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Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings
Conference Western
Division Central
Founded 1926
History Detroit Cougars
Detroit Falcons
Detroit Red Wings
Home Arena Joe Louis Arena
City Detroit, MI
Colors Red and White
Media FSN Detroit
WXYT (1270 AM), WXYT-FM 97.1 FM)
Owner(s) Flag of the United States Mike Ilitch
General Manager Flag of Canada Ken Holland
Head Coach Flag of Canada Mike Babcock
Captain Flag of Sweden Nicklas Lidstrom
Minor League Affiliates Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Stanley Cups 1935–36, 1936–37, 1942–43, 1949–50, 1951–52, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2007–08
Conference Championships 1994–95, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2007–08
Division Championships 1933–34, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1991–92, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08

The Detroit Red Wings are a professional ice hockey team based in Detroit, Michigan, and current Stanley Cup champions. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The club is one of the Original Six teams of the NHL. The Red Wings are one of the most popular hockey franchises in North America, so much that Detroit is nicknamed "Hockeytown" by the fans and analysts. The Red Wings have won the most Stanley Cup championships (11)[1] of any NHL franchise based in the United States, and are third overall in total NHL championships, behind the Montreal Canadiens (24) and Toronto Maple Leafs (13). They currently play home games in the 20,066 capacity Joe Louis Arena after having spent over 40 years playing in Olympia Stadium.

From 1933–34 to 1965–66, the Red Wings only missed the playoffs four times. After almost two decades as an also-ran, the Red Wings have made the playoffs in 23 of the last 25 seasons, including the last 17 in a row (including the current season). This is the longest current streak of post-season appearances in all of American professional sports.


Franchise history

1925–49: Early years

When the Western Canada Hockey League folded after the 1925–26 WHL season,[2] a deal was made, so that a new NHL expansion franchise in Detroit bought the rights to the players of one of the most successful of the teams in that league, the 1925 Stanley Cup champion Victoria Cougars. However, the NHL does not consider the Red Wings to be a continuation of the Victoria team.

Since no arena in "Motown" was ready at the time, the new Detroit Cougars (named in Victoria's honor) played their first season in Windsor, Ontario at the Border Cities Arena.[3] For the 1927–28 season, the Cougars moved into the new Detroit Olympia, which would be their home rink until December 15, 1979. This was also the first season behind the bench for Jack Adams, who would be the face of the franchise for the next 36 years as either coach or general manager.

The Cougars made the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 1929 with Carson Cooper leading the team in scoring. The Cougars were outscored 7–2 in the two-game series with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 1930, the Cougars were renamed the Falcons,[4] but their woes continued, as they usually finished near the bottom of the standings, even though they made the playoffs again in 1932.

NHL president Frank Calder sought a way to extinguish this league, and convinced the other owners of the NHL to let grain merchant James E. Norris buy the Falcons. Norris had made two previous unsuccessful bids to buy an NHL team. Norris' first act was to choose a new name--the Red Wings. Earlier in the century, Norris had played on one of hockey's early powers, the Montreal HC, nicknamed the "Winged Wheelers." Because of the team’s location in Detroit, the Motor City, Norris transformed the club's logo into the first version of the Red Wings logo as it is known today. He also gave Adams a year on his job on probation. The renamed franchise won its first playoff series in the NHL, over the now-defunct Montreal Maroons. They lost in the semi-finals against the New York Rangers.

In 1934 the Wings made the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time, with John Sorrell scoring 21 goals over 47 games and Larry Aurie leading the team in scoring. However, the Chicago Blackhawks had an easy time with Detroit in the finals, winning the best-of-five series in four games and winning their own first title.

The Red Wings won their first Stanley Cup[5] in 1936, defeating Toronto in four games. Detroit repeated its championship season in 1937, winning over the Rangers in the full five games.

They made the Stanley Cup Finals in three consecutive years during the early 1940s. In 1941 they were swept by the Boston Bruins, in 1942 they lost a seven-game series against Toronto in the finals after winning the first three games, but in 1943, with Syd Howe and Mud Bruneteau scoring 20 goals apiece, Detroit won their third Cup by sweeping the Bruins. They remained a solid team through the rest of the decade, making the playoffs every year, and reaching the finals three more times.

In 1946, one of the greatest players in hockey history came into the NHL with the Red Wings. Gordie Howe, a right-winger from Floral, Saskatchewan, only scored seven goals and 15 assists in his first season and would not reach his prime for a few more years. It was also the last season as head coach for Adams, who stepped down after the season to concentrate on his duties as general manager. He was succeeded by minor league coach Tommy Ivan.

By his second season, Howe was paired with Sid Abel and Ted Lindsay to form what would become one of the great lines in NHL history — the "Production Line". Lindsay's 33 goals propelled the Wings to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they were swept by the Maple Leafs. Detroit reached the Finals again the following season, only to be swept again by Toronto.

