In his 10-plus seasons in the ECHL, Wes Goldie left behind a trail -- of chagrined goaltenders, of goalies' water bottles dislodged from atop nets by his top-shelf targeting, of hockey hugs in celebration of yet another goal.
The most prolific goal scorer in league history, who spent his final two seasons with the Alaska Aces and helped them hoist hardware as Kelly Cup champions in 2011, also left fans with magical memories.
Soon, his legacy will grow. Already scheduled to be inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame during Hockey Heritage Weekend here on Feb. 7, the Aces on Tuesday announced they will retire Goldie's No. 16 in a pregame ceremony on Feb. 8.
"It's a real big deal for us,'' said Aces managing member Terry Parks.
Goldie is the ECHL's all-time leader in goals (370). He owns league records for most seasons of 30 or more goals (8) and most consecutive seasons of 40 or more goals (5). He shares the record for most consecutive seasons of 30 or more goals (6) and most seasons with 40 or more goals (5).
With 370-235--605 career totals in 697 games for Pee Dee, Victoria and Alaska, Goldie ranks fourth in league history in games played and seventh in points.
After four seasons with the Victoria Salmon Kings, Goldie signed with the Aces in the summer of 2010 in a move that became the talk of the circuit. Still, the question was whether he was a one-trick pony -- all goals, and little else.
He quickly rendered that question moot. Goldie in 2010-11 not only led the league in goals (46) and finished second in points (83), but finished first among Aces and fourth in the league in plus-minus (plus-25) on the way to being voted the ECHL's Most Valuable Player by coaches. As well as furnishing perhaps the league's most lethal line with center Brian Swanson and left winger Scott Howes, the Kelly Cup MVP, Goldie killed penalties and blocked shots.
"He did exactly what we wanted,'' Parks said. "I was a little concerned he was a hotshot, scoring points and not playing defense. I told him before we signed him he had to play both ways.
"He did every bit of that. I think he's earned (his number retired), not just with us, but for what he did in this league.''
Goldie, relatively low-key, commanded respect in the locker room. Parks said Goldie represented the franchise well in the community.
Parks said Goldie will spend a week in Anchorage for next month's ceremonies, bringing along his family.
Winger Shawn Skelly currently wears No. 16 for the Aces, but equipment manager Mike Burkhead said Skelly will switch to No. 10 Wednesday -- the team waited to make the change until the official announcement Goldie's number would be retired.
Goldie's number will be the third retired in franchise history.
Center Keith Street's No. 8 was retired in 2002 and center Dean Larson's No. 18 was retired in 2003. Both played for the Anchorage Aces of the now-defunct West Coast Hockey League, which preceded the Alaska Aces.
Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.