Kenneth Rucker, known fondly as "Orange Hat Guy" at Red Wings games, passed away last weekend. Rucker had been a usual sight at Wings games for some time, as he was a season-ticket holder since 1972. What's more, he was often featured on the Joe Louis Arena video board, waving to the crowd and drawing cheers.â†µ
Tonight during the first period of the Red Wings-Flames game, Rucker again drew cheers when a video tribute honoring him was played on the JLA video board. An orange hat was also placed on his usual orange seat, and according to FS Detroit, it will remain there for home games throughout the rest of the season to continue honoring him.â†µ
Back in 2002 when asked why he loved the Red Wings so much, Rucker said this:â†µ
"But I would have to say it's both about the fact that they are the most famous American team in the National Hockey League -- winning nine Stanley Cups, which is more than any other American team -- and the speed of the skating and stick handling is really something to see," Rucker said. "I've just loved being there at all of the games, since I was 25."â†µ
Rucker was 63 when he passed away.â†µ
UPDATE: Click here for a video of tonight's tribute.