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3 Retired Numbers of the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves

The Ontario Hockey League franchise, now known as the Sudbury Wolves, has been firmly established in this northern Ontario city since the 1972-73 season. The franchise began as the Barrie Flyers in 1945 and moved to Niagara Falls to become the Niagara Falls Flyers in 1960.

Since moving to Sudbury, the team has made only two Robertson Cup finals and has yet to win an OHL championship. Probably the best year in Wolves history was 1975-76. The team finished first overall, winning the Hamilton Spectator Trophy and advancing to the Robertson Cup final before losing to eventual Memorial Cup champions the Hamilton Fincups.

The Sudbury Wolves have retired just three jersey numbers between 1972 and today. All three played in that Wolves team from 1975-76. All three went on to long National Hockey League careers, with two of the three playing more than 1,000 NHL games.

Randy Carlyle wore number 6 during his three years in Sudbury. The defender played with Wolves from 1973-74 to 1975-76. During this last season, he totaled 79 points from the blue line in 60 regular season games.

The Toronto Maple Leafs liked what they saw and selected Carlyle in the second round of the 1976 NHL Entry Draft. Randy played in 1,055 regular season games in the NHL between 1976-77 and 1992-93 with the Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets. In 1980-81, as a member of the Penguins, Carlyle received the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman.

Randy practically embarked on a coaching career after retiring as a player. He won the Stanley Cup as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 and is currently the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

While Carlyle watched the blue line, number 10 Ron Duguay provided the offense. In 1975-76, Duguay totaled 134 points on 42 goals and 92 assists in 61 games. Ron’s 92 assists were mostly assists to Rod Schutt’s 72 goals. The 92 assists and 72 goals remain team records in a single season today. What’s disconcerting is that Sudbury didn’t remove Schutt’s number either.

Ron Duguay played four years with Sudbury from 1973-74 to 1976-77. After his senior season, the New York Rangers selected him thirteenth overall in the 1977 NHL Entry Draft. Duguay played nearly 900 regular season games in the NHL between 1977-78 and 1988-89 with the Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings.

Number 17 Mike Foligno was in his rookie season with Sudbury in 1975-76, but he was still a major contributor to the team’s success. Foligno played four years with Wolves from 1975-76 to 1978-79 and captained the side in his final season. In 1978-79, Mike scored 65 goals and assisted on 85 for 150 points. The points total today remains a club record for a single Sudbury Wolves season.

Mike was the third overall pick in the 1979 NHL Draft, going to the Detroit Red Wings. Foligno was drafted behind only Rob Ramage and Perry Turnbull and edged out Hockey Hall of Famers Mike Gartner, Ray Bourque and Mark Messier. Mike played just over 1,000 regular season NHL games between 1979-80 and 1993-94 with the Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers.

Foligno returned to Sudbury for the 2003-04 OHL season and remained general manager and head coach for seven seasons. In 2006-07, he led Wolves to their second appearance in the Robertson Cup final. This time it was the Plymouth Whalers who denied Sudbury a trip to the Memorial Cup.

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