Petry will be donning No. 46 for the first time in his NHL career. It’s the same number that his dad Dan Petry wore on the back of his Detroit Tigers uniform from 1979-87.
Like father, like son. 🏒⚾️ pic.twitter.com/IsEaRWSVI0
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 15, 2023
Jeff opted for the news to come as a complete surprise to his dad. He’s worn No. 26 for the majority of his NHL career.
“I did not tell him,” Jeff explained. “I kind of wanted to leave that part as a surprise. But I did tell my mom.
“I actually showed her the post that the team put out. She just kind of shook her head and smiled. Okay, she’s not seeing it. I had to really point it out. She was shocked.”
When Dan, who was broadcasting a Tigers came, heard about his son’s tribute to his father’s days as a Detroit star athlete, he was touched with emotion.
“My dad was on set,” Jeff said. “He sent me a nice note and said he was very honored and never saw that coming.”
Petry First Red Wings Player To Don Father’s Digits
There have been a number of father-son combinations in Red Wings history over the club’s storied history. Jeff Petry will be the first son to skate for the team while wearing the number his dad wore in major pro sports.
When Gordie Howe’s No. 9 was retired, he put a caveat on the ceremony that if either of his sons were to play for the Red Wings, they could return No. 9 into service for them to wear.
However, when Mark Howe signed as a free agent with the club in 1992, he wasn’t about to go there. “I could never take his number like that,” Mark said. Instead, he chose No. 4 to honor close family friend and former Red Wings defenseman Bill Gadsby.
Folignos Wear Dad’s Numbers
Other sons of NHLers have happily skated in their father’s footsteps. Nick Foligno has worn the No. 71 of his dad Mike Foligno, and younger brother Marcus of the Minnesota Wild wears No. 17, Mike’s number when he broke into the NHL with the Red Wings in 1979. Paul Stastny wears No. 26 just like his father, Hall of Famer Peter Stastny.
Sam Reinhart of the Florida Panthers is adorned by the same No. 23 as his dad, former NHL defenseman Paul Reinhart. Cal Foote wears No. 52, just like his dad Adam Foote. Zach Parise wore No. 11 for the Minnesota Wild, the same digits his dad Jean-Paul wore decades earlier with the Minnesota North Stars.
Brett Hull wore No. 16 for much of his Hall of Fame career. That was the number Brett’s dad Bobby Hull was wearing early in his career. However, it wasn’t until Brett’s final three NHL games with the Phoenix Coyotes that he opted to put on No. 9, the digit his dad wore for the majority of his NHL days as the Golden Jet of the Chicago Blackhawks.