To keep the list tight, we limited it to active players who are 35 or older. Here are 10 candidates, in alphabetical order:
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Seasons with Bruins: Entering 11th
Stats with Bruins: 745 games, 121 goals, 279 assists, 400 points, 25:26 average ice time
Awards with Bruins: Stanley Cup (2011), Norris Trophy (2009), NHL First All-Star Team (2009, 2014), Mark Messier Leadership Award (2011)
Chara has been Bruins captain since July 1, 2006, the day he arrived in Boston. He led the Bruins' resurgence, helping them win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1972, in 2011, and return to the Cup Final in 2013. Chara has been one of the NHL's best defensemen in his time with the Bruins. He has been a finalist for the Norris Trophy five times and won it in 2009. He is fourth all-time among Boston defenseman in scoring behind Ray Bourque (1,506 points), Bobby Orr (888) and Brad Park (417).
Video: BOS@TOR: Chara beats Bernier, Bruins take the lead
Shane Doan, Arizona Coyotes
Seasons with Coyotes: Entering 21st, including one with Winnipeg Jets
Stats with Coyotes: 1,466 games, 396 goals, 549 assists, 945 points
Awards with Coyotes: King Clancy Trophy (2010), Mark Messier Leadership Award (2012)
Doan is a no-brainer to get his No. 19 retired by the Coyotes. Nobody has meant more to the franchise since it arrived in Arizona 20 years ago than Doan. He was a rookie with the Winnipeg Jets in 1995-96 and moved with the franchise to the desert, sticking with it for two decades even when times were tough because of ownership struggles and financial issues. Doan is the franchise leader in games played, goals, points, shots (3,801), power-play goals (125), even-strength goals (265) and game-winning goals (69). He needs five assists to become the franchise leader.
Video: ARI@NSH: Doan blasts one-timer into the twine
Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils
Seasons with Devils: 19 (he's unsigned for this season)
Stats with Devils: 1,240 games, 408 goals, 617 assists, 1,025 points
Awards with Devils: Stanley Cup (2000, 2003), NHL First All-Star Team (2001), NHL All-Rookie Team (1998)
Whenever Elias decides he's finished, whether it's soon, after this season or even beyond, his No. 26 will join Scott Stevens' 4, Ken Daneyko's 3, Scott Niedermayer's No. 27 and Martin Brodeur's 30 at Prudential Center. He deserves it as much as them, if not more. Elias is the Devils' all-time leader in goals, assists, points, playoff goals (40), playoff assists (85) and playoff points (125), among other records. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion and helped the Devils reach the Cup Final four times.
Video: TOR@NJD: Elias nets Devils' last goal of the season
Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
Seasons with Flames: 16
Stats with Flames: 1,219 games, 525 goals, 570 assists, 1,095 points
Awards with Flames: Art Ross Trophy (2002), Ted Lindsay Award (2002), Rocket Richard Trophy (2002, 2004), King Clancy Award (2004), NHL Foundation Player Award (2004), Mark Messier Leadership Award (2009), NHL First All-Star Team (2002, 2008, 2009), NHL All-Rookie Team (1997)
Iginla has been on three teams (Pittsburgh Penguins, Bruins, Colorado Avalanche) since leaving the Flames when he was traded to the Penguins on March 27, 2013. He is, however, the best player in Flames history. Iginla is the their all-time leader in games played, goals, points, even-strength goals (351), power-play goals (161), game-winning goals (83) and shots on goal (3,992). He is second in assists (570) behind Al MacInnis (609). He is in the final year of his contract with the Avalanche.
Video: ANA@COL: Iginla scores off of feed from Landeskog
Jaromir Jagr, Pittsburgh Penguins
Seasons with Penguins: 11
Stats with Penguins: 806 games, 439 goals, 640 assists, 1,079 points
Awards with Penguins: Stanley Cup (1991, 1992), Art Ross Trophy (1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001), Hart Trophy (1999), Ted Lindsay Award (1999, 2000), NHL First All-Star Team (1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001), NHL All-Rookie Team (1991)
It's a bit tricky with Jagr because of how long he's played and because he's played for eight teams, but it's undeniable how vital he was to the Penguins in the 1990s and early 2000s, when he was a dominant complement to Mario Lemieux. Jagr arguably is the third-most important player in Penguins history behind Lemieux and Sidney Crosby. He holds 31 Pittsburgh records, including most career points by a right wing (1,079). Nobody knows better how important Jagr was to the Penguins than Lemieux. Provided he's still the Penguins co-owner whenever Jagr does retire, putting No. 68 up next to his No. 66 at PPG Paints Arena should be an easy decision for Super Mario.
