Detroit Red Wings

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Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings logo
founding September 25, 1926
history Detroit Cougars
1926 - 1930
Detroit Falcons
1930 - 1932
Detroit Red Wings
since 1932
Stadion Little Caesars Arena
Location Detroit , Michigan
Team colors Red White
league National Hockey League
Conference Eastern Conference
division Atlantic Division
Head coach United StatesUnited States Jeff Blashill
Team captain vacant
General manager CanadaCanada Steve Yzerman
owner Ilitch Holdings
Cooperations Grand Rapids Griffins ( AHL )
Toledo Walleye ( ECHL )
Stanley Cups 1936 , 1937 , 1943 , 1950 , 1952 , 1954 , 1955 , 1997 , 1998 , 2002 , 2008
Conference title 1994/95 , 1996/97 , 1997/98 ,
2001/02 , 2007/08 , 2008/09
Division title 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 , 2008/09 , 2010/11

The Detroit Red Wings ( IPA : [diˈtɹɔɪt ɹɛd wɪŋs] ) are an American ice hockey franchise of the National Hockey League from Detroit , Michigan . It was founded on September 25, 1926 and began playing for the 1926/27 season . The Red Wings are the successor team of the Detroit Cougars, which existed from 1926 to 1930, and the Detroit Falcons, which existed from 1930 to 1932, and belong to the so-called " Original Six " teams of the NHL. The team colors have been red and white since 1928.

The club played its home games in the Joe Louis Arena until 2017 and has been based in the newly built Little Caesars Arena since the start of the 2017/18 season . With a total of eleven Stanley Cup -Siegen the Red Wings are the most successful in the United States dating franchise in the league. The Red Wings franchise history has been marked by ups and downs. After the team had survived the most difficult time in the league, when only six teams participated in the game, between 1943 and 1967 without damage, the franchise fell into a deep hole until the 1980s. However, since the mid-1990s, the team has established itself among the best teams in the league.


Beginnings (1926 to 1942)

The Detroit Cougars logo

In 1926 a group of investors from Detroit, led by sports journalist Charles Hughes, had the idea of ​​installing an ice hockey team in the city that would play in the National Hockey League . By dissolving the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL), they were able to acquire the rights to the Victoria Cougars for a purchase amount of US $ 100,000 and a further US $ 100,000 as a league fee . The Cougars were the last non-NHL team to win the Stanley Cup in 1925 . In reference to this team, the team was called Detroit Cougars . Since there was no ice rink in Detroit, they played in the first year in the Canadian Windsor , Ontario in the Border Cities Arena.

For the 1927/28 season could be played in Detroit in the newly built Detroit Olympia , which should remain the home of the team until 1979. Behind the gang was Jack Adams , who as trainer and general manager was to become the determining person in the team for the next 36 years.

In terms of sport, the Cougars had a hard time and after the first playoff participation in 1928 there was a newspaper poll in 1930 in which the readers were asked to choose a new team name. The choice finally fell on Detroit Falcons . The sporting success failed to materialize and the finances were also very bad due to the global economic crisis . In addition to the NHL, another ice hockey league had established itself with the American Hockey League . To get this out of the way, NHL President Frank Calder brokered a deal with James E. Norris , the owner of the Chicago Shamrocks from the AHL. He convinced the other NHL teams of his idea that the Shamrocks and the Falcons should merge and play in the NHL. Norris bought the bankrupt team in 1932 and merged it with its shamrocks. Norris, who had previously played with the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association himself, remembered the logo of the MAAA, also known as Winged Wheelers , and brought it to the automotive city of Detroit. The new name Detroit Red Wings and the logo, which is still known today , arose from these considerations .

In the first season the Red Wings won their first playoff series and made it to the semifinals.

The 1933/34 season was the first time the regular season ended as a league leader in the American Division. The team made it into the final games of the Stanley Cup, where they had to admit defeat to the Chicago Black Hawks , who won the title for the first time. In 1936 , the team won, in addition to winning the American Division, the Stanley Cup by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in the final . The following year , the team around Ebbie Goodfellow , Marty Barry and Larry Aurie was able to defend the title. A few less successful years followed, before the " Original Six " era began after losing the final series in 1941 and 1942 .

The years of the "Original Six" (1943 to 1966)

After the Brooklyn Americans retired, only six teams played in the NHL for the next 24 years. The Wings started this era with their third Stanley Cup win. The team around Sid Abel , Don Grosso and Mud Bruneteau defeated the Boston Bruins in the final series 4-0. The performance of goalkeeper Johnny Mowers , who did not concede a goal in either game in Boston, was impressive . In the years to come, the team always qualified for the playoffs. For the 1946/47 season , a new superstar stepped onto the Red Wings stage: Gordie Howe , a young right-winger from the Canadian province of Saskatchewan , could not fully show in his early years what the Wings would have in him in the years to come . This year was also Jack Adams' last year as a coach. He had been in this position for 15 years without a contract. Now he concentrated on his work as general manager.

From the 1947/48 season , Gordie Howe formed the “ Production Line ” with Sid Abel and Ted Lindsay , one of the best storm series of its time. The three brought the wings into the final series twice, but both times the team was defeated by the Toronto Maple Leafs . In 1950 the fourth title was won. Sid Abel, who moved to Chicago, was replaced by Alex Delvecchio . The team, now reinforced by Terry Sawchuk , was one of the strongest in the NHL at the time. This was followed by the Stanley Cup victories in 1952 , 1954 and 1955 , each of which won the final against the Canadiens de Montréal . Also in 1955, Bruce Norris took over the Red Wings from his older brother James .

In the following game year they lost to the Canadiens in the finals, which started a series of five title wins in a row. In 1957, Ted Lindsay helped found the National Hockey League Players' Association and was kicked out of the team. After 21 years, the playoffs were missed for the first time in the 1958/59 season. In goal, Sawchuk was replaced by Roger Crozier , while Norm Ullman and Parker MacDonald were two constant goalscorers in attack . In 1963, the Red Wings parted ways with General Manager Jack Adams.

The era of the "Dead Wings" (1967 to 1982)

The league first grew from six to twelve teams and then on to 21, but the Wings had nothing to do with the decision to win the Stanley Cup from the late 1960s. From 1967 to 1982 only twice made it into the playoffs. During this time, the NHL teams began looking to Europe in their search for players. A pioneer in Detroit was the Danish-born defender Poul Popiel , who played for the Red Wings from the 1968/69 season. However, when he made his NHL debut, he was already an American citizen. In 1971 Gordie Howe retired before returning to the World Hockey Association three years later to play with his sons, and in 1979 he returned to the NHL. Young talented players like Marcel Dionne didn't make their breakthrough until they left Detroit. The Red Wings had the greatest deficits in goal and defense.

The first player in the Red Wings jersey to learn to play ice hockey in Europe was the Swede Thommie Bergman in the 1972/73 season . In 1977 Václav Nedomanský was the first Czech to come to Detroit. In the 1978/79 season he managed to be the best scorer in the Red Wings squad. As much as the first Europeans, including the Swede Dan Labraaten , were able to convince, these players remain an exception. Until 1980 there were never more than three players from Europe in the squad at the same time.

A first sign of a trend reversal was the move from the Detroit Olympia , which was played for over 50 years, to the new Joe Louis Arena in 1979 , and the team also changed hands three years later. Mike Ilitch bought Bruce Norris' team for $ 8 million and began remodeling. The most important man at his side was the newly appointed General Manager Jim Devellano .

Reinvigorated wings (1983 to 1993)

In 1983, Steve Yzerman, a young player who had only recently become the very first player under the new owner Ilitch in the NHL Entry Draft , joined the team that should stand for the renewed rise of the Red Wings. In his first year he was the best scorer of his team and the Red Wings reached the playoffs for the first time in six years. Defenseman Brad Park , who came from Boston in 1983, was also a major pillar that season and received the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy after the season . 1985/86 Park took over the position as head coach, which he gave up after 45 games due to lack of success.

Yzerman took over the position of team captain in 1986 at the age of 21. In 1987, now reinforced by Adam Oates , Petr Klíma and Gerard Gallant , they reached the semi-finals of the playoffs for the first time since the league was increased in the late 1960s and repeated this the following year. 1988/89 Yzerman played the best season of his career, scored 155 points and was awarded the Lester B. Pearson Award as the best player in the NHL by the NHLPA . Rumors then surfaced that Yzerman might be transferred to another team, but this was denied by Red Wings coach Jacques Demers .

In the early 1990s, the Red Wings continued to strengthen and brought young talented players into the team, such as Nicklas Lidström , Sergei Fjodorow and Vyacheslav Koslow . With Vladimir Konstantinov , Paul Coffey , Dino Ciccarelli and Ray Sheppard , more experienced players were also signed.

The Red Wings in the title fight (1993 to 2004)

Dominik Hašek was in the goal of the Red Wings when they won the Stanley Cup in 2002

In 1993, Scotty Bowman , one of the most successful NHL coaches of all time, took over as head coach. In 1994 the Red Wings were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Conference. Sergei Fyodorov was honored after the season with the Hart Memorial Trophy as MVP and with the Lester B. Pearson Award as best player in the NHL.

Experienced players like Mike Vernon or Igor Larionow joined the team. In 1995 they reached the final of the Stanley Cup again, but did not win it. The following season they failed in the final of the Conference at the Colorado Avalanche . Goalkeepers Mike Vernon and Chris Osgood conceded the fewest goals during the season and together they received the William M. Jennings Trophy .

In the 1995/96 season , the team set a new record with 62 wins in the regular season, which was set by Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018/19 .

The Red Wings strengthened their team , including with Brendan Shanahan , and demonstrated a high level of consistency. In 1997 they won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 years. Goalie Mike Vernon was honored as the Playoffs Most Valuable Player with the Conn Smythe Trophy after clearly defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in four games. A few days after the triumph, defense attorney Vladimir Konstantinov was seriously injured in a car accident. He survived the accident, but severe brain injuries meant that he had lost most of his speech and memory and could only use a wheelchair for the first few years after the accident.

In the 1997/98 season , the Red Wings wore a circular emblem on their jerseys with the word "Faith" in English and Russian, as well as the initials of Konstantinow and a Red Wings supervisor who had also suffered serious injuries in this accident.

They were able to defend the Stanley Cup and celebrated the repeated title win with their former teammate Konstantinow. This time it was "The Captain" Steve Yzerman who was honored as the most valuable player in the playoffs. The time from coach Scotty Bowman's inauguration to his second cup win was shaped by players such as Nicklas Lidström , Brendan Shanahan and the Russian Five around Larionov, Sergei Fyodorow and Vyacheslav Fetissov , but also by the grind line . With Uwe Krupp , a German player also came to the Red Wings at this time. However, the veteran defender was plagued by many injuries during his time with the Red Wings.

In 1999 and 2000 they failed in the semifinals of the Conference and in 2001 after a long time in the quarterfinals. The Red Wings strengthened themselves in these years mainly with veterans such as Brett Hull , Chris Chelios , Luc Robitaille and Dominik Hašek . With Pavel Dazjuk a young player from Russia joined the team. These obligations should be worthwhile for the team, to which the German player Uwe Krupp belonged, and so it won the Stanley Cup again in 2002. After the season, coach Scotty Bowman announced the end of his career. Bowman won a total of nine Stanley Cups from 1973 to 2002, three of them with Detroit. He was succeeded by Dave Lewis , who was once a Red Wings player himself and has worked as an assistant coach for the team since 1988.

The title was not defended in 2003 and the Red Wings surprisingly failed in the first round. In 2004 the team advanced to the conference semifinals.

The new NHL (since 2004)

The two former captains. Steve Yzerman (left) and Nicklas Lidström

The 2004/05 season was canceled because the league, the team owners and the players could not agree on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement , a kind of collective bargaining agreement in which minimum salaries, salary caps and other economic regulations are stipulated. It came to a lockout and the parties only agreed on a new agreement in July 2005.

The new regulations had consequences. A salary cap of 39 million US dollars was set. The Red Wings, which had signed many star players through profits from previous years, who earned accordingly, were disadvantaged by the regulation and had to part with some players. So they paid Darren McCarty , Derian Hatcher and Ray Whitney their contracts to part with them. The starting goalkeepers Dominik Hašek and Curtis Joseph received no new contracts, instead Chris Osgood was signed as goalie, who had played in Detroit for eight years until 2001 and was the financially cheaper solution. With Manny Legace , behind Hašek, Joseph and also Osgood long-time substitute goalkeepers, as well as the young Jimmy Howard , the Red Wings had the affordable goalkeeper team complete. With Mike Babcock a new coach was also signed. Ex-trainer Dave Lewis continued to work with the Red Wings as a scout, but took over the coaching post in Boston in 2006.

Despite the many departures, the Red Wings finished the 2005/06 regular season in first place in the NHL. In the first round of the play-offs, the team defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 wins. On November 21, 2005, in the game against the Nashville Predators , defender Jiří Fischer collapsed on the bench with a cardiac arrest. Team doctor Tony Colucci immediately started resuscitation measures, which were successful. Fischer was taken to the hospital and the game was abandoned.

After 23 years with the Red Wings, Steve Yzerman ended his career in the summer of 2006. Yzerman was the team captain for 20 years, wearing the "C" on his jersey longer than any other player in NHL history. When Yzerman joined the team, they had missed the play-offs for the fifth time in a row. In the time that Yzerman was part of the team, the final round was only twice not reached. Yzerman became the symbol of the rise of the Red Wings and led the team from the lower table regions to three Stanley Cups. On January 2, 2007, Steve Yzerman was honored with a banner that was hung on the ceiling of the Joe Louis Arena in a solemn ceremony, which was also attended by many former teammates and greats of ice hockey. In addition to the number 19, there is also a "C" on the banner.

His successor as team captain was the Swede Nicklas Lidström, who was the first European to wear the Red Wings “C”. In addition to Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan left the team after ten years, but Dominik Hašek returned to Detroit.

In the 2006/07 season the team played again at the top of the league. In the attack, Henrik Zetterberg and Pawel Dazjuk, who together with Tomas Holmström formed the first line of attack, stood out . In addition, the young players around Jiří Hudler and Valtteri Filppula got the chance to prove themselves. But the season was also marked by the Red Wings' bad luck with injuries. Young Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald had to make up the goalkeeping team for a brief period when Hašek and Osgood were injured. The injury list also included Zetterberg, Daniel Cleary , Mathieu Schneider , Mikael Samuelsson and Niklas Kronwall , all of whom are important pillars of the team, but thanks to a balanced squad, the losses were largely compensated for. At the end of the regular season they won the Central Division for the sixth time in a row and took first place in the Western Conference for the third time in a row . However, the team weakened in the evaluation of chances and needed on average more shots than any other team to score a goal.

In April 2007, Pavel Datsjuk was awarded a seven-year contract worth around 45 million US dollars. Never before has a player been tied to the team for so long.

The Detroit Red Wings celebrate the 2008 Stanley Cup victory

In the following play-offs followed in the third round in six games against the Anaheim Ducks, the elimination from the competition. After the end of the season, two players, Mathieu Schneider and Robert Lang, left the Red Wings, who have been one of the main pillars of the team in recent years. Brian Rafalski was hired by the New Jersey Devils to strengthen the defense .

The Red Wings got off to a good start in the 2007/08 season and after the first month they took first place in the league. The most important player in the beginning of the season turned out to be striker Henrik Zetterberg, who at times led the scorer list. Despite a period of weakness in November, the Red Wings maintained the top position and expanded their lead over the pursuers. The surprise in the team was substitute goalkeeper Chris Osgood, who convinced regular goalkeeper Hašek with a very good performance during an injury break and received an invitation to the NHL All-Star Game in January. The Red Wings got into a first major crisis when they had to accept the longest series of defeats in 17 years with six defeats in a row in February. This series was accompanied by the loss of more than half of the defense when Nicklas Lidström, Brian Rafalski, who were the defenders with the highest points of the season up to this point, Niklas Kronwall and 46-year-old Chris Chelios were sidelined due to injury. Nevertheless, the team was able to claim first place in the league and Pawel Dazjuk and Henrik Zetterberg were among the top ten players in the scorer list.

The Red Wings in the home game against the Anaheim Ducks, fist fight

In the play-offs, the Red Wings met in the first round on the Nashville Predators , against whom the first two home games were won, but due to poor performance by goalkeeper Hašek lost the following two games in Nashville. Chris Osgood then took over the post in goal and the Red Wings finally won the series 4-2. In the second round, the team won four games against the Colorado Avalanche and moved into the final of the Western Conference. Johan Franzén was one of the key players in this, as he set a new NHL record with nine goals in a four-game playoff series. In the conference final, the Dallas Stars were the opponents, who were defeated in six games and finally made it to the Stanley Cup final for the fifth time within 13 years. There they defeated Sidney Crosby's young team , the Pittsburgh Penguins , 4-2 and won the fourth Stanley Cup in the last eleven years.

For the 2008/09 season , Dallas Drake and Dominik Hašek ended their careers, while the team strengthened with striker Marián Hossa . Although the team was able to keep up with the best teams in the regular season, they showed weaknesses, especially on the defensive, after they had the best defense in the league in the championship season. In the play-offs, Detroit presented itself sovereign, won the first round 4-0 against the Columbus Blue Jackets , before the following series against the Anaheim Ducks was played over the full length of seven games. After the Chicago Blackhawks were defeated, the Red Wings met the Pittsburgh Penguins again in the Stanley Cup final, so that the final series of the previous year was reissued. In the first six games of the series, both teams used their home advantage and it was 3: 3. In the decisive seventh game, the Pittsburgh Penguins managed the only away win in the series, which meant that the Red Wings' title defense had failed.

The 2009/10 season began for the Red Wings with two games against the St. Louis Blues in Stockholm , Sweden . The Red Wings often had injury problems throughout the season and had difficulties especially at the beginning of the season due to the absence of Henrik Zetterberg , Tomas Holmström , Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula and Niklas Kronwall. After the Olympic break, Detroit recovered and scored 28 points in March alone. They qualified as the fifth team in the conference for the playoffs. In the first round they defeated the Phoenix Coyotes in seven games, but had to admit defeat to the San Jose Sharks in five games in the second round .

The start of the 2010/11 season went much better. The Red Wings earned 104 points and won the Central Division. They went into the playoffs as the third-placed team in their conference and defeated the Phoenix Coyotes in four games in the first round. In the second round they fell 3-0 against the San Jose Sharks, won the next three games, but lost the decisive seventh game. After the season, Brian Rafalski, Chris Osgood and Kris Draper retired as professional ice hockey players. In the 2011/12 season , the Red Wings set with their 23rd home win in a row on February 19, 2012, an NHL record for the most consecutive home games won. In the playoffs they had to admit defeat to the Nashville Predators . After the season, Nicklas Lidström ended his career as a professional ice hockey player after his sixth year as team captain of the Detroit Red Wings.

After failing to get past the first round for three years in a row, the team missed participation in the postseason after 25 consecutive entries into the 2016/17 playoffs . At the end of the 2014/15 season , Coach Babcock moved to the Toronto Maple Leafs after ten years at the club , and owner Ilitch died in early 2017. Since then, the Red Wings have been in a phase of rebuilding.


View into the Joe Louis Arena

In its first season, the Detroit franchise played its home games on Canadian soil in the Border Cities Arena . Because the new arena in Detroit was not yet completed, they moved to Windsor in the Canadian province of Ontario , where they played in the 9,000-seat ice rink.

In 1927, the team finally moved into the Detroit Olympia , which offered space for 16,700 spectators. On November 22, 1927, they played their first home game in the new stadium against the Ottawa Senators . The Detroit Red Wings celebrated many successes in the arena, including seven Stanley Cup wins, but the team's greatest crisis in the 1960s and 1970s is also connected to the Detroit Olympics.

In the middle of the seventies, the management wanted a new arena. The Detroit Olympia environment had deteriorated noticeably over the past few years. Race riots broke out in the neighborhood as early as 1967, killing 43 people. The team owners considered moving to one of the suburbs of the city, but an offer from city officials for a new arena in a central location finally changed the Red Wings so that the Joe Louis Arena , named after heavyweight boxer Joe Louis , was built. On December 15, 1979, the Detroit Red Wings played their last home game at the Detroit Olympia and said goodbye to this venue after 52 years.

On December 27, 1979, the Red Wings played their first game in the Joe Louis Arena against the St. Louis Blues . In the new arena, which can hold 20,066 spectators, the team managed to overcome their long crisis and build on the successful decades at the Detroit Olympia. They have celebrated four Stanley Cup victories since the opening.

The Red Wings have been playing in the new Little Caesars Arena since the 2017/18 NHL season .

Owners and farm teams

In 1982 Mike Ilitch bought the Red Wings for $ 8 million from Bruce Norris and played a major role in the change from one of the weak teams to a top team, the value of which was approximately $ 303 million in 2008. Ilitch had decided against a career as a professional baseball with the Detroit Tigers and for a career as a pizza maker in the late 1950s . His success with Little Caesars Pizza gave him the opportunity to buy the Tigers after the Wings in 1992. For his services to ice hockey, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and honored with the Lester Patrick Trophy .

Farm teams

The Red Wings, like all other NHL teams, also include teams in lower-class leagues, so-called farm teams . In the case of the Red Wings, these are the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League and the Flint Generals and the Port Huron Icehawks in the International Hockey League . Until the 1998/99 season, the Adirondack Red Wings , one of the oldest and most traditional teams in the AHL, were the farm team. From 1999/2000 to 2001/02, the franchise shared with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks .

The Detroit Red Wings farm teams since 1932:

Period team league
1932-1933 Detroit Olympics IHL
1939-1952 Indianapolis Capitals AHL
1945–1951 Omaha Knights USHL
1952-1963 Edmonton Flyers WHL
1961-1967 Pittsburgh Hornets AHL
1963-1964 Cincinnati Wings CPHL
1964-1967 Memphis wings CPHL
1967-1973 Fort Worth Wings CHL
1967-1971 San Diego Gulls WHL
1968-1969 Baltimore Clippers AHL
1969-1970 Cleveland Barons AHL
Period team league
1970-1971 Baltimore Clippers AHL
1971-1972 Tidewater Wings AHL
1971-1974 Port Huron Wings IHL
1972-1975 Virginia Wings AHL
1974-1987 Kalamazoo Wings IHL
1975-1976 New Haven Nighthawks AHL
1976-1977 Kansas City Blues CHL
1976-1977 Rhode Island Reds AHL
1977-1979 Kansas City Red Wings CHL
1979-1999 Adirondack Red Wings AHL
1979-1980 Johnstown Red Wings EHL
Period team league
1987-1989 Flint Spirits IHL
1991-1995 Fort Wayne Comet IHL
1991-1995 Toledo Storm ECHL
1999-2002 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL
1999-2007 Toledo Storm ECHL
2000-2001 Manitoba mosses IHL
since 2002 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL
2007-2009 Flint Generals IHL
2007-2009 Port Huron Icehawks IHL
since 2009 Toledo Walleye ECHL


Mascot and octopus tradition

There is a special custom in Detroit during the playoffs: the fans throw squids on the ice. This custom has existed since 1952 , when the fishmonger Peter Cusimano threw an eight-armed octopus on the ice to symbolize that it took eight victories to win the Stanley Cup. The Red Wings won the cup that year and a tradition was born and has been preserved to this day.

Al Sobotka, ice machine operator and, as ice manager, mainly responsible for the playing area of ​​the Joe Louis Arena , is the victim of the octopus throws because he has to pick up the dead animals from the ice. However, he uses this to heat up the audience himself by grabbing a collected octopus by the arms and throwing it over his head. This tradition was dampened in the playoffs in 2008 when the league management decided that only the linesman was allowed to dispose of the squids. This regulation was relaxed a little later and the NHL allowed Sobotka to throw the squids at the entrance for the ice machines over his head. In addition, a fishmonger from Pittsburgh said in the same year that he would not sell squid to supporters of the Red Wings during the home games of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup final against Detroit.

The mascot "Al", which was named in honor of Sobotka, was derived from the octopus tradition. During the playoffs, two large octopus figures hang under the roof of the Joe Louis Arena, whose 16 arms symbolize the 16 victories a team needs to win the Stanley Cup today.


The Detroit Red Wings maintain traditional rivalries with the other five teams of the Original Six , the remaining teams from the early years of the NHL. However, this is not reflected in any particular form on the ice.

In the mid-1990s, a rivalry arose with the Colorado Avalanche . In the conference final of the playoffs in 1996 , Red Wings player Kris Draper suffered severe face and head injuries after he was checked into the gang by opponent Claude Lemieux . Colorado later won the series and finally the Stanley Cup in the final. In the following season, due to the incident from the previous year, there was a mass brawl on the ice between the two teams in the brawl in Hockeytown . Just a few weeks later, the two teams met again in the conference finals and this time Detroit emerged victorious, which ultimately also won the Stanley Cup.

In the years that followed, there were always heated arguments between the two teams. Not only because of the incident in 1996, but also because both teams were among the best teams in the league at the time, won the Stanley Cup five times between 1996 and 2002 and met regularly in the playoffs. In 1999 and 2000 Detroit lost in the Conference semifinals, in the playoffs in 2002 the Red Wings were 2: 3 in the series in the Conference finals before Colorado goalkeeper Patrick Roy , who was one of the protagonists of the rivalry, caused a mistake in the sixth game helped the Detroit Red Wings to equalize 3: 3. Roy assumed that he had caught the puck with his glove and jerked his hand in the air. But the puck was still on the ice and the Red Wings took advantage of Roy’s carelessness. The bug later became known to Red Wings fans as the Statue of Liberty . In the decisive seventh game, Roy and the Avalanche were defeated 7-0 and Detroit continued on their way to another Stanley Cup victory.

This also represented the unofficial end of the rivalry between the two teams. The rivalry then cooled off.

References in pop culture

A prominent fan of the Detroit Red Wings is the character “Dr. Percival 'Perry' Cox ”(played by John C. McGinley ) on the US hospital sitcom Scrubs . In the series, Dr. Cox often wears the Red Wings jersey and in one episode even explains to a young doctor "why the Detroit Red Wings are the best professional sports team of all time".

"Tim Taylor" (played by Tim Allen ) from the television series Listen, Who's That Hammering is also a fan of the Red Wings, which is why he wears the jersey of the Michigan team in some episodes.

Was also Tupac Amaru Shakur (2Pac) a Detroit Red Wings fan. He wears the Red Wings shirt in many of his music videos.

Another fan of the Detroit Red Wings is the character "Joey Gladstone" (played by Dave Coulier ) in the series Full House . He also often wears a Red Wings jersey and very rarely a Detroit Tigers jersey .

When the franchise started under the Detroit Cougars name in 1926, the team colors were red and white. The jersey in the debut season was therefore mainly white with a red chest ring with a Gothic "D" on it. There was also a red stripe on each sleeve. After the first season, the jersey design was changed so that two more narrow rings were added above and below the chest ring and "Detroit" could be read on the chest. When the name of the team was changed to Detroit Falcons in 1930, the team appeared with red and white horizontal stripes and the inscription of the team name.

In 1932 there was another name change when James Norris sr. bought the franchise. As a young man, Norris had played for the Montreal Hockey Club , also known as winged wheelers because of their emblem, a wheel with wings . Inspired by this, he decided that his team from Detroit should also wear a winged wheel on their jerseys and that the team name would be renamed Red Wings.

Since then, the design of the jerseys has only changed minimally. Significant for the red jersey is a white stripe on the sleeve at the level of the elbow and a white stripe below the team logo, which defines the chest area of ​​all NHL teams. This chest stripe can also be found in red on the white jerseys, the arms of these are also red.

The most important change to the jersey design for the 2007/08 season was a league-wide change of supplier, but the design of the Red Wings jerseys, like all other teams of the traditional Original Six , did not change anything except for minimal deviations. According to the regulations of the league, the home jersey has to be designed in a dark basic color and the away jersey in a light basic color since 2003 . For the equipment of the Red Wings this means that the team plays in the red jerseys for home games and the white jerseys for away games.

Achievements and honors

Sporting successes

Stanley Cups
1935/36 , 1936/37 , 1942/43 , 1949/50 , 1951/52 , 1953/54 ,
1954/55 , 1996/97 , 1997/98 , 2001/02 , 2007/08
Presidents' Trophies
1994/95 , 1995/96 , 2001/02 , 2003/04 , 2005/06 , 2007/08
Conference Championships season
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl 1994/95 , 1996/97 , 1997/98 ,
2001/02 , 2007/08 , 2008/09
Prince of Wales Trophy 1933/34 , 1935/36 , 1936/37 ,
1942/43 *, 1949/50 *, 1950/51 *,
1951/52 *, 1952/53 *, 1953/54 *,
1954/55 *, 1956/57 *, 1964/65 *
Division Championships season
American Division 1933/34 , 1935/36 , 1936/37
Norris Division 1987/88 , 1988/89 , 1991/92
Central Division 1993/94 , 1994/95 , 1995/96 ,
1998/99 , 2000/01 , 2001/02 ,
2002/03 , 2003/04 , 2005/06 ,
2006/07 , 2007/08 , 2008/09 ,
2010 / 11
* In the time of the " Original Six " only one division was played. The
best team of the regular season received the Prince of Wales Trophy .

In 1934 the Detroit Red Wings came to their first of a total of 23 finals for the Stanley Cup and lost to the Chicago Blackhawks . Two years later in the 1935/36 season they won the trophy for the first time and defended the title the following year. In the 1940s, the Red Wings made it to the finals six times, but only won the championship once and had to admit defeat to the Toronto Maple Leafs in four finals . The Detroit franchise dominated the early years of the following decade, winning four Stanley Cups from 1950 to 1955.

Then began a long dry spell of 42 years in which they came to six finals, but all remained unsuccessful. In 1997 they again decided the Stanley Cup final for themselves and followed by a successful title defense the next year. In 2002 , the Red Wings became the first US NHL team to win the Stanley Cup for the tenth time and added another in the 2007/08 season .

In addition to the Stanley Cup, the Detroit Red Wings won other NHL trophies. They won the Prince of Wales Trophy twelve times, three times when it was awarded from 1924 to 1938 for the best team in the American Division and nine times when it was awarded the best team of the regular season from 1939 to 1967. The trophy is now given to the playoff winners of the Eastern Conference , which means that the Red Wings can no longer win the Prince of Wales Trophy. Its counterpart, the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl , won Detroit for the first time in 1995 as the winner of the Western Conference play- offs and has now received this trophy six times.

The Presidents' Trophy for the regular season champion, which has been awarded since 1986, went to Detroit for the first time after the 1994/95 season. Since then, the Red Wings have celebrated five more wins of the award and are record holders with six wins, followed by five teams with two trophies each.

In addition, the team has won 19 division championships in its history. They were the best team in the American Division and the Norris Division three times each . The Central Division , founded in 1993, led them in 13 of 17 seasons, including eight consecutive seasons from 2001 to 2009, only interrupted by the 2004/05 season, which was canceled due to the lockout, when there was no winner.

Individual awards

Art Ross Trophy : Two players in Red Wings history won the trophy for the season's best scorer. Ted Lindsay received it in 1950, while Gordie Howe was the best in points in the league in the following four years and was allowed to receive the trophy two more times.

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy : Brad Park became the first Detroit player to receive the 1984 trophy for his dedication to ice hockey after setting a new team record for most assists by a defender at the age of 35. In 2003 the trophy was awarded to Steve Yzerman because he helped the Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup despite severe injury problems in the preseason.

Calder Memorial Trophy : To introduce the award for the best new professional in the 1932/33 season , Carl Voss was awarded to a player from the Red Wings. The next Red Wings player was Jim McFadden in 1948. He had scored 48 points in his inaugural season and reached the final of the Stanley Cup with Detroit. 1951 was awarded goalkeeper Terry Sawchuk, who developed into a permanent fixture in the league. His successor in goal, Glenn Hall, made his debut five years later and also received this honor. Another Red Wings goalkeeper, Roger Crozier, received the award for best rookie in 1965.

Conn Smythe Trophy : The award for the most valuable player in the play-offs went to Detroit goalkeeper Roger Crozier for the second year of its existence, despite the fact that the team lost the 1966 Stanley Cup final. 31 years later, Mike Vernon, a Red Wings player and another goalkeeper, received the trophy, this time after a successful series of finals. The following year, Steve Yzerman was the most valuable player in the finals with six goals and 18 assists. In 2002, the Swedish defender Nicklas Lidström was the first European to receive this award. Six years later, his compatriot Henrik Zetterberg was followed by the second European prize winner, who impressed both with his offensive performance and his defensive qualities.

