All 4 Players Played In The First Decade Of The Club's Existence
The Canadian Centennial in 1967 brought a new franchise to the Ontario Hockey League (OHA at the time). The Ottawa 67’s began play with a dismal six win season in 1967-68. Their fortunes would soon turn, however, and they would find themselves in their first Robertson Cup final in 1971-72 and their first Memorial Cup in 1976-77.
In the forty plus years of the franchise, the Ottawa 67’s have retired just three numbers in honour of four different players. Any new player to the 67’s is forbidden to wear the numbers 14, 7 and 15.
The number 14 is retired by Ottawa in honour of Peter Lee. Lee played with the 67’s from 1971-72 to 1975-76. In 1974-75, Peter was seventh in league scoring with 126 points. In his final season, he led the league in goals with 81 and was second in points with 161. In that final year, he was selected as the CHL Player of the Year as well as winning the Red Tilson Trophy as OHL MVP and the Jim Mahon Trophy as the OHL’s top scoring right winger. Lee’s 81 goals remain a team record for most goals in a single regular season and he is the Ottawa 67’s all-time leader in goals and points.
Peter Lee was the 12th overall pick in the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft, going to the Montreal Canadiens. Lee never played for Montreal but he did put in five seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1977-78 to 1981-82. Afterwards, Peter played in Germany’s elite league until 1996-97. He continues to coach Berlin in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL).
He wore number 5 throughout his NHL career and that is the number that the New York Islanders retired in his honour in 1992. However, Denis Potvin wore number 7 with the Ottawa 67’s. Potvin played with Ottawa for five seasons from 1968-69 to 1972-73. He is the first of only three players to win the Max Kaminsky Trophy in the OHL and the James Norris Memorial Trophy in the NHL. Both are awarded to the top defenseman in each league. Denis won the Max Kaminsky in both of his final years with Ottawa and won the Norris Trophy three times over his NHL career.
After a 123 point performance in his final season, a mark that stands today as the team’s record for most points by a defenseman, the New York Islanders chose him first overall in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft. Potvin played with only the Islanders during an NHL career that lasted from 1973-74 until 1987-88. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy in his first NHL season as the league’s top rookie. Denis helped the Islanders win four consecutive Stanley Cups in the 1980’s and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991.
The number 7 is also retired by the Ottawa 67’s in honour of another defenseman, Doug Wilson. Wilson played with Ottawa from 1974-75 until 1976-77. Doug provided consistent and bountiful offense from the point with 29, 26 and 25 goals over his three seasons.
In the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft, Wilson was taken sixth overall by the Chicago Black Hawks. Doug was also selected in the 1977 WHA Amateur Draft by the Indianapolis Racers, fifth overall. He played with Chicago from 1977-78 to 1990-91, followed by two more seasons with the San Jose Sharks. He has been the General Manager of the Sharks since 2003-04.
Wilson won the Norris Trophy in 1981-82 with the Black Hawks, putting up 39 goals and 85 points. Both those numbers remain as team records for a defenseman. Over 1024 career regular season games, Doug contributed 827 points.
Bobby Smith left his mark on not just the Ottawa 67’s but Canadian major junior hockey in general. Ottawa retired number 15 in his honour. Smith played three seasons with Ottawa from 1975-76 to 1977-78. In his second season, he was 3rd in league scoring with 135 points. In his final season, he beat out Wayne Gretzky by ten points to take the Eddie Powers Trophy as the league’s top scorer. Bobby’s 123 assists and 192 points that season are league records to this day. The performance earned him the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s MVP and the CHL Player of the Year.
Smith was taken first overall in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft by the Minnesota North Stars. He responded by winning the Calder Trophy in 1978-79. Bobby played in the NHL from 1978-79 until 1992-93 with the North Stars and Montreal Canadiens. His top point production came in 1981-82 with Minnesota, tallying 114 points. In 1985-86, he won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens.