A List of Every Retired National Hockey League Number by Team

Posted on May 16, 2024 by Dan Kent
Old-Hockey-Jersey

The National Hockey League (NHL) has retired many jerseys. This article lists the best players whose numbers hang in the rafters.

Over the years, many players have proven pivotal in the National Hockey League. The best of the best receive one of the highest honours there is: their number being retired. One can understand who some of the greatest players in the game were by looking at the history of retired NHL numbers. 

What does it mean to retire an NHL number?

Simply put, retiring an NHL number means taking it out of circulation so that another team member will never wear it. Unless the original number holder gives their express permission that a player on the team can wear the number, that number can never be worn again.

This is considered one of the highest honors and is typically reserved for players who stand out as greats in the league or as a way to honor certain players posthumously. 

Keep in mind, a team retiring a number doesn't mean it cannot be worn league wide. Although nobody on the Toronto Maple Leafs can wear number 13 due to it being retired, someone on the Edmonton Oilers could wear this number as they do not have it retired.

Wayne Gretzky, often touted as the greatest player of all time and one that was never drafted into the NHL, is the only player to have their number 99 retired league wide. However, there is an unwritten rule around the league that players do not wear 66 either, the number of Mario Lemieux.

Although it is not officially retired by Gretzky and can (and has been) worn by other players, you will rarely ever see anyone wear 66 in respect to Mario.

How many NHL numbers have been retired in total?

The NHL has around 179 retired numbers, ten former retirements, and 25 honored numbers. As mentioned, the only number retired league-wide belonged to the great Wayne Gretzky. His number, 99, was retired across the league in 2000, just after the end of his career in 1999. 

Which team has the most retired players in the NHL?

The team with the most retired jerseys can change throughout history depending on the players in the league, who they are playing for, and the natural ebb and flow of how strong a team is. However, the Toronto Maple Leafs currently have the most retired numbers in the league at 19. This means a Canadian team has the most retired numbers in the league.

Is a retired number the same as the Hall of Fame? 

Contrary to popular belief, having a number retired by your team does not mean you are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. While it's true that many players who get their numbers retired end up in the Hall of Fame, around forty players have retired numbers but are not currently in the Hall of Fame. 

You also don't need to have a Stanley Cup under your belt. A total of 24 players in the Hall of Fame have never won a cup.

NHL numbers retired by team

Despite Wayne Gretzky being the only player to have his number retired league-wide, many notable players on different teams have stood out enough in some way for their numbers to be retired by their teams. Below are some of the most mentionable players and their numbers: 

Edmonton Oilers

  • Al Hamilton, 1980: #3
  • Paul Coffey, 2005: #7
  • Jari Kurri, 2001: #17
  • Grant Fuhr, 2003: #31
  • Glenn Anderson, 2009: #9
  • Mark Messier, 2007: #11
  • Wayne Gretzky, 2000 (retired league-wide): #99

Calgary Flames

  • Lanny McDonald, 1990: #9
  • Mike Vernon, 2007: #30
  • Jarome Iginla, 2019: #12

Carolina Hurricanes

  • Ron Francis, 2006: #10
  • Glen Wesley, 2009: #2
  • Ron Brind’Amour, 2011: #17

Minnesota Wild

  • Minnesota Wild Franchise Fans, 2000: #1

New York Rangers

  • Eddie Giacomin, 1989: #1
  • Brian Leetch, 2008: #2
  • Vic Hadfield, 2018: #11
  • Harry Howell, 2009: #3
  • Mark Messier, 2006: #11
  • Rod Gilbert, 1979: #7
  • Andy Bathgate and Adam Graves, 2009: #9
  • Mike Richter, 2004: #35
  • Jean Ratelle, 2018: #19

Florida Panthers

  • Roberto Luongo, 2020: #1
  • Bill Torrey, 2010: #93
  • Wayne Huizenga, 2018: #37

Philadelphia Flyers

  • Bernie Parent, 1979: #1
  • Mark Howe, 2012: #2
  • Barry Ashbee, 1977: #4
  • Bill Barber, 1990: #7
  • Bobby Clarke, 1984: #16
  • Eric Lindros, 2018: #88

Los Angeles Kings

  • Rob Blake, 2015: #4
  • Rogie Vachon, 1985: #30
  • Marcel Dionne, 1990: #16
  • Luc Robitaille, 2007: #20
  • Dave Taylor, 1995: #18
  • Wayne Gretzky, 2000 (retired league-wide): #99

