For many years Thunder Bay has been noted for the number of individuals who have graduated to the National Hockey League from our minor hockey programs. The one player who has topped all NHL records of Thunder Bay graduates is Alex Delvecchio, who went on to enjoy an outstanding 24 seasons in the NHL. Amazingly, all of those seasons were spent with one team: the Detroit Red Wings.
Alex joined the Red Wing line-up in the 1950-51 season, getting an assist in his first NHL game. For 12 years he captained the Wings and was a member of three Stanley Cup teams. He is remembered as one of the members of the 'Power Line' alongside Gordie Howe and Frank Mahovlich.
Delvecchio's outstanding hockey skills earned him many awards, including being a three-time Lady Byng recipient in 1959, 1966 and 1969 and, in 1973-74, he was awarded the prestigious Lester Patrick Award for his outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
Delvecchio was also named to the NHL All-Star team as a center in 1953 and on left wing in 1959. His overall NHL statistics show an impressive 1,549 games played (second only to Gordie Howe), 456 goals and 825 assists. Delvecchio became only the 5th man in the history of the NHL to score 400 goals. For 11 seasons Alex rated in the top 10 leading scorers category for the regular season.
Following his retirement from active play in the NHL, Alex went on to coach the Detroit Red Wings for 4 seasons. In recognition of his contribution to Detroit’s hockey history, a statue of his likeness greets Red Wings fans as they enter Joe Louis Arena, and his retired #10 Red Wings jersey hangs in the rafters. He has also been inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and the Hockey Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to hockey.
Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 25th, 1982