The Ontario Hockey League franchise now known as Sudbury Wolves has been firmly planted in that northern Ontario city since the 1972-73 season. The franchise started as Barrie Flyers in 1945 and moved to Niagara Falls to become Niagara Falls Flyers in 1960.
Since moving to Sudbury, the team has been to the Robertson Cup final only twice and has yet to win an OHL championship. Probably the best year in Lobos history came in 1975-76. The team was first overall, winning the Hamilton Spectator Trophy, and reached the final of the Robertson Cup before losing to eventual Memorial Cup champions, the Hamilton Fincups.
The Sudbury Wolves have retired just three jersey numbers between 1972 and the present. All three played on that Wolves team from 1975-76. All three went on to long careers in the National Hockey League with two of the three playing more than 1,000 games in the NHL.
Randy carlyle dressed number 6 during his three years with Sudbury. The defender played with the Wolves from 1973-74 to 1975-76. In that last season, he added 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 Amateur Draft. Randy played 1,055 regular-season games in the NHL between 1976-77 and 1992-93 with Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets. In 1980-81, as a member of the Penguins, Carlyle received the Norris Trophy as the best defender in the NHL.
Randy practically dedicated himself to a coaching career after retiring as a player. He won a Stanley Cup as the head coach of the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 and is currently the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As Carlyle stared at the blue line, number 10 Ron Duguay he was providing an offense. In 1975-76, Duguay added 134 points in 42 goals and 92 assists in 61 games. Ron’s 92 assists were mostly assists in Rod Schutt’s 72 goals. Both the 92 assists and 72 goals remain today as team records in a single season. What is puzzling is that Sudbury has not recalled Schutt’s number either.
Ron Duguay played four years with Sudbury from 1973-74 to 1976-77. After his final season, the New York Rangers selected him thirteenth in the 1977 NHL amateur 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 He was in his rookie season with Sudbury in 1975-76, but he still made a major contribution to the team’s success. Foligno played four years with the Wolves from 1975-76 to 1978-79 and was captain of the team in his final season. In 1978-79, Mike scored 65 goals and assisted in 85 for 150 points. The point total today remains a single-season team record for the Sudbury Wolves.
Mike was the third overall pick in the 1979 NHL draft, going to the Detroit Red Wings. Foligno was drafted only behind Rob Ramage and Perry Turnbull and surpassed Hockey Hall of Famers Mike Gartner, Ray Bourque and Mark Messier. Mike played just over 1,000 regular-season games in the NHL between 1979-80 and 1993-94 with the Red Wings, Buffalo Sabers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Florida Panthers.
Foligno returned to Sudbury for the 2003-04 OHL season and remained as General Manager and Head Coach for seven seasons. In 2006-07, he led the 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.