Arizona Coyotes

  • Shane Doan, 2019: #19

Boston Bruins

  • Eddie Shore, 1947: #2
  • Willie O'Ree, 2021: #22
  • Lionel Hitchman, 1934: #3
  • Bobby Orr, 1979: #4
  • Aubrey Clapper, 1947: #5
  • Terry O'Reilly, 2002: #24
  • Phil Esposito, 1987: #7
  • Cam Neely, 2004: #8
  • Rick Middleton, 2018: #16
  • Johnny Bucyk, 1980: #9
  • Milt Schmidt, 2010: #10
  • Ray Bourque, 2001: #77

Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Turk Broda and Johnny Bower, 2016: #1
  • Hap Day and Red Kelly, 2016: #4
  • Bill Barilko, 1992: #5
  • Ace Bailey, 1934: #6
  • King Clancy and Tim Horton, 2016: #7
  • Charlie Conacher and Ted Kennedy, 2016: #9
  • Syl Apps and George Armstrong, 2016: #10
  • Mats Sundin, 2016: #13
  • Dave Keon, 2016: #14
  • Wendel Clark, 2016: #17
  • Börje Salming, 2016: #21
  • Frank Mahovlich and Darryl Sittler, 2016: #27
  • Doug Gilmour, 2016: #93

Colorado Avalanche

  • Peter Forsberg, 2011: #21
  • Patrick Roy, 2003: #33
  • Joe Sakic, 2009: #19
  • Adam Foote, 2013: #52
  • Milan Hejduk, 2018: #23
  • Ray Bourque, 2001: #77

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Vincent Lecavalier, 2018: #4
  • Martin St. Louis, 2017: #26

Buffalo Sabres

  • Tim Horton, 1996: #2
  • Rick Martin, 1995: #7
  • Gilbert Perreault, 1990: #11
  • René Robert, 1995: #14
  • Pat LaFontaine, 2006: #16
  • Danny Gare, 2005: #18
  • Dominik Hašek, 2015: #39

Vegas Golden Knights

  • The Number of Victims from the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, 2018: #58

Montreal Canadiens

  • Jacques Plante, 1995: #1
  • Doug Harvey, 1985: #2
  • Emile Bouchard, 2009: #3
  • Jean Beliveau, 1971: #4
  • Bernie Geoffrion, 2006: #5
  • Howie Morenz, 1937: #7
  • Maurice Richard, 1960: #9
  • Guy Lafleur, 1985: #10
  • Dickie Moore, 2005: #12
  • Henri Richard, 1975: #16
  • Elmer Lach, 2009: #16
  • Serge Savard, 2006: #18
  • Larry Robinson, 2007: #19
  • Bob Gainey, 2008: #23
  • Ken Dryden, 2007: #29
  • Patrick Roy, 2008: #33

Nashville Predators

  • No player numbers have been retired

Columbus Blue Jackets 

  • No player numbers have been retired

Vancouver Canucks

  • Pavel Pure, 2013: #10
  • Stan Smyl, 1991: #12
  • Trevor Linden, 2008: #16
  • Markus Näslund, 2010: #19
  • Daniel Sedin, 2020: #22
  • Henrik Sedin, 2020: #33

Anaheim Ducks

  • Teemu Selanne, 2015: #8
  • Paul Kariya, 2018: #9
  • Scott Niedermayer, 2019: #27

Washington Capitals

  • Rod Langway, 1997: #5
  • Yvon Labre, 1980: #7
  • Mike Gartner, 2008: #11
  • Dale Hunter, 2000: #32

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Michel Brière, 2001: #21
  • Mario Lemieux, 1997: #66

As you likely gleaned from the above, being a great player is not the only way for a certain number to be retired in the National Hockey League.

In certain instances, memoriam retiring, fan honoring, and even honoring to coaches and owners will result in a number being retired. While there are more teams in the league with retired players, the above are some of the most prominent.

Dan Kent

About the author

Growing up in a hockey hotbed (Calgary, Alberta. And yes, I'm an Oiler fan), I decided to put my love and knowledge of the game to work. I started at five and am still playing today into my early 30s. By acquiring Brave Stick Hockey and rebranding it to Big Shot Hockey in 2023, I plan to teach people about this great game and educate them on the best equipment and history of the game. On a career level, I am in finance, running one of the largest financial websites in Canada, Stocktrades.ca.

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