1950–66: The Gordie Howe Era

The Wings returned to the top in 1950, with Pete Babando scoring the game winner in double overtime of game 7 to beat the Rangers in the Finals. After the game, Lindsay skated around the Olympia ice with the Cup, beginning a tradition that continues today.

After being upset by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1951 semifinals, Detroit won its fifth Cup in 1952, sweeping both the Leafs and the Canadiens, with the Production Line of Howe, Abel and Lindsay joined by second-year goalie Terry Sawchuk. Detroit would become the first team in 17 years to go undefeated in the playoffs. They also scored an amazing 24 playoff goals, compared to Toronto and Montreal's combined total of 5. Abel left the Wings for Chicago following the season, and his spot on the roster was replaced by Alex Delvecchio.

James E. Norris died in December 1952. He was succeeded as team president by his daughter, Marguerite--the first (and as of the 2006–07 season, only) woman to head an NHL franchise.[6] She made no secret of her dislike for Adams. While she could have summarily fired him, since he was still without a contract, she chose not to do so.

Following another playoff upset in 1953 at the hands of the Bruins, the Red Wings won back to back Stanley Cups in 1954; over Montreal, when Habs defenseman Doug Harvey redirected a Tony Leswick shot into his own net; and 1955 (also over Montreal in the full seven games). The 1954–55 season ended a run of eight straight regular season titles, an NHL record.[7]

Also during the 1955 off-season, Marguerite Norris lost an intrafamily power struggle, and was forced to turn over the Wings to younger brother Bruce, who had inherited his father's grain business. Detroit and Montreal once again met in the 1956 finals, but this time the Canadiens won the Cup, their first of five in a row.

In 1957 Ted Lindsay, who scored 30 goals and led the league in assists with 55, teamed up with Harvey to help start the NHL Players Association and, along with outspoken young netminder Glenn Hall, was promptly traded to Chicago (which, ironically, was owned by James D. Norris, Bruce's elder brother) after his most productive year.

This was one of several questionable trades made by Adams in the late 1950s. For example, a year earlier, he had traded Sawchuk to Boston; while he managed to get Sawchuk back two years later, he had to trade up-and-coming John Bucyk to do it. It was one of the most one-sided trades in hockey history; Bucyk went on to play 21 more years with the Bruins. The Wings lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Bruins. In 1959 the Red Wings missed the playoffs for the first time in 21 years.

Within a couple of years, Detroit was rejuvenated and made the Finals for four of the next six years between 1961 and 1966. However, despite having Delvecchio, Norm Ullman, Howe and Parker MacDonald as consistent goal-scorers, Lindsay's sudden one-year comeback in 1964–65, and Sawchuk and later Roger Crozier between the pipes, the Wings came away empty-handed. Adams was fired as general manager in 1963. He had coached for 15 years and served as general manager for 31 years on a handshake, and his 36–year tenure as general manager is still the longest for any general manager in NHL history.

1967–82: The "Dead Wings" Era

Only a year after making the Finals, the Red Wings finished a distant fifth, 24 points out of the playoffs. It was the beginning of a slump from which they would not emerge for almost 20 years. Between 1967 and 1983, Detroit only made the playoffs twice, winning one series. From 1968 to 1982, the Wings had 14 head coaches (not counting interim coaches), with none lasting more than three seasons. In contrast, their first six full-time coaches – Art Duncan, Adams, Ivan, Jimmy Skinner and Abel – covered a 42–year period. During this dark era in franchise history, the team was derisively known as the "Dead Wings"[8] or "Dead Things".

One factor was the end of the old "development" system, which allowed Adams to get young prospects to commit to playing for Detroit as early as their 16th birthday. Another factor was Ned Harkness, who was hired as coach in 1970 and was promoted to general manager midway through the season. A successful college hockey coach, Harkness tried to force his two-way style of play on a veteran Red Wings team resistant to change. The Wings chafed under his rule in which he demanded short hair, no smoking, and put other rules in place regarding drinking and phone calls.[9] Harkness was forced to resign in 1973, and to this day Red Wings fans consider his tenure (known as the "Darkness with Harkness"[10]) to be the lowest point in team history.

In the "expansion season" of 1967–68, the Red Wings also acquired longtime star left-winger Frank Mahovlich from the defending Cup champs in Toronto. Mahovlich would go on a line with Howe and Delvecchio, and in 1968–69, he scored a career-high 49 goals and had two All-Star seasons in Detroit.

But this could not last. Mahovlich was traded to Montreal in 1970, and Howe retired after the 1970–71 season. Howe returned to pro hockey shortly after to play with his two sons Mark and Marty Howe (Mark would later join the Red Wings at the end of his career) in the upstart World Hockey Association in 1972. Through the decade, with Mickey Redmond having two 50–goal seasons and Marcel Dionne starting to reach his prime (which he did not attain until he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings), a lack of defensive and goaltending ability continually hampered the Wings.