Frank J. Selke Trophy : The Russian Sergei Fjodorow won the award for the striker with the best defensive qualities for the first time in 1994 and received the trophy a second time in 1996. Steve Yzerman, who had changed from an exclusively attacking striker to a very good all-rounder in the 1990s, received an award in 2000. With Kris Draper a player of the defensive grind line received the award in 2004. In 2008, Pawel Dazjuk, a Russian player from Detroit, received the trophy for his game in his own defense zone and repeated the success in the following two years.

Hart Memorial Trophy : Defenseman Ebbie Goodfellow became the first Red Wings to be named NHL Most Valuable Player in 1940. In 1949 Sid Abel received the league's oldest award after the best season of his career to date. From 1952 to 1963, Gordie Howe received the trophy six times. No other player has beenhonoredas an MVP beforeand only Wayne Gretzky broke this record. Sergei Fyodorov was named the fourth Red Wing in 1994, having demonstrated his skills on both offense and defense during the season.

James Norris Memorial Trophy : Red Kelly became the first player to receive the first-ever Best Defender award in 1954, having been one of the best attacking defenders in previous years. More than 40 years later, Paul Coffey, another player from Detroit who won the trophy in 1995, also impressed with his offensive game. From 2001 to 2008 the Swede Nicklas Lidström was the dominant man among the defenders and received the award in six of seven seasons. Only Bobby Orr has received more awards in NHL history.

Jack Adams Award : Bobby Kromm received the NHL best coach award in 1978 when he led the Detroit Red Wings back into the playoffs for the first time in eight years. Jacques Demers was honored twice in a row in 1987 and 1988 after the Red Wings rose from 40 to 93 points in two seasons. In 1996, Scotty Bowman was honored, who won 62 regular season wins with the Red Wings,settinga new NHL record .

King Clancy Memorial Trophy : Brendan Shanahan was the first Red Wings player in 2003 to be recognized for his leadership and social commitment. He was followed by Henrik Zetterberg in 2015.

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy : In 1937 Marty Barry was the first Red Wing to receive the award for the player who best combines a high sporting standard with fairness. Barry had played the best season of his career and had to serve only six penalty minutes in 44 games. Bill Quackenbush was honored in 1949 for not having received a single penalty. Defenseman Red Kelly received the award three times and Earl Reibel was honored in 1956. Alex Delvecchio, who was on the ice in 1,550 games in his career but received only 383 penalty minutes, won the trophy three times. In the 1974/75 season Marcel Dionne was the third best scorer in the league and, with 14 penalty minutes, was also one of the fairest, which is why he received the trophy. Over 30 years later, Pawel Datsjuk won the award four times in a row from 2006 to 2009.

Lester B. Pearson Award : Yzerman was only the third best scorer of the season with 155 points, but the league's players still voted him the best player of the season in 1989. In 1994, Sergei Fedorov received the award after completing the best season of his career.

Lester Patrick Trophy : So far, ten people who belonged to the Red Wings organization have been honored for their commitment to ice hockey in the USA. Detroit's longtime general manager and trainer Jack Adams was the first person to be honored with the trophy in 1966. It was followed by the players Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio and Terry Sawchuk as well as coach Tommy Ivan and team owner Bruce Norris until 1975. In 1991, Mike Ilitch, another owner of the Red Wings, was honored and in 2001 coach Scotty Bowman received the honor. In 2006 alone, Steve Yzerman, Reed Larson and Marcel Dionne were awarded three former athletes.

Mark Messier Leader of the Year Award : When the award for the player who excels through his achievements and leadership skills was presented in 2007, Chris Chelios was the first winner. The then 45-year-old defender was in his 23rd season in the NHL and has been the captain of two teamsduring his career.

NHL Foundation Player Award : The trophy for the player who worked for charitable causes in society was given to Darren McCarty in 2003.

NHL Plus / Minus Award : The trophy for the player with the best plus / minus value, an indicator of both offensive and defensive qualities, was given to Paul Ysebaert in 1992, who led the league with a value of +44. The Russian Vladimir Konstantinow took the lead four years later with +60 and in 2002 veteran Chris Chelios secured the trophy. In 2008 it was Pawel Dazjuk who statistically showed the best combination of offensive and defensive play.

Vezina Trophy : The trophy awarded until 1981 for the fewest goals conceded, which has been given to the best goalkeeper in the NHL since 1982, was given to Normie Smith in 1937. One of the main reasons the Red Wings were the best team in the 1942/43 regular season despite the second worst attack was Johnny Mowers, who only conceded 124 goals. In 1952 and 1953 Terry Sawchuk won the award with 133 goals each and in 1955 he got the trophy a third time when the Red Wings received one less than the Toronto Maple Leafs .

William M. Jennings Trophy : This trophy has been awarded since 1982 as an award for the fewest goals conceded and in 1996 the goalkeeper team with Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon won the trophy for the first time for the Detroit Red Wings, as they conceded 27 fewer goals than the second best defense in the league . Twelve years later, Osgood won the trophy again, this time with Dominik Hašek.

NHL All-Rookie Team : Steve Yzerman made it into the selection with the best new professionals of the past season in 1984, who led the rookies of this year with 87 points. In 1991 the Russian striker Sergei Fyodorow was one of the top six debutants and the following year the Red Wings with Nicklas Lidström and Wladimir Konstantinow provided the entire defense of the selection. In 2003, the Swedish attacker Henrik Zetterberg became the fifth Red Wings player to join the All-Star team of new professionals.

Franchise records


Surname number
Most games Gordie Howe 1,687 (in 25 seasons)
Most consecutive games Alex Delvecchio 548 (December 13, 1956 to November 11, 1964)
Most goals Gordie Howe 786
Most templates Steve Yzerman 1,063
Most of the points Gordie Howe 1,809 (786 goals + 1,023 assists)
Most penalty minutes Bob Probert 2,090
Most shutouts Terry Sawchuk 85


Surname number season
Most goals Steve Yzerman 65 1988/89
Most templates Steve Yzerman 90 1988/89
Most of the points Steve Yzerman 155 (65 goals + 90 assists) 1988/89
Most points as a rookie Steve Yzerman 87 (39 goals + 48 assists) 1983/84
Most points as a defender Nicklas Lidström 80 (16 goals + 64 assists) 2005/06
Most penalty minutes Bob Probert 398 1987/88
Most wins as a goalkeeper Terry Sawchuk 44 1950/51


Early Years and Original Six (1924-1968)

The franchise's first coach was Art Duncan , who appeared as player- coach and was replaced by Duke Keats during the premier season , but who only held the coaching position for eleven games until the end of the season. In the summer of 1927, the then 32-year-old Jack Adams took over the team after he had just ended his playing career. The team, which was called the Detroit Cougars until 1930, before it was renamed the Detroit Falcons and given its current name two years later, reached the playoffs only once in the first four years under Adams, but after that the team succeeded almost always for a long time the qualification. In 1934 they moved to the Stanley Cup final for the first time in their history and won the trophy for the first time in 1936 , which was followed by direct title defense the next season. Between 1941 and 1945, Jack Adams led the Red Wings to the finals four times in five seasons and they won the third Stanley Cup under his direction during that time. In 1947 Jack Adams resigned after 20 years as a coach to concentrate on his duties as general manager of the team. With 413 wins, he is still the most successful coach in the history of the Detroit Red Wings.

Surname season Regular season Playoffs
GC W. L. T Pts Pts% GC W. L.
Kind Duncan 1926/27 * 33 10 21st 2 22nd .333 - - -
Duke Keats 1926/27 * 11 2 7th 2 6th .273 - - -
Jack Adams 1927 / 28-1946 / 47 964 413 390 161 987 .511 101 51 50
Tommy Ivan 1947 / 48-1953 / 54 470 262 118 90 614 .653 67 36 31
Jimmy Skinner 1954 / 55–1957 / 58 * 247 123 78 46 292 .591 26th 14th 12
Sid Abel 1957/58 * -1967 / 68 704 286 306 112 684 .486 65 29 36
Abbreviations: GC = games, W = wins, L = defeats, T = draws, OTL = defeats
after overtime , Pts = points, Pts% = point quota

* Change during the season

Adam's successor was Tommy Ivan , who had previously coached the Red Wings farm team , the Indianapolis Capitals from the American Hockey League . Ivan got off to a good start in the NHL and moved into the Stanley Cup final with Detroit in his first two seasons. There they were both subject to the Toronto Maple Leafs before the Red Wings managed to win the cup in Ivan's third season. In the following four years another two championships followed, but in the summer of 1954 Ivan moved to league rival Chicago Blackhawks .

