After playing a single junior league season for the Oshawa Generals of the OHA (during which he led the league in assists) Delvecchio joined the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League for the 1952 season, and helped the team to win the Stanley Cup that year.
He would go on to excel both at center and left wing for twenty-two full seasons and parts of two others, and was notable for his spot on the Production line with linemates Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay. No player in NHL history played more games with just the one team. One of the true gentlemen in the game of hockey, he was a three-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy for combining good sportsmanship with excellence on the ice. Despite his impressive career, Delvecchio was never the Red Wings' leading scorer in a season. The closest he ever came was in the 1969-70 NHL season, where he was just 3 points behind Gordie Howe for the team lead.
Following his retirement as a player in 1973 -- having, at the time, played the second most games and with the second highest assist and point totals in league history -- Delvecchio served two stints as Detroit's head coach and then as General Manager, until leaving hockey in 1977 to go into business. He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in that year.
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