Interior of the Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings have played at home since 1979, when they left the Detroit Olympia.

During 1979–80, the Wings left the Olympia for Joe Louis Arena. In 1982, after 50 years of family ownership, Bruce Norris sold the Red Wings to Mike Ilitch, founder of Little Caesars Pizza.[11]

1983–93: The Yzerman Era

In 1983 the Wings drafted Steve Yzerman, a center from Nepean, Ontario. He led the team in scoring in his rookie year, and started the Wings' climb back to the top. That season, with John Ogrodnick scoring 42 times and Ivan Boldirev and Ron Duguay also with 30–goal seasons, Detroit made the playoffs for the first time in six years. Defenseman Brad Park, acquired from the Boston Bruins in the 1983 free-agent market, also helped the Wings reach the postseason and ended up winning the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy the same season.

Later Park was asked to coach the Wings, but was sacked after 45 games in 1985–86. He admitted, “I took over a last-place team, and I kept them there.” They did indeed end up in the basement with a 17–57–6 record for only 40 points. This was the same year that the Wings added enforcer Bob Probert, one of the most familiar faces of the Wings in the 1980s and 1990s.

By 1987, with Yzerman joined by Petr Klima, Adam Oates, Gerard Gallant, defenceman Darren Veitch and new head coach Jacques Demers, the Wings made it to the semifinals for the first time in the modern era, losing in five games to the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers. In 1988 they won their first division title in 23 years (since 1964–65, when they finished first in a one-division league), but lost to the Oilers in a five-game semifinal series.

In 1989, Yzerman scored a career-best 65 goals,[12] but Detroit was upset in the first round by the Chicago Blackhawks. The following season Yzerman netted 62 goals, but the team missed the playoffs for what turned out to be the last time to date. Rumors spread that maybe "Stevie Wonder" should be traded.

But it was coach, Jacques Demers, who got the pink slip. The Red Wings have not missed the playoffs since. Yzerman was joined by Sergei Fedorov (who defected from the USSR), who would be an award-winner and frequent all-star for the team in the 1990s. In 1992, the team acquired Ray Sheppard, who had a career-best 52 goals two years later; and in '93, top defenseman Paul Coffey. Also joining the Red Wings around this time were draft picks like Slava Kozlov, Darren McCarty, Vladimir Konstantinov, and Nicklas Lidstrom.

1994–2004: The Russian Five & return to glory

The Yzerman trade rumors ended very soon after Scotty Bowman got behind the Motown bench in 1993. In his second season, the lockout-shortened 1994–95 NHL season, he guided Detroit to its first Finals appearance in 29 years, only to be promptly swept by the New Jersey Devils.

The Wings kept adding more star power, picking up Slava Fetisov, Igor Larionov, and goaltender Mike Vernon in trades and winning an NHL record 62 games in 1996. After defeating the St. Louis Blues (with a Game 7, double-overtime goal by Yzerman), the Wings would fall in the Western Conference Finals to the eventual champion Colorado Avalanche (formerly Quebec Nordiques).

Throughout the 1997–98 season the Red Wings wore a patch with the initials of former defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov featured prominently, with the word "Believe" written in both English and Russian. Both were severely injured in an automobile accident after celebrating their Stanley Cup win the previous year.

The following year, Detroit, joined by Brendan Shanahan and Larry Murphy during the season, once again reached the Finals in 1997. After defeating the St. Louis Blues in six games, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Colorado Avalanche in the first three rounds, the Wings went on to beat the Philadelphia Flyers in four straight games in the Stanley Cup Finals. It was the Wings' first Stanley Cup since 1955, breaking the longest drought (42 years long) in the league at that time. Mike Vernon accepted the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the 1997 playoffs.

Tragedy struck the Wings six days after their championship; defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov, one of the "Russian Five", suffered a brain injury[13] in a limousine accident, and his career came to an abrupt end. Wings trainer Sergei Mnatsakanov suffered similar injuries. Red Wings defenseman Slava Fetisov was also injured in the accident, but was released from the hospital the next day. The Red Wings dedicated the 1997–98 season, which also ended in a Stanley Cup victory (another sweep, this time over the Washington Capitals), to Konstantinov, who came out onto the ice in his wheelchair on victory night to touch the Cup. Yzerman, who had won the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason Most Valuable Player that year, immediately gave the Cup to Konstantinov after he hoisted it. He later reported that he had intended to pass it to goalie Chris Osgood for his stellar surprise performance. "Not very often does a moment in hockey transcend sports," remarked Brendan Shanahan later.

The following season, the Wings looked poised to "three-peat" for the first time in franchise history, acquiring three-time top blueliner Chris Chelios from his hometown Chicago Blackhawks in March 1999, but it was not to be as they would end up losing the Western Conference Semifinals to Colorado in six games.