Jimmy Skinner then took over the coaching post and led the Red Wings straight to another Stanley Cup success, which at the same time would be the last for over four decades. In 1956 , the team moved one more time to the final, where they were subject to the Montréal Canadiens . After the Red Wings had occupied the top position in the regular season in the 1956/57 season, they won only 13 of 37 games in the following season. Skinner vacated his seat during the current season for health reasons and Sid Abel , who was a long-time player in Detroit, became the new coach of the Red Wings.

Abel managed that the team could still qualify for the playoffs. But in 1958/59 , when he coached the team for the first time over an entire season, they missed qualifying for the finals for the first time in over 20 years. The following nine years were characterized by mixed performances by the team. Although the Red Wings were able to move into the Stanley Cup final four times, the results in the regular season were often only average and they even missed the playoffs three times.

In 1968, Sid Abel finally resigned as a coach, but remained with the franchise as general manager.

Expansion years (1968 to 1982)

With the beginning of the expansion of the NHL in 1967 and the addition of more and more teams in the following years, the Detroit Red Wings got into a serious crisis. 1968 Bill Gadsby had taken over the coaching of the resigned Sid Abel , but began his tenure with a failure, as the team could not qualify for the playoffs. He coached the team two more games in the following season, before Sid Abel took over the coaching position again and looked after the team until the end of the season.

Surname season Regular season Playoffs
GC W. L. T Pts Pts% GC W. L.
Bill Gadsby 1968 / 69–1969 / 70 * 78 35 31 12 82 .526 - - -
Sid Abel 1969/70 * 74 38 21st 15th 91 .615 4th 0 4th
Ned Harkness 1970/71 * 38 12 22nd 4th 28 .368 - - -
Doug Barkley 1970/71 * –1971 / 72 * 51 13 31 7th 31 .324 - - -
Johnny Wilson 1971/72 * -1972 / 73 145 67 56 22nd 156 .538 - - -
Ted Garvin 1973/74 * 11 2 8th 1 5 .227 - - -
Alex Delvecchio 1973/74 * -1974 / 75 147 50 76 21st 121 .412 - - -
Doug Barkley 1975/76 * 26th 7th 15th 4th 18th .346 - - -
Alex Delvecchio 1975/76 * –1976 / 77 * 98 32 55 11 75 .383 - - -
Larry Wilson 1976/77 * 36 3 29 4th 10 .139 - - -
Bobby Kromm 1977 / 78–1979 / 80 * 231 79 111 41 199 .431 7th 3 4th
Ted Lindsay 1979/80 * –1980 / 81 * 29 5 21st 3 13 .224 - - -
Wayne Maxner 1980/81 * –1981 / 82 * 129 34 68 27 95 .368 - - -
Billy Dea 1981/82 * 11 3 8th 0 6th .273 - - -

Abel was followed by the biggest losing streak in the history of the Red Wings when they missed the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons and were looked after by seven different coaches from 1970 to 1977. Ned Harkness , who was hired without NHL experience, had to go after 38 games in the 1970/71 season and switched to management. His successor Doug Barkley coached the team for only 51 games before he was replaced by Johnny Wilson in the 1971/72 season . Under Wilson, the Red Wings were able to improve their season result again significantly, even if they did not reach the playoffs. But instead of holding on to Johnny Wilson, he was fired after the 1972/73 season . Instead, they put Ted Gavin , who was replaced after eleven games and only two wins by the then general manager and former player Alex Delvecchio . However, he was also unable to bring the team back on the road to success or to bring them back to the performance under Johnny Wilson and so he gave up the coaching position after two years. Doug Barkley then returned for a second term as coach, but again his engagement was short-lived as the team won only seven of 26 games. Delvecchio jumped in again as a coach, but again unsuccessfully and during the 1976/77 season he was dismissed as coach and general manager. By the end of the season Larry Wilson , the brother of Johnny Wilson, took over the coaching office, but the Red Wings only won three of 36 games.

Under Bobby Kromm , who was signed before the 1977/78 season, the team finally improved and in his debut season in Detroit, the first playoff qualification succeeded in a long time. Kromm received the Jack Adams Award for best coach in the league. However, this was only a short-term success, the team slipped again in the following season and since Kromm could not lead them back into the playoffs, he had to leave the Red Wings after almost three years just before the end of the 1979/80 season . Once again, Ted Lindsay, a former player from Detroit, took over the coaching position and again without success, so that he was replaced by Wayne Maxner during the 1980/81 season after only five wins from 29 games .

Maxner, who looked after the Red Wings for less than two years, was followed by Billy Dea , which meant the 14th change of coach in 14 years. Dea also stayed only briefly, as he had to leave as a coach at the end of the 1981/82 season after only eleven games.

Recovery to this day (since 1982)

After the team was taken over by the new owner, Mike Ilitch , a new coach, Nick Polano , was appointed who had only been able to gain experience in lower-class leagues in previous years. Although he managed to lead the Red Wings back into the playoffs for the first time in five seasons in 1984 and 1985, Polano had to vacate his place in the summer of 1985 due to a rather mixed yield of 79 wins in three seasons. His successor Harry Neale stayed only a few months in Detroit and was replaced after 23 defeats in 35 games by Brad Park , who had played for the Red Wings the year before. The Red Wings finally ended the 1985/86 season with 40 points, the worst value since 1940, when a season, however, still included 32 games less.

Jacques Demers finally succeeded in turning things around. He led the team into the final of the Campbell Conference in his first season , just as he did the following year, when he also achieved the best Detroit result in the regular season for 18 years with 93 points. In both seasons Demers received the Jack Adams Award for Best Coach in the NHL. But after two years the euphoria was gone and Detroit was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs after an average season in 1988/89 . When the following season even the qualification for the finals was missed, the tenure of Jacques Demers was also over.

Bryan Murray took over as coach and general manager in the summer of 1990. In his first season he managed only a small increase compared to the last season under his predecessor, but in 1991/92 he led the Red Wings back among the best teams and with 98 points to the best result of the season since 1952. The following year he succeeded with 103 Points even set a new franchise record. In the summer break of 1993, the Red Wings were able to commit Scotty Bowman , who at that time was the most successful coach in NHL history with 834 victories and only won his sixth Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins a year earlier . From then on, Murray concentrated on his duties as General Manager.

Surname season Regular season Playoffs
GC W. L. T OTL Pts Pts% GC W. L.
Nick Polano 1982 / 83-1984 / 85 240 79 127 34 - 192 .400 7th 1 6th
Harry Neale 1985/86 * 35 8th 23 4th - 20th .286 - - -
Brad Park 1985/86 * 45 9 34 2 - 20th .222 - - -
Jacques Demers 1986 / 87-1989 / 90 320 137 136 47 - 321 .502 38 20th 18th
Bryan Murray 1990 / 91-1992 / 93 244 124 91 29 - 277 .568 25th 10 15th
Scotty Bowman 1993 / 94-2001 / 02 701 410 193 88 10 918 .648 124 86 38
Dave Lewis
Barry Smith
1998/99 ** 5 4th 1 0 - 8th .800 - - -
Dave Lewis 2002/03–2004/05 164 96 41 21st 6th 219 . 668 16 6th 10
Mike Babcock 2005 / 06–2014 / 15 574 352 154 - 68 772 .672 96 56 40
Jeff Blashill since 2015/16 399 153 194 - 52 358 .449 5 1 4th
** Assistant coaches Lewis and Smith replaced Bowman for health reasons

The Red Wings were able to record their first successes under Bowman's leadership in the 1994/95 season . Detroit occupied the top position at the end of the regular season and moved into the Stanley Cup final for the first time in 29 years, where they were subject to the New Jersey Devils . The following year, the Red Wings set a new franchise and league record with 62 wins, and in the 1996/97 season they finally achieved the long-awaited triumph when they won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1955. In spring 1998 the team successfully defended the title. In the 1998/99 season there was a short-term change of coach, as Bowman had to pause for health reasons for five games and his assistants Dave Lewis and Barry Smith replaced him.

