Alex Delvecchio

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
Born (1931-12-04) December 4, 1931
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 19501973

Playing career

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 career

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 statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1947–48 Fort William Rangers TBJHL 10000
1948–49 Fort William Rangers TBJHL 121682453 12020
1948–49 Port Arthur Bruins M-Cup 52241
1949–50 Fort William Rangers TBJHL 1816203636 544815
1950–51 Oshawa Generals OHA-Jr. 54497212136 5410145
1950–51 Detroit Red Wings NHL 10000
1951–52 Detroit Red Wings NHL 6515223722 80334
1951–52 Indianapolis Capitals AHL 63694
1952–53 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7016435928 62462
1953–54 Detroit Red Wings NHL 6911182934 122797
1954–55 Detroit Red Wings NHL 6917314837 1178152
1955–56 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7025265124 1073102
1956–57 Detroit Red Wings NHL 481625418 53252
1957–58 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7021385922 401
1958–59 Detroit Red Wings NHL 701935546
1959–60 Detroit Red Wings NHL 701928478 62680
1960–61 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7027356226 114590
1961–62 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7026436918
1962–63 Detroit Red Wings NHL 702044648 113692
1963–64 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7023305311 1438
1964–65 Detroit Red Wings NHL 6825426716 72354
1965–66 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7031386916 12011114
1966–67 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7017385510
1967–68 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7422487014
1968–69 Detroit Red Wings NHL 722558838
1969–70 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7321476824 40220
1970–71 Detroit Red Wings NHL 772134556
1971–72 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7520456522
1972–73 Detroit Red Wings NHL 7718537113
1973–74 Detroit Red Wings NHL 111452
NHL totals 15494568251281383 121356910429


  • 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 record

TeamYearRegular seasonPost season
Detroit Red Wings1973–74 6727319(63)6th in EastMissed playoffs
Detroit Red Wings1974–75 80234512584th in NorrisMissed playoffs
Detroit Red Wings1975–76 5419296(44)4th in NorrisMissed playoffs
Detroit Red Wings1976–77 4413265(31)5th in Norris(resigned)

See also


  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. "100 Greatest NHL Players". National Hockey League. January 1, 2017. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  4. 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.
Preceded by
Gordie Howe
Detroit Red Wings captain
Succeeded by
Nick Libett
rotating captaincy begins
Preceded by
Ted Garvin
Head coach of the Detroit Red Wings
Succeeded by
Doug Barkley
Preceded by
Doug Barkley
Head coach of the Detroit Red Wings
Succeeded by
Larry Wilson
Preceded by
Ned Harkness
General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings
Succeeded by
Ted Lindsay
Preceded by
Camille Henry
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
Succeeded by
Don McKenney
Preceded by
Bobby Hull
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
Succeeded by
Stan Mikita
Preceded by
Stan Mikita
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
Succeeded by
Phil Goyette
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