The Wings had built up a fierce rivalry with the Avalanche in this time. With the Red Wings beating the Avs in the third round in 1997, and Colorado beating Detroit in the second round in both 1999 and 2000, the battles between these two teams had become one of the fiercest in sports. During a game on March 26, 1997, a brawl ensued between Colorado goalie Patrick Roy and his Detroit counterpart Mike Vernon. In a separate fight, Darren McCarty paid back Avalanche player Claude Lemieux for his hit from behind on Kris Draper the year before. Fittingly, it was Darren McCarty who scored the overtime goal to give the Red Wings the 6–5 victory in the game that became known as "Fight Night at the Joe."

In 2001, Detroit, the league's second-best team in the regular season, were upset in the playoffs by the Los Angeles Kings. During the summer that followed, they acquired legendary goalie Dominik Hasek (the defending Vezina Trophy winner) in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres. They also landed left-wing Luc Robitaille and right-wing Brett Hull, both now retired, through free agency. Rookie center Pavel Datsyuk joined the Wings from the Russian Super League the same year. The Wings became the hands-down favorite to win the Cup in 2002. They did not disappoint, posting the league's best record in the regular season and defeating Colorado in seven games in the Western Conference Finals after beating the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues in rounds one and two. The Red Wings went on to capture another Cup in five games over the Cinderella-story Carolina Hurricanes, with Nicklas Lidstrom winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs Most Valuable Player. Bowman and Hasek both elected to retire after the season.

The 2003 season saw the Red Wings promote associate coach Dave Lewis to the head coach position after Bowman's retirement. Needing a new starting goaltender after Hasek's retirement, the Red wings signed Curtis Joseph from the Toronto Maple Leafs to a three year, $24 million deal. Also new to the lineup was highly touted Swedish prospect Henrik Zetterberg. The Red Wings finished the season second in the Western Conference and third overall in the NHL. The Red Wings were favored in their first round matchup against the 7th seeded Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. But the Ducks shocked the hockey world by sweeping the Red Wings in four games, thanks in large part to the strong performance of Ducks goaltender J.S. Giguere. The Ducks later advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost in Game 7 to the New Jersey Devils.

Longtime Wing Sergei Fedorov signed with the Mighty Ducks as a free agent during the offseason, after a long contract dispute. More importantly, Dominik Hasek decided to come out of retirement, and joined the Wings for the 2003–04 season. This caused a problem for the Wings, as Joseph still had 2 years remaining on his contract. The Wings also added defenseman Derian Hatcher from the Dallas Stars via free agency, as well as forward Ray Whitney from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Joseph, despite being one of the highest-paid players in the NHL, had to spend part of the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit's American Hockey League affiliate. The Wings attempted to trade him; but, perhaps because of his large contract, there were no suitors. Ultimately, Hasek called it quits after just 14 games because of a groin injury, and Joseph became the Wings' No. 1 goalie again, and helped lead the team to the top of the Central Division and the National Hockey League standings. Hatcher was also injured just a few games into the regular season with a torn MCL. Hatcher would not return until the end of the regular season. The Wings acquired veteran center Robert Lang from the Capitals at the trade deadline.

The Red Wings eliminated the Nashville Predators in six games in the first round of the playoffs, which led to a second round matchup with the Calgary Flames. In Game 5, with the series tied at two games apiece, a deflected puck struck Steve Yzerman in the left eye, sidelining him for the remainder of the playoffs. The Red Wings lost that game 1–0, and were eliminated the next game in Calgary by the same score in overtime.

During the 2004 offseason, the Wings focused on keeping players they already had instead of being active on the free agent market. They re-signed Frank J. Selke Trophy-winning forward Kris Draper, who had just had a career season, to a four-year deal, and captain Yzerman to a one-year deal. They also re-signed Brendan Shanahan, Jiri Fischer, Jason Williams, and Mathieu Dandenault as well head coach Dave Lewis. Deals were not reached with veteran defensemen Chris Chelios and Mathieu Schneider or star forward Pavel Datsyuk before the NHL owners triggered their lockout on September 15. There also was a parting of ways with veteran forward Brett Hull, who signed with the Phoenix Coyotes as did forward Boyd Devereaux.

2005 and beyond: New Era for Detroit (Lidstrom Era)

On July 15, 2005, Mike Babcock, former bench boss in Anaheim, became the new head coach for the Wings.

On August 8, the Wings brought back goaltender Chris Osgood, who had spent time with the New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues since his last stint in Detroit, by signing him to a one-year contract.

Approximately fourteen minutes into a game on November 21, 2005, against the Nashville Predators, defenseman Jiri Fischer suffered a seizure and collapsed on the bench. His heart had stopped, and he was resuscitated by CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED). The game was canceled because of his injury, and was made up on January 23, 2006. This was the first time in NHL history a game had been postponed by injury. The game was played for the full 60 minutes; however, the Predators were allowed to maintain their 1–0 lead from the original game and won, 3–2.

