Forget about retiring jerseys. The Michigan hockey team has its
own way of honoring its legends, and it’s a much bigger hit
with the fans: bobblehead dolls.

Friday’s game against Nebraska-Omaha wasn’t just the
first game of the CCHA Tournament. It was also Marty Turco
bobblehead night.

Turco — who was the netminder for Michigan’s
National Championship teams in 1996 and 1998 and set the NCAA
record for wins with 127 — was in Detroit to play the Red
Wings on Saturday and made his way to Ann Arbor with some of his
current Dallas Stars teammates and former Michigan teammates.

When asked how he thought the bobblehead doll looked, Turco
didn’t get into specifics, but conceded that it doesn’t
look much like him.

“I’ve had two bobbleheads made down in Texas,”
Turco said. “One was really good, and one wasn’t good.
This one falls somewhere in the middle.”

Friday’s visit to Ann Arbor was the first for Turco since
last August’s Summer Hockey Showcase alumni game.

Although he’s now an NHL star, Turco fondly remembers his
days of donning maize and blue, particularly the championship run
in 1996.

“To see Brendan (Morrison) put that puck in the net in
overtime was something I’ll never forget,” Turco said.
“It was a monkey off Red’s back and the program’s
back after so many years.

“To be part of that — to bring the winning tradition
back to Michigan — is something I’ll always be proud
of.”

Turco, a four-year starter at Michigan, is also part of a deep
tradition of Wolverine goaltenders. He came to Michigan after
four-year starter Steve Shields and was followed by four-year
starter Josh Blackburn.

Al Montoya is now the fourth straight Michigan goaltender to
start as a freshman, and Turco believes he’s on his way to
having a career just as good as his predecessors.

“When I came here, Steve (Shields) had just completed four
of the greatest years ever for a college goaltender,” Turco
said. “I was blessed with a lot of talent in front of me, and
the coaches trusted me. It’s the same with Al. To be that
young, to be that mature and to come here and be one of the best
goaltenders in the country speaks for itself.”

When the fans in the student section realized that the real
Marty Turco was at Yost Ice Arena, they made sure to welcome him
back.

After they shouted out his name for a while, they then included
him in their regular cheers.

Throughout the game they chanted “goalie, goalie,
sieve!” and pointed to Montoya, then Turco and then
Nebraska-Omaha goaltender Chris Holt.

And, in the final minutes of the game, instead of pointing
toward Damon Talley, the Michigan Hockey Band conductor, and
demanding that he dance, they pointed at Turco and shouted,
“dis-co Mar-ty!” and “dance, Marty,
dance!”

The Turco bobblehead is the first in the “Michigan Hockey
Legends” series. Each season a former Wolverine will be
honored.

Last year Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson had his own
bobblehead night. Former Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler
had a bobblehead made for him in 2001.

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