After the successful years of 1997 and 1998, the Red Wings stayed in the top tier of the league, but they did not succeed in the next three years in the playoffs. 2001/02 was able to break the team for the second time in the tenure of Scotty Bowman the mark of 50 victories within one season and were as the best team after the regular season one of the main favorites for the playoffs. The Red Wings lived up to this role and won the third Stanley Cup within six seasons after beating the Carolina Hurricanes in the final . Bowman then ended his coaching career after 35 years in the NHL. With 410 wins he was the most successful coach in Detroit after Jack Adams .

Dave Lewis rose from assistant to head coach and was able to build on the successful years under Bowman at least in the regular season. In the 2003 and 2004 playoffs , the Red Wings failed prematurely and after only two seasons they hired a new coach, Mike Babcock , who took up his post in the 2005/06 season . In his first three seasons he was able to reach the mark of 50 victories and in 2007/08 he achieved great success by winning the Stanley Cup. When Detroit under Babcock reached the 50-victory mark for the fourth time in a row in the 2008/09 season , they set the record for Scotty Bowman and the Montréal Canadiens from the 1970s.

Babcock left the Red Wings after the 2014/15 season as head coach with the highest point yield in franchise history to work in the same role for the Toronto Maple Leafs . He was succeeded by Jeff Blashill as the first American in this position, who was already active as an assistant coach under Babcock and for three years for the Grand Rapids Griffins.

General manager

year Surname
1926-1927 Kind Duncan
1927-1963 Jack Adams
1963-1971 Sid Abel
1971-1974 Ned Harkness
1974-1977 Alex Delvecchio
1977-1980 Ted Lindsay
1980-1982 Jimmy Skinner
1982-1990 Jim Devellano
1990-1994 Bryan Murray
1994-1997 Jim Devellano
Scotty Bowman
1997-2019 Ken Holland
since 2019 Steve Yzerman

In addition to his roles as player, coach and team captain , Art Duncan was also the first general manager of the Detroit franchise . But after he left the team after a year, Jack Adams , who had only recently ended his active career with the Ottawa Senators, took over the fate of the team both as coach and general manager. For 35 years he managed the business of Red Wings and built one of the most successful teams of the forties and fifties that, under his leadership, won a total of seven Stanley Cups. However, after some controversy, Adams was fired in 1963 and Sid Abel , who was already coach of the Red Wings at the time and had previously played under Adams himself, was his successor.

Under Abel, however, the franchise got into the greatest crisis in its history and after the Red Wings could only reach the play-offs once within four seasons , he was replaced in 1971 by the NHL inexperienced Ned Harkness . But even under his leadership, the Red Wings could not return to the top of the league and during his three-year tenure, the team played under four different coaches. In 1974 he was followed by Alex Delvecchio , who had spent his entire career as a player in Detroit and enjoyed great popularity. But even he did not succeed in returning to old successes, instead, after his departure in 1977, one could look back on a total of seven years without participation in the Playoff. His former teammate Ted Lindsay , with whom he celebrated success in the production line , then took over the managerial position. But neither he nor his successor Jimmy Skinner succeeded in the recovery.

In 1982 the franchise was bought by entrepreneur Mike Ilitch and the first thing he did was change management. Jim Devellano was hired as the new general manager, although he was not yet active in the NHL, but had helped as a scout and assistant general manager in building the New York Islanders , which dominated the league in those years. Under his leadership, the Red Wings hired 18-year-old Steve Yzerman through the NHL Entry Draft in 1983 and Devellano built a team around the talent that could play in the playoffs again. He also developed the scouting system further, so that more and more European players came to Detroit in the following years. In 1990 Devellano retired from management and handed the position over to Bryan Murray , who expanded the team in the following years, but did not lead to the desired success and therefore had to leave in 1994. Jim Devellano stepped in as General Manager for another three years and his second term ultimately culminated in a 1997 Stanley Cup victory.

Ken Holland succeeded him and had worked in Detroit as an assistant to Devellano for the years before. Holland established itself among the leading GMs in the league in the following years. With the signing of highly respected veterans like Brett Hull , Chris Chelios , Dominik Hašek and Luc Robitaille , he had a keen sense and his decisions were confirmed by the Stanley Cup victory in 2002. During his tenure, Holland built up the team through scouting in particular, so that Niklas Kronwall , Henrik Zetterberg and Pawel Dazjuk, several of the team's top performers, were committed to the entry draft.

After more than 20 years as General Manager, Holland took over the position of Senior Vice President in April 2019 , while Steve Yzerman returned to his old place of work and henceforth heads the team.


Squad for the 2019/20 season

Status: end of the 2019/20 season

No. Nat. player Item Date of birth in org. since place of birth
45 CanadaCanada Jonathan Bernier G 0August 7, 1988 2018 Laval , Quebec , Canada
35 United StatesUnited States Jimmy Howard G March 26, 1984 2005 Ogdensburg , New York , USA
3 CanadaCanada Alex Biega D. 0April 4, 1988 2019 Montreal , Quebec , Canada
74 CanadaCanada Madison Bowey D. April 22, 1995 2019 Winnipeg , Manitoba , Canada
21st CanadaCanada Dennis Cholowski D. February 15, 1998 2017 Langley , British Columbia , Canada
83 CanadaCanada Trevor Daley D. 0October 9, 1983 2017 Toronto , Ontario , Canada
65 United StatesUnited States Danny DeKeyser D. 0March 7, 1990 2013 Detroit , Michigan , USA
52 SwedenSweden Jonathan Ericsson D. 0March 2, 1984 2008 Karlskrona , Sweden
26th CanadaCanada Cody Goloubef D. November 30, 1989 2020 Oakville , Ontario , Canada
17th Czech RepublicCzech Republic Filip Hronek D. 0November 2, 1997 2016 Hradec Králové , Czech Republic
22nd SwedenSweden Patrik Nemeth D. 0February 8, 1992 2019 Stockholm , Sweden
8th United StatesUnited States Justin AbdelkaderA LW February 25, 1987 2008 Muskegon , Michigan , USA
59 CanadaCanada Tyler Bertuzzi LW February 24, 1995 2014 Sudbury , Ontario , Canada
70 SwedenSweden Christoffer Ehn C. 0April 5, 1995 2017 Skara , Sweden
73 United StatesUnited States Adam Erne LW April 20, 1995 2019 New Haven , Connecticut , USA
14th CanadaCanada Robby Fabbri C. January 22, 1996 2019 Mississauga , Ontario , Canada
51 FinlandFinland Valtteri Filppula C. March 20, 1984 2019 Vantaa , Finland
89 CanadaCanada Sam Gagner C. August 10, 1989 2020 London , Ontario , Canada
41 United StatesUnited States Luke GlendeningA C. April 28, 1989 2012 Grand Rapids , Michigan , USA
43 CanadaCanada Darren Helm C. January 21, 1987 2009 St. Andrews , Manitoba , Canada
71 United StatesUnited States Dylan LarkinA. C. July 30, 1996 2015 Waterford , Michigan , USA
39 CanadaCanada Anthony Mantha RW September 16, 1994 2013 Longueuil , Quebec , Canada
81 DenmarkDenmark Frans NielsenA. C. April 24, 1984 2016 Herning , Denmark
29 CanadaCanada United KingdomUnited Kingdom Brendan Perlini LW April 27, 1996 2019 Guildford , UK
15th SwedenSweden UkraineUkraine Dmytro Timashov LW 0October 1, 1996 2020 Kirovohrad , Ukraine