For the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, the NHL again agreed to allow players to participate for their home countries. The Red Wings sent 10 players to the competition. Gold medal winners from Team Sweden included Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson, Tomas Holmstrom, and Niklas Kronwall. Robert Lang represented the Bronze medal winning Team Czech Republic.

The Red Wings won the Presidents' Trophy with a 58–16–8 record, earning them 124 points.(NHL Standings), and secured home ice advantage for the entire playoffs. The Detroit Red Wings opened the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Edmonton Oilers with a 3–2 overtime victory at Joe Louis Arena. However, the Oilers won 4 of the next 5 games to take the series.

After the playoffs, Detroit management informed goaltender Manny Legace that he would not be a part of the team next season, while Chris Osgood and Nicklas Lidstrom signed 2–year extensions.

Continuing the shakeup of the Red Wings roster, July 9 brought the signing of alternate captain Brendan Shanahan to a free agent deal with the New York Rangers after spending the previous 9 seasons with the club. Shanahan turned down equal offers from the Wings and Montreal Canadiens to sign with the Rangers, stating that he felt he was part of the Red Wings past, not future. July 31 brought the re-signing of Dominik Hasek to a one-year deal from the Ottawa Senators, marking the beginning of his third stint with the Wings.

Perhaps the biggest change to the roster in the off season was the announcement that Steve Yzerman would retire from playing hockey after playing 23 seasons with the Wings. He subsequently was offered the job of Vice President of Operations, and remained with the team. Not long after, it was announced that Yzerman's number 19 would be retired[14] during the following season. Yzerman retired with the distinction of having been the longest serving team captain in NHL history.

The Red Wings opened the 2006–07 season with Steve Yzerman "passing the torch" to Nicklas Lidstrom when Lidstrom was named Captain for the 2006–07 season. The Red Wings retired Steve Yzerman's jersey number 19 on January 2 before a game with the Anaheim Ducks.

The Red Wings hold the longest current playoff streak of all professional North American sports teams, at 17 consecutive seasons.

At the 2007 NHL trade deadline, the Wings acquired forwards Kyle Calder and the injured Todd Bertuzzi. Calder came to Detroit in return for Jason Williams. Bertuzzi was acquired from the Florida Panthers for conditional draft picks and prospect Shawn Matthias. That April, the Wings signed Pavel Datsyuk to a seven-year contract extension, along with re-signing gritty forward Kirk Maltby to a three-year deal. The Wings finished first in the Western Conference and tied for first in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres, but the Sabres were awarded the Presidents' Trophy by virtue of having the greater number of wins.

Game 1 of the opening round saw the Red Wings' 452–game home sellout streak (dating back to December 10, 1996) come to end with an announced crowd of 19,204. They advanced to the third round of the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs after defeating the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks both in six games, coming back three straight after the Sharks' 2–1 series lead. The Red Wings lost to the eventual Stanley Cup winning team - the Anaheim Ducks, in the Western Conference Finals four games to two. In doing so, the 2007 Playoffs marked the most successful run for Detroit since their 2002 Stanley Cup Championship, finishing two games away from a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals.

On July 1st, free agent defenseman Mathieu Schneider signed a deal with the Ducks. However, Detroit filled the void by immediately signing former New Jersey Devil and Dearborn, Michigan native Brian Rafalski to a 5–year deal.[15] A short time later, Todd Bertuzzi followed in Schneider's footsteps to a free agent deal with Anaheim. Kyle Calder signed a free agent deal with the Los Angeles Kings and Robert Lang signed with the Chicago Blackhawks. The Red Wings then signed former St. Louis Blues captain Dallas Drake to a 1 year deal. Drake was originally drafted by Detroit in 1989 and played for them from 1992–1994 before being traded to Winnipeg.

To start the 2007–2008 campaign, Henrik Zetterberg recorded at least a point in each of Detroit's first 17 games, setting a club record. At the 2008 trade deadline, the Red Wings announced that they had signed former Wing Darren McCarty to a one year contract for the remainder of the season.[16] The Red Wings also acquired defenseman Brad Stuart from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a second-round pick in 2008 and a fourth-round pick in 2009. Nearing the end of the 2007-2008 season, Detroit signed Michigan State University senior Justin Abdelkader to a three-year contract.

The Red Wings won their eleventh Stanley Cup on June 4, 2008 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals by a score of 3-2. This was their fourth Stanley Cup in 11 years. Henrik Zetterberg scored the Stanley Cup winning goal and was also named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.

On July 2, 2008 the Detroit Red Wings announced the signing on unrestricted free agent Marian Hossa to a one year deal worth approximately $7.4 million. Hossa was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins team that the Red Wings defeated in the 2008 Stanley Cup Final. Hossa reportedly turned down several other longer termed and higher paid offers from other teams to join the Red Wings; stating that he felt Detroit gave him his best opportunity to win a Stanley Cup.

