Retirement banners are representative of a legendary player’s ascent to hockey immortality.
A chance for the older fans to look up to the rafters and see the names of players they looked up to as kids.
With Jagr about to have his name hanging up in the rafters of PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, I wanted to honour some of the nicest retired player banners in the NHL.
The Canucks, for example, have uniquely themed their banners to each player’s respective eras.
Fans looking up at the Rogers Arena rafters can get a true snapshot into their team’s history; seeing players like Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden, and Pavel Bure all represented with the iconic Flying Skate, whereas Markus Naslund and the Sedin twins are represented with the more modern ‘Orca C’ logo we all know today.
Taking our focus over to the other side of the continent now, of course an Original 6 team got it right.
Not only do the Detroit Red Wings have one of the most impressive catalogues of retired numbers in NHL history, but they also have some of the most recognizable branding in the entire history of sports as a whole.
From Gordie Howe to Steve Yzerman, the Red Wings did their legendary players justice with a simple and elegant red banner featuring the player’s name, number, and a small Wings logo in the lower left-hand corner.
In Steve Yzerman’s case, a small captain’s ‘C’ is located on the upper right-hand side of the banner, to symbolize his nearly 2-decade span as team captain.
Which player do you think should have their jersey number retired next?