeeded by
Ted Lindsay
Preceded by
Camille Henry
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
1959
Succeeded by
Don McKenney
Preceded by
Bobby Hull
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
1966
Succeeded by
Stan Mikita
Preceded by
Stan Mikita
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
1969
Succeeded by
Phil Goyette