Team information

Red Wings '07-'08 jerseys


The Red Wings, like all NHL teams, updated their jerseys (traditionally known in hockey as "sweaters") to the new Rbk Edge standard for the 2007–08 NHL season. The Red Wings kept their design as close as possible, with a few exceptions: On the road (white) jersey, there is more red on the sleeves as the color panel begins closer to the shoulder. The white sleeve numbers on both jerseys were also moved up a bit, creating more red space between the bottom of the number and the wraparound white trim. The letters of the captain and alternate captains were moved to the player's right shoulder; Detroit is the only team in the league that made this change, although the 2008 NHL All Star jerseys featured this as well. All teams now have an NHL shield panel on the front of the jersey near the collar, and a rounded hemline at the bottom of the jersey which goes up at the hips, providing more mobility.

The Red Wings have not used any alternate logos or uniforms since the trend became popular in the 1990s, the sole exceptions were select games of the 1991-92 season commemorating the league's 75th Anniversary, and for a commemorative game in 1994 at Chicago Stadium.

Alternate jerseys for the RBK Edge system are expected for 2008-2009, but Detroit has thus far opted not to use alternates.

Fan tradition: The Octopus

Main article: Legend of the Octopus

The "Legend of the Octopus" is a sports tradition during Detroit Red Wings home playoff games, in which an octopus is thrown onto the ice surface for good luck.[17]

During the playoffs, Joe Louis Arena is generally adorned with a giant octopus with red eyes, nicknamed "Al" after Joe Louis Arena head ice manager Al Sobotka.

The 1952 playoffs featured the start of the tradition—the octopus throw. The owner of a local fish market, Peter Cusimano, threw one from the stands onto the ice. The eight legs were purportedly symbolic of the eight wins it took to win the Stanley Cup at the time. The Red Wings went on to sweep both of their opponents that year en route to a Stanley Cup championship. The NHL has, at various times, tried to eliminate this tradition but it continues to this day.

There is a certain etiquette that must be followed for fans that wish to throw octopuses onto the ice. The most appropriate time to throw an octopus onto the ice is after the national anthem is sung or after the Red Wings have scored a goal. Under these circumstances, the eight-legged creature must be thrown onto the ice surface in an area that is clear of all players. It is never acceptable to aim for opposing players. Beforehand, octopuses are usually boiled in by fans to reduce the amount of "slime" coating and facilitate the time it takes to clean up the ice and prevent further delay. Since Joe Louis Arena does not condone the throwing of any foreign objects onto the ice, fans often sneak the sea creatures in wrapped around their bellies in trash bags. The boiling process also lessens the odor and allows the fans to get past security. Tactics are also used to protect the identity of octopus-throwers from arena security. It is common practice for the hurler to ask the surrounding people to stand up with him to shroud the task in anonymity.

Al Sobotka is the man responsible for removing the thrown creatures from the ice. He is known for swinging the tossed octopuses above his head when walking off the ice. On April 19, 2008, NHL director of hockey operations Colin Campbell sent a memo to the Detroit Red Wings organization that forbids Zamboni drivers from cleaning up any octopuses thrown onto the ice and that violating the mandate would result in a $10,000 fine.[18] Instead, it will be the linesmen who will perform this duty. In an email to the Detroit Free Press NHL spokesman Frank Brown justified the ban because "matter flies off the octopus and gets on the ice" when Al Sobotka does it.[19]This ban, however, was later loosened to allow for the octopus twirling to take place at the zamboni entrance.[20]

Radio and television

The flagship radio stations are WXYT-AM 1270 and WXYT-FM 97.1. Games are carried on both stations unless there's a conflict with Detroit Lions football or Detroit Tigers baseball. There are several affiliate stations

The television rights are held by FSN Detroit. Games not covered by FSN Detroit are on NBC or Versus.


  • Ken Daniels: Television Play by Play (FSN Detroit)
  • Mickey Redmond: Television Color Commentator (FSN Detroit Home Games)
  • John Keating: Television Pre-Game Host
  • Larry Murphy: Television Color Commentator, In-Game Studio Analyst (FSN Detroit)
  • Ken Kal: Radio Play by Play
  • Paul Woods: Radio Analyst
  • Trevor Thompson, Mickey York: FSN Detroit Studio Analysts

During many home games on FSN Detroit where Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond are in the booth, Larry Murphy also provides analysis "between the benches" during games.

Season-by-season record

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Red Wings. For the full season-by-season history, see Detroit Red Wings seasons

Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; OTL = Overtime losses; Pts = Points; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; PIM = Penalties in minutes

Records as of May 21, 2007.[21]

Season GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
2003–04 82 48 21 11 2 109 255 189 966 1st, Central Lost in Conference Semifinals, 2–4 (Flames)
2004–05 Season cancelled because of 2004–05 NHL lockout
2005–061 82 58 16 8 124 305 209 1127 1st, Central Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2–4 (Oilers)
2006–07 82 50 19 13 113 254 199 928 1st, Central Lost in Conference Finals, 2–4 (Ducks)
2007–08 82 54 21 7 115 257 184 - 1st, Central Stanley Cup Champions, 4–2 (Penguins)
1 As of the 2005–06 NHL season, all games will have a winner; the OTL column includes SOL (Shootout losses).