Video: FLA@OTT: Jagr slams home Barkov's pass in front
Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks
Seasons with Sharks: Entering 19th
Stats with Sharks: 1,411 games, 481 goals, 555 assists, 1,036 points
Awards with Sharks: none
Marleau is the Sharks' all-time leader in games played, goals and points. He has played his entire NHL career in San Jose and has scored 30 or more goals in seven seasons, including a career high of 44 in 2009-10. He was Sharks captain from 2004-09 and helped them reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time last season. His career has been about consistency, longevity and loyalty, and he should be rewarded for it after he retires.
Video: SJS@PIT, Gm1: Marleau beats Murray, ties game in 2nd
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Seasons with Canucks: Entering 16th
Stats with Canucks: 1,143 games, 355 goals, 587 assists, 982 points
Awards with Canucks: Art Ross Trophy (2011), Ted Lindsay Award (2011), NHL First All-Star Team (2011)
Sedin and twin brother Henrik Sedin have been the heart and soul of the Canucks for more than a decade. Daniel is their all-time leader in goals, power-play goals (123), game-winning goals (78) and shots on goal (3,069), and he is second in assists behind Henrik, who has 748. Daniel helped the Canucks reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.
Video: VAN@SJS: D. Sedin tips it past Reimer
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Seasons with Canucks: Entering 16th
Stats with Canucks: 1,166 games, 222 goals, 748 assists, 970 points
Awards with Canucks: Hart Trophy (2010), Art Ross Trophy (2010), King Clancy Trophy (2016), NHL First All-Star Team (2010, 2011)
You can't have one Sedin without the other. Odds are they'll retire at the same time and get honored at Rogers Arena at the same time. Henrik is Vancouver's all-time leader in games played, assists and points. In 2009-10, he set franchise records for most assists (83) and points (112) in a single season, and won the Hart Trophy. He is the only player in Canucks history to win the NHL MVP award.
Video: COL@VAN: H. Sedin buries rebound, puts Canucks on top
Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Seasons with Sharks: Entering 12th
Stats with Sharks: 835 games, 208 goals, 679 assists, 887 points
Awards with Sharks: Hart Trophy (2006), Art Ross Trophy (2006), NHL First All-Star Team (2006)
Thornton is San Jose's all-time leader in assists, assists per game (0.81) and points per game (1.06). He has had more than 60 assists in seven of his 11 seasons in San Jose. He also had 59 in the 2011-12 season. The Sharks have reached the playoffs in all but one of Thornton's seasons in San Jose. They went to the Cup Final for the first time last season.
Video: NSH@SJS, Gm7: Thornton buries rebound for PPG
Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
Age: 36 on Sunday
Seasons with Red Wings: Entering 14th
Stats with Red Wings: 918 games, 309 goals, 527 assists, 836 points
Awards with Red Wings: Stanley Cup (2008), Conn Smythe Trophy (2008), NHL Foundation Player Award (2013), King Clancy Award (2015), NHL All-Rookie Team (2003)
Zetterberg has been one of the most consistent players in Red Wings history. He's known for a remarkable two-way game that was at its best in the 2008 playoffs, when he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy after helping the Red Wings win the Cup; he led the postseason with 13 goals, 27 points, a plus-16 rating, two shorthanded goals and 116 shots on goal. He helped Detroit get back to the Cup Final in 2009. The Red Wings have not missed the playoffs with Zetterberg on the roster. He has been the captain since Jan. 15, 2013, when he took over for Nicklas Lidstrom.
Video: DET@CBJ: Zetterberg buries rebound, ties Shanahan