Watching the Red Wings-Maple Leafs alumni games on New Year’s Eve brought a couple thoughts to mind.
First, it’s amazing how many who played for the Leafs in those games at Comerica Park also played for the Red Wings in their careers, where the Red Wings hardly dressed anyone who played for both Toronto and Detroit. Not sure what that means, if anything.
Second, where was Alex Delvecchio?
If Fats was part of the festivities, I missed it—and therefore, this blog post is then rendered moot.
But I don’t think no. 10 was there—either at CoPa or at the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor.
That raises an immediate concern to me about Alex’s health.
Delvecchio, who turned 82 on December 4, has been a frequent and almost regular participant in anything Red Wings history-ish. He’s been as regular as Ted Lindsay, who dropped the ceremonial first puck before one of the alumni matches.
Even Gordie Howe, who is 85 and who is slowing down considerably, was there with Teddy at Comerica Park, assisting in the puck dropping.
Check out any photo of the Red Wings lifting one of their four recent Stanley Cup banners (1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008) to the rafters, and you’ll see Delvecchio somewhere. When the team retired Steve Yzerman’s no. 19 on January 2, 2007, Fats was there, wearing his no. 10.
Delvecchio, until recent years, used to be a regular active roster member of the alumni teams that still skate in arenas around town, scaring up games against anyone from fire fighters to beer leaguers.
But for whatever reason, Delvecchio was conspicuous in his absence from the goings on earlier this week.
It would have made all the sense in the world for Alec to join Lindsay and Howe for the puck dropping before the alumni games, for example.
There certainly isn’t a falling out between Delvecchio and Red Wing ownership, as what has sadly happened in other cities in other sports with their playing legends.
So let’s hope there is nothing wrong with Delvecchio physically, or otherwise.
We are blessed to still have so many of our sports greats still with us, and living around town.
Howe, Delvecchio and Lindsay with the Red Wings. Joe Schmidt and Mike Lucci with the Lions. Al Kaline and Willie Horton with the Tigers. Dave Bing and Ray Scott with the Pistons.
All of them live at least part of the time in Metro Detroit, and most live here year-round.
Here’s hoping the Red Wings’ second-longest tenured captain (behind Yzerman) is OK. And if you know how Alex is doing, let me know, eh?