Notable players

Current roster

Updated January 29, 2010.

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
44 Flag of Canada Bertuzzi, ToddTodd Bertuzzi

RW L 34 2009 Sudbury, Ontario
11 Flag of Canada Cleary, DanielDaniel Cleary

RW L 31 2005 Carbonear, Newfoundland
13 Flag of Russia Datsyuk, PavelPavel Datsyuk


C L 31 1998 Sverdlovsk, Soviet Union
33 Flag of Canada Draper, KrisKris Draper


C L 38 1993 Toronto, Ontario
17 Flag of the United States Eaves, PatrickPatrick Eaves

RW R 25 2009 Calgary, Alberta
52 Flag of Sweden Ericsson, JonathanJonathan Ericsson

D L 25 2002 Karlskrona, Sweden
51 Flag of Finland Filppula, ValtteriValtteri Filppula

C L 25 2002 Vantaa, Finland
93 Flag of Sweden Franzen, JohanJohan Franzen

 Injured Reserve

LW L 30 2004 Vetlanda, Sweden
43 Flag of Canada Helm, DarrenDarren Helm

C L 23 2005 St. Andrews, Manitoba
96 Flag of Sweden Holmstrom, TomasTomas Holmstrom

RW L 37 1994 Piteå, Sweden
35 Flag of the United States Howard, JimmyJimmy Howard

G L 25 2003 Ogdensburg, New York
55 Flag of Sweden Kronwall, NiklasNiklas Kronwall

D L 29 2000 Stockholm, Sweden
22 Flag of the United States Lebda, BrettBrett Lebda

D L 28 2004 Buffalo Grove, Illinois
21 Flag of Finland Leino, VilleVille Leino

LW L 26 2008 Savonlinna, Finland
5 Flag of Sweden Lidstrom, NicklasNicklas Lidstrom


D L 39 1989 Västerås, Sweden
3 Flag of Sweden Lilja, AndreasAndreas Lilja

 Injured Reserve

D L 34 2005 Helsingborg, Sweden
18 Flag of Canada Maltby, KirkKirk Maltby

RW R 37 1996 Guelph, Ontario
24 Flag of Canada May, BradBrad May

LW L 38 2009 Toronto, Ontario
14 Flag of Canada Meech, DerekDerek Meech

D L 25 2002 Winnipeg, Manitoba
20 Flag of the United States Miller, DrewDrew Miller

LW L 25 2009 Dover, New Jersey
32 Flag of Canada Newbury, KrisKris Newbury

C L 27 2009 Brampton, Ontario
30 Flag of Canada Osgood, ChrisChris Osgood

G L 37 2005 Peace River, Alberta
28 Flag of the United States Rafalski, BrianBrian Rafalski

D R 36 2007 Dearborn, Michigan
23 Flag of Canada Stuart, BradBrad Stuart

D L 30 2008 Rocky Mountain House, Alberta
29 Flag of Canada Williams, JasonJason Williams

RW R 29 2009 London, Ontario
40 Flag of Sweden Zetterberg, HenrikHenrik Zetterberg


C L 29 1999 Njurunda, Sweden

Team captains

Honored members

Hall of Famers:


Retired numbers:

The banners hanging at Joe Louis Arena.
  • 1 Terry Sawchuk, G, 1949–55, 1957–64 & 1968–69, number retired March 6, 1994
  • 7 Ted Lindsay, LW, 1944–57 & 1964–65, number retired November 10, 1991
  • 9 Gordie Howe, RW, 1946–71, number retired March 12, 1972
  • 10 Alex Delvecchio, C, 1950–73, number retired November 10, 1991
  • 12 Sid Abel, LW, 1938–52, number retired April 29, 1995
  • 19 Steve Yzerman, C, 1983–2006, number retired January 2, 2007 (the banner features the captain "C" to honor his tenure as the longest serving captain in NHL history)
  • 99 Wayne Gretzky, Although he was never a member of the Red Wings, his number was retired league-wide February 6, 2000

Numbers out of circulation

  • 6 Larry Aurie, RW, 1927-1939, following his retirement from the NHL. This was the first number ever retired by the Detroit Red Wings, however Aurie does not have a banner hanging in Joe Louis Arena. The NHL's official information publication, the Official NHL Guide And Record Book, listed the number as being retired from 1975 until 2000 when reference to it was removed at the request of the Red Wings organization. The team no longer considers the number to be retired, although it is not available for use.[22]
  • 16 Vladimir Konstantinov, D, 1991-97, following a career-ending vehicular accident.

