The Sarnia Sting Raise Steven Stamkos' Number 91 To The Rafters - Jan 12/18 (Photo Courtesy of Metcalfe Photography)

Sarnia Sting Retire Steven Stamkos’ Number 91

The Sarnia Sting honoured one of the best players in franchise history on Friday night, raising Steven Stamkos’ number 91 to the rafters of Progressive Auto Sales Arena.

The ceremony was held before a sold out crowd prior to the Sting’s 6-1 win over the Windsor Spitfires.

Currently the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Stamkos played 124 games over two seasons with the Sting. He put up 100 goals and 97 assists, including a then-franchise record 58 goals in 2007-08. He also scored 14 goals and added three assists in 17 playoff games. He ranks 10th in all-time franchise points.

Stamkos says it’s a great honour to be the first player in team history to have his number retired.

“It’s pretty special, it’s something as a kid that you never really dream about,” he says. “You dream about playing in the OHL, and playing in the NHL but to have this individual honour is pretty special. I couldn’t have asked for a more special day, I have friends and family that were able to make it down.”

“Even just walking into this building again, all of the great memories and all of the familiar faces. Those were a really fun two years of my career that I look back on and it instantly brings a smile to my face.”

Stamkos has had a great career in the National Hockey League, ever since being selected first overall by the Lightning in the 2008 draft. He has 338 goals and 296 assists for 634 points in 630 regular season games. He’s captured two Maurice Richard trophies for most goals in the league.

Stamkos is one of only three players in Sarnia Sting history to win a gold medal for Canada at the World Jr. Hockey Championship. Ironically, the other two were also in the building Friday night. Jordan Kyrou is fresh off a win in Buffalo, while current Spitfires Assistant Coach Trevor Letowski won it in Switzerland in 1997.

The Sarnia Sting will return to action Wednesday night in Flint on CHOK.