Alexander Peter “Fats” Delvecchio is a former Canadian professional hockey player, coach, and general manager. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1977, and in 2017 was named one of the “100 Greatest NHL Players” in history.
Chances are if you are a Detroit Red Wings fan, or an avid hockey fan, you’re familiar with the name Alex Delvecchio. Over the past seven decades, his name has become synonymous with Hockeytown.
The Red Wings held a celebration in December to mark Delvecchio’s 90th birthday, when the New York Islanders visited Little Caesars Arena, and his impact continues to resonate.
For Red Wings senior vice president & alternate governor Jim Devellano, one of the people lucky enough to know the man, Delvecchio’s commitment to the team and the city of Detroit is the first thing that should be talked about more.
“Alex was somehow able to never leave Detroit as a player, as a coach, as a general manager and he remains here in Detroit some 70 years later,” Devellano said. “I Know no other Red Wings player has ever done that. It’s impossible”
Delvecchio spent his entire 24-year NHL career with the Wings, playing on three Stanley Cup winners. Alexander Peter Delvecchio was born December 4, 1931, in Fort William, Ontario. He made his debut with the Wings on March 25, 1951, suiting up in their last game of the regular season. When he retired in 1973, at 41, Delvecchio had logged 1,550 games; only Howe (1,687) and Nicklas Lidstrom (1,564) played more games with one franchise. At the time of his retirement, Delvecchio ranked second in the NHL with 1,281 points, trailing only Howe’s 1,809 points. Delvecchio’s sportsmanlike play won him the Lady Byng Trophy in 1959, 1966, and 1969. (Delvecchio tallied only 383 penalty minutes in his career. By comparison, Lindsay tallied 1,808.) He played in the All-Star Game 13 times.
*with files from NHL.com