|Hockey Hall of Fame, 1977|
December 4, 1931 |
Fort William, ON, CAN
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)|
|Played for||Detroit Red Wings|
Alexander Peter "Fats" Delvecchio (born December 4, 1931) is a former ice hockey player, coach, and general manager who spent his entire National Hockey League (NHL) playing, coaching, and managerial careers with the Detroit Red Wings. He played in 1549 games across 24 seasons where he amassed 456 goals, 825 assists, and 1281 points. At the time of his retirement he was second in league history in games played, assists, and points. He won the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct three times, was a member of three Stanley Cup winning teams, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1977. Delvecchio, Steve Yzerman, and Nicklas Lidstrom are the only players to have played in over 1500 games while also spending their entire career with one club, all three having played in Detroit.
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 joined the Red Wings for the 1951–52 NHL season and helped the team to win the Stanley Cup that year. He would go on to excel both at centre (ice hockey) and left wing for twenty-two full seasons and parts of two others, and was notable for his spot on the Production Line with linemates Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay. No player except Lidstrom 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. The closest he ever came was in the 1969–70 NHL season, where he was just 3 points behind Howe for the team lead.
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 Yzerman, and in assists by Lidstrom as well, but only Howe and Lidstrom have played more games as a Red Wing.