Multiple online sources are reporting that Red Wings legend Ted Lindsay died overnight while in hospice care in Oakland Township, Michigan. He was 93-years-old.
This is news you just hate waking up to. A member of the Production Line (with Alex Delvecchio and Gordie Howe) during the dynasty team in the ’50s, Lindsay was a four time Stanley Cup Champion with the Red Wings and captained them to three of them. He spent 10 years in the top-10 in goal scoring and eight years in the top-10 in points. He made 11 All-Star Game appearances and won the Art Ross Trophy in 1949-50.
His number 7 hangs in the rafters of Little Caesars Arena. To me, he was the original captain.
His legacy is much bigger than what he accomplished on the ice, though. Lindsay was the first player to raise the Stanley Cup over his head, giving us a timeless tradition that is still practiced by NHL captains today.
He also had a huge hand in funding the NHL Players Association, recognizing the injustice they were facing with the NHL owners at the time. The incident left Lindsay scarred in places more than just his face as he was traded and made an example out of.
But that didn’t stop him. Lindsay was never afraid of a fight and in the face of adversity he persisted, battling for the rights of all players. It eventually turned into the system we have today.
This is an immense loss not just for the Red Wings community, but for the NHL at large. Lindsay was just named one of the NHL’s top-100 players. He appears more than once in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
I would expect the Red Wings to honor him at their next home game, much like they did Gordie Howe. Lindsay deserves it. He was just as important.
We’ll miss him roaming the concourse of Little Caesars Arena. May he rest in peace.