List of National Hockey League retired numbers
This is a complete list of numbers retired by the National Hockey League (NHL). A retired number is a jersey number that is taken out of circulation by a team as a way of honouring a former member of that team who wore that number; after the number's retirement, members of that team are not permitted to wear the number on their jerseys unless by permission of the original number holder.
Currently in the NHL, there are 128 retired numbers, 7 former retirements, and 23 honoured numbers. Most of the numbers retired by the Hartford Whalers and Quebec Nordiques were put back in circulation when those franchises relocated and became the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche, respectively, although the Hurricanes keep Gordie Howe's number 9 unofficially retired. The Minnesota North Stars' two retired numbers were carried over when that franchise relocated to become the Dallas Stars, and remain retired today. The Arizona Coyotes had a policy of retaining the numbers retired when the franchise was the Winnipeg Jets but reversed it after the Phoenix Coyotes were sold and became the Arizona Coyotes. Honoured numbers are similar to retired numbers, except that they remain available for use by other players. Presently, only the Calgary Flames, and the St. Louis Blues employ this designation. The Philadelphia Flyers have also unofficially retired number 31 in honour of goaltender Pelle Lindbergh since his death in 1985.
Upon joining the league in 2000, the Minnesota Wild had a ceremony retiring number 1 from circulation as a tribute to their fans.
Twelve numbers have been retired by a team in honour of two different players: number 12 by the Montreal Canadiens for Dickie Moore and Yvan Cournoyer, number 16 by the Montreal Canadiens for Elmer Lach and Henri Richard, number 3 by the Chicago Blackhawks for Pierre Pilote and Keith Magnuson, number 5 by the Canadiens for Bernie Geoffrion and Guy Lapointe, number 9 by the New York Rangers for Andy Bathgate and Adam Graves, number 1 by the Toronto Maple Leafs for Johnny Bower and Turk Broda, number 4 by the Maple Leafs for Hap Day and Red Kelly, number 7 by the Maple Leafs for King Clancy and Tim Horton, number 9 by the Maple Leafs for Charlie Conacher and Ted Kennedy, number 10 by the Maple Leafs for Syl Apps and George Armstrong, and number 27 by the Maple Leafs for Frank Mahovlich and Darryl Sittler, and number 11 by the Rangers for Vic Hadfield and Mark Messier.
Only nine players have had their number retired by two different NHL teams:
- Bobby Hull – Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes
- Gordie Howe – Detroit Red Wings and Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes
- Wayne Gretzky – Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings (also retired league-wide)
- Ray Bourque – Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche
- Mark Messier – New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers
- Patrick Roy – Colorado Avalanche and Montreal Canadiens
- Tim Horton – Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs
- Red Kelly – Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs
- Scott Niedermayer – Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils
|Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame|
|Number retired league-wide|
|Never played for that particular franchise|
|Number retired by a team for multiple players|
Italics denote numbers that will be retired during the 2018–19 NHL season.
- Finnigan did not play for the current Senators franchise, which does not retain the history of the original team. The number he wore was retired because he played for the original Senators franchise and was active in campaigning to bring a new franchise to Ottawa.
- The Florida Panthers retired the number 37 to honor former owner Wayne Huizenga, who owned the team between 1993 and 2001.
- The Florida Panthers retired the number 93 to honor president and general manager Bill Torrey because the team was founded in 1993. Torrey was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1995.
- This number was retired in honor of the 58 people who were killed in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.
Unofficially retired numbers
These numbers are not considered officially retired, but have still been removed from circulation.
|Larry Aurie||Detroit Red Wings||6||June 1, 1938|||
|Red Berenson||St. Louis Blues||7||2010|
|Luc Bourdon||Vancouver Canucks||28||2008|
|Vladimir Konstantinov||Detroit Red Wings||16||1997|
|Steve Chiasson||Carolina Hurricanes||3||1999|||
|Theoren Fleury||Calgary Flames||14||1999|
|Gordie Howe||Carolina Hurricanes||9||1997|||
|Pelle Lindbergh||Philadelphia Flyers||31||1985|||
|Wayne Maki||Vancouver Canucks||11||1974|
|Joe Mullen||St. Louis Blues||7||2010|
|Keith Tkachuk||St. Louis Blues||7||2010|
|Garry Unger||St. Louis Blues||7||2010|
|Doug Wickenheiser||St. Louis Blues||14||2002|
Unlike the numbers retired by the Flames, these honoured numbers were not necessarily withdrawn from circulation. Some of the numbers honoured by the Blues remain in circulation, while others have been removed from circulation without being officially retired.
|Red Berenson||St. Louis Blues||7||March 7, 2011|||
|Wayne Gretzky||Arizona Coyotes||99||October 8, 2005|||
|Dale Hawerchuk||Arizona Coyotes||10||April 5, 2007|||
|Bobby Hull||Arizona Coyotes||9||October 8, 2005|||
|Al MacInnis||Calgary Flames||2||February 27, 2012|||
|Joe Mullen||St. Louis Blues||7||March 7, 2011|||
|Joe Nieuwendyk||Calgary Flames||25||March 7, 2014|||
|Teppo Numminen||Arizona Coyotes||27||January 30, 2010|||
|Jeremy Roenick||Arizona Coyotes||97||February 11, 2012|||
|Thomas Steen||Arizona Coyotes||25||January 21, 2006|||
|Keith Tkachuk||Arizona Coyotes||7||December 23, 2011|||
|Keith Tkachuk||St. Louis Blues||7||March 7, 2011|||
|Garry Unger||St. Louis Blues||7||March 7, 2011|||
|Doug Wickenheiser||St. Louis Blues||14|||
Former retired numbers
It is very rare for a team to reissue a retired number, and usually requires a special circumstance, such as a number being requested for a family member (such as Bobby Hull asking the Phoenix Coyotes to allow his son Brett to wear Bobby's number 9), or the player for whom the number was retired coming out of retirement himself (such as Mario Lemieux).
In cases of franchise relocation, the handling of existing retired numbers is at the discretion of team management. They may decide to continue honouring the retired numbers, such as the Dallas Stars and Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, or they may choose to make a "fresh start" and reissue the numbers, as the Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes have done.
The Hurricanes have an unusual exception with regards to Gordie Howe's number 9. While the Hurricanes have not made any formal recognition of the Hartford Whalers' retirement of the number, they have kept the number out of circulation since their 1997 relocation.
The Red Wings and Larry Aurie's number 6 are also something of a unique situation, as the number was officially retired, then un-retired so that his cousin, Cummy Burton, could wear it, much as the Jets/Coyotes did for the Hulls. It was then re-retired until 2000, when the Red Wings ordered it removed from the NHL's Official Guide and Record Book. Despite the unretirement, number 6 is still not available to be worn in Detroit.
|Larry Aurie||Detroit Red Wings||6||1939|||
|Michel Goulet||Quebec Nordiques||16||March 16, 1995|
|Gordie Howe||Hartford Whalers||9||February 18, 1981|
|Bobby Hull||Winnipeg Jets (1972–96)||9||February 19, 1989|||
|Rick Ley||Hartford Whalers||2||December 26, 1982|
|John McKenzie||Hartford Whalers||19||1979|
|Peter Stastny||Quebec Nordiques||26||February 26, 1996|
|Thomas Steen||Winnipeg Jets (1972–96)||25||May 6, 1995|||
|Marc Tardif||Quebec Nordiques||8||November 1, 1983|
|J. C. Tremblay||Quebec Nordiques||3||October 28, 1979|
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