First-round draft picks

Franchise scoring leaders

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game; * = current Red Wings player

Points Goals Assists
Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
Gordie Howe RW 1687 786 1023 1809 1.07
Steve Yzerman C 1514 692 1063 1755 1.16
Alex Delvecchio C 1549 456 825 1281 0.83
Sergei Fedorov C 908 400 554 954 1.05
Nicklas Lidstrom* D 1252 212 726 938 0.75
Norm Ullman C 875 324 434 758 0.87
Ted Lindsay LW 862 335 393 728 0.84
Brendan Shanahan LW 716 309 324 633 0.88
Reed Larson D 708 188 382 564 0.80
John Ogrodnick RW 539 259 275 534 0.99
Player Pos G
Gordie Howe RW 786
Steve Yzerman C 692
Alex Delvecchio C 456
Sergei Fedorov C 400
Ted Lindsay LW 335
Norm Ullman C 324
Brendan Shanahan LW 309
John Ogrodnick RW 259
Nicklas Lidstrom* D 212
Vyacheslav Kozlov RW 202
Player Pos A
Steve Yzerman C 1063
Gordie Howe RW 1023
Alex Delvecchio C 825
Nicklas Lidstrom* D 726
Sergei Fedorov C 554
Norm Ullman C 434
Ted Lindsay LW 393
Reed Larson D 382
Brendan Shanahan LW 324
Igor Larionov C 308

NHL awards and trophies

Stanley Cup

Presidents' Trophy

Clarence S. Campbell Bowl

Prince of Wales Trophy

Art Ross Trophy

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Calder Memorial Trophy

Conn Smythe Trophy

Frank J. Selke Trophy

Hart Memorial Trophy

James Norris Memorial Trophy

Jack Adams Award

King Clancy Memorial Trophy

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

Lester B. Pearson Award

Lester Patrick Trophy

NHL Plus/Minus Award

Vezina Trophy

William M. Jennings Trophy

Mark Messier Leadership Award

NHL All-Rookie Team

Franchise individual records

This is a partial list. For the more franchise records, see Detroit Red Wings Records


  1. Stanley Cup Champions and Finalists. National Hockey League. Retrieved on 2008-06-21.
  2. The WCHL—Pros On The Prairies. Oilers Heritage. Retrieved on 2008-06-21.
  3. Detroit Red Wings - Written history. Detroit Red Wings. Retrieved on 2008-06-21.
  4. Detroit Red Wings - Written History. Detroit Red Wings. Retrieved on 2008-06-21.
  5. Stanley Cup Champions and Finalists. National Hockey League. Retrieved on 2008-06-21.
  6. Marguerite Norris, Hockey Team President, 67. New York Times (1994-05-14).
  7. Stanley Cup history. USA Today (2000-09-12).
  8. Burnside, Scott (2007-02-21). The Original Six: Detroit Red Wings.
  9. Mulvoy, Mark (1971-01-18). Poor Broken Wings. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved on 2008-06-29.
  10. Darkness with Harkness. Lowetide (2008-05-21). Retrieved on 2008-06-29.
  11. Detroit Red Wings - Written History. Detroit Red Wings. Retrieved on 2008-06-21.
  12. Steve Yzerman's hockey statistics profile. Retrieved on 2008-06-21.
  13. Lapointe, Joe (1997-06-14). Two Red Wings Injured, One Seriously, in Cras. New York Times.
  14. Lage, Larry (2006-08-30). Red Wings to Retire Yzerman's No. 19. Associated Press. Retrieved on 2008-06-21.
  15. Red Wings sign Michigan-born Rafalski. Associated Press (2007-07-01). Retrieved on 2008-05-19.
  16. Red Wings sign McCarty. Retrieved on 2008-02-25.
  17. Legend of the octopus. Detroit Red Wings. Retrieved on 2008-06-21.
  18. NHL freezes Sobotka's swirl. The Detroit News. Retrieved on 2008-04-24.
  19. NHL bans octopus swinging; $10,000 fine for offenders. Detroit Free Press (2008-04-19). Retrieved on 2008-05-10.
  20. Rejoice: Octopus twirling OK again!. Detroit Free Press (2008-05-08). Retrieved on 2008-05-10.
  21. Detroit Red Wings seasons statistics. Retrieved on 2008-06-21.
  22. MacLeod, Bruce (2007-01-07). Aurie holds Detroit's forgotten number. Journal Register News Service. Retrieved on 2008-06-21.

See also

External links

  • Official website of the Detroit Red Wings
  • Official forum of the Detroit Red Wings
  • Detroit Red Wings at the Open Directory Project
Detroit Red Wings
Team Franchise • Players • Coaches • GMs • Seasons • Draft picks • Joe Louis Arena
Stanley Cups 1936, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1997, 1998, 2002
Affiliates Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL), Toledo Storm (ECHL), Flint Generals (IHL), Port Huron Icehawks (IHL)

This article uses material from the "Detroit Red Wings" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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