Team captains

Nicklas Lidström , team captain from 2006 to 2012.
year Surname
1926-1927 Kind Duncan
1927-1930 Reg Noble
1930-1931 George Hay
1931-1932 Carson Cooper
1932-1933 Larry Aurie
1933-1934 Herbie Lewis
1934-1935 Ebbie Goodfellow
1935-1938 Doug Young
1938-1941 Ebbie Goodfellow
1941-1942 Ebbie Goodfellow
Syd Howe
1942-1943 Sid Abel
1943-1944 Mud Bruneteau
Flash Hollett
1944-1945 Flash Hollett
1945-1946 Sid Abel
Flash Hollett
1946-1952 Sid Abel
1952-1956 Ted Lindsay
1956-1958 Red Kelly
1958–1962 Gordie Howe
1962-1973 Alex Delvecchio
year Surname
1973-1974 Alex Delvecchio
Nick Libett
Red Berenson
Gary Bergman
Ted Harris
Mickey Redmond
Larry Johnston
1974-1975 Marcel Dionne
1975-1976 Danny Grant
Terry Harper
1976-1977 Danny Grant
Dennis Polonich
1977-1988 Dennis Hextall
Dan Maloney
1978-1979 Dennis Hextall
Nick Libett
Paul Woods
1979-1980 Dale McCourt
1980-1981 Reed Larson
Errol Thompson
1981-1982 Reed Larson
1982-1986 Danny Gare
1986-2006 Steve Yzerman
2006–2012 Nicklas Lidström
2013-2018 Henrik Zetterberg

As a player- coach , Art Duncan was also the first team captain of the franchise in 1926 , but left the team after a year. The following three seasons Reg Noble led the team as captain on the ice, before the captaincy changed with the name change of the team from Cougars to Falcons. For the next five seasons, Detroit had five different captains until Doug Young took the post in 1935 and led the Red Wings to their first two Stanley Cup victories over the next three years . Ebbie Goodfellow , who had already worn the "C" for a year, succeeded him, who held the captaincy for four years.

It was followed by several years with frequently changing captains, including Sid Abel , who became leader of the Red Wings for the second time from 1946 and remained so until his move to the Chicago Black Hawks in 1952. This was followed by Ted Lindsay , who had played with Abel in the successful production line , who left the position in 1956 to the defender Red Kelly . In 1958 Gordie Howe , also a member of the Production Line , became team captain and wore the "C" for four years before handing it over to his younger teammate, Alex Delvecchio . Delvecchio held the post for eleven years, longer than any other Red Wings player before. After he had ended his career during the 1973/74 season , the team management decided to rotate the captaincy among the players, so that in addition to Delvecchio six other players wore the "C" for the entire season.

It was followed by a time with changing captains, including Marcel Dionne , Dennis Hextall and Errol Thompson , but who moved to another team not long after their appointment. Only with Danny Gare was a player found in 1982 who could fill the role again over a somewhat longer period of time. Gare had been the captain of the Buffalo Sabers for over four years and had already gained experience in this field. When he joined the Edmonton Oilers in 1986 , the Red Wings named 21-year-old Steve Yzerman the youngest team captain in NHL history. Yzerman had shown in previous years that he can lead the team through his athletic qualities, now he should do the same through leadership qualities. After eleven years with Yzerman in office, the Red Wings were finally able to win the Stanley Cup again after a long time and two more titles followed in the following years. Over the years, Yzerman established himself as a leader across the league and was nicknamed The Captain . In 2006 Yzerman ended his career and thus his 20-year tenure, the longest in NHL history.

He is followed by the Swede Nicklas Lidström , who was considered by many to be a consistent successor, as he was the longest-serving player of the Red Wings and had been part of the team for 15 years and was a constant sporting figure during that time. As the first European he was allowed to wear the "C" of the Red Wings. Lidström was the team captain of the Red Wings until his retirement in 2012.

Members of the Hockey Hall of Fame

Blocked jersey numbers

No. Surname Blocking date
1 Terry Sawchuk March 6, 1994
4th Red Kelly 1st February 2019
5 Nicklas Lidström March 6, 2014
6th Larry Aurie 1939 (unofficial)
7th Ted Lindsay November 10, 1991
9 Gordie Howe March 12, 1972
10 Alex Delvecchio November 10, 1991
12 Sid Abel April 29, 1995
16 Vladimir Konstantinov 1997 (unofficial)
19th Steve Yzerman January 2, 2007
99 Wayne Gretzky February 6, 2000 (league-wide)
The banners of the blocked numbers in the Joe Louis Arena

In 1971 Gordie Howe ended his career with the Detroit Red Wings after 25 years and four Stanley Cup wins, whereupon his number 9 was banned as the first Red Wings player. In addition to six Hart Memorial Trophies and Art Ross Trophies , he set NHL records for most games, goals, assists and points, of which he still holds the record for most games. Two years after retiring in Detroit, he continued his career with other teams until 1980 and eventually retired at 52.

On November 10, 1991, number 7 was blocked by Ted Lindsay and number 10 by Alex Delvecchio . Ted Lindsay played in the 1940s and 1950s on the position of the left winger in the series of attacks around Gordie Howe that became famous as the Production Line and won the Stanley Cup four times. In 1950 he received the Art Ross Trophy as the best scorer and was appointed to the All-Star teams nine times during his career . Alex Delvecchio took up the position as center in the production line in the early 1950s and won the Stanley Cup three times with Detroit in the same decade. In the sixties and seventies, he led the Red Wings for twelve seasons as team captain on the ice before ending his career in 1973 after almost 23 years in Detroit. He had received the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for fair play three times during his career .

Goalkeeper Terry Sawchuk's number 1 was suspended in the spring of 1994. Sawchuk had completed 14 seasons in Detroit, interrupted twice by engagements with other teams. He won the Stanley Cup four times in the course of his career, three of the trophies with the Red Wings. In addition to the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1951 as the best rookie , he won the Vezina Trophy three times for the fewest goals against and was elected seven times in the All-Star teams. Terry Sawchuk died in May 1970 of an argument with a teammate at the New York Rangers . The honor was therefore posthumous.

With the number 12 of Sid Abel in April 1995, the last number of a member of the Production Line was blocked. In 1938 he began his career in Detroit and played in the famous attack series from 1947 to 1952 on the position of the center with Howe and Lindsay as wingers before he moved to the Chicago Blackhawks and ended his career there in 1954. He was also the team captain of the Red Wings for eight years, won three Stanley Cups and was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player in 1949. After his active career, he also looked after the Red Wings for eleven years as head coach.

At the beginning of 2007 the number 19 of Steve Yzerman was blocked, the number of a player of a much younger era. Yzerman was the first player to be drafted under the new team owner Mike Ilitch in 1983 and led the Red Wings back to their old successes from an unsuccessful period of almost 40 years when he won the Stanley Cup three times with them between 1997 and 2002. From 1986 to 2006, Yzerman was captain of the Red Wings and thus longer than any other player in the NHL, which is why, in addition to his number, a "C" can be seen on his banner on the ceiling of the Joe Louis Arena . He was also awarded the Lester B. Pearson Award as the best player in the NHL and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the play-offs . No Detroit Red Wings player has scored more assists than he has, and only Gordie Howe has scored more points and goals for the Red Wings. On March 6, 2014, number 5 was blocked by Nicklas Lidström . The blocking of Nicklas Lidström's shirt number is still the only one in franchise history in which the player is also part of the Triple Gold Club . This was also the last number that was banned in the Joe Louis Arena. On February 1, 2019, Red Kelly banned number 4 . His number has already been banned by the Toronto Maple Leafs and was also the first number to be banned at Little Caesars Arena .

The blocked players' numbers hang as banners on the ceiling of the Little Caesars Arena, since the Joe Louis Arena was demolished in early 2020, and will no longer be given to any Detroit Red Wings player.

In addition, the number 6 by Larry Aurie and the number 16 by Wladimir Konstantinow are unofficially no longer assigned. In fact, Larry Aurie's number was the first to be banned by the Detroit Red Wings in 1939, but a banner with his number was never hung. From 1975 onwards, Aurie's number 6 was listed as officially blocked in every annual edition of the NHL Guide and Record Book , before team owner Mike Ilitch asked the NHL 2000 to no longer list Aurie's number as blocked. The jersey number was still not worn by any player.

Vladimir Konstantinov played with the Detroit Red Wings from 1991. Due to his physically tough and aggressive style of play, he had a large share in the 1997 Stanley Cup win and was one of the best defenders in the league at the time. A few days after the triumph, he had a serious accident in a car accident during the festivities and suffered severe brain damage that almost completely destroyed his memory and speech. After several years in a wheelchair, Konstantinov can now get around with an assistant. In his honor, no player wears the jersey with the number 16 anymore.

In addition, the famous number 99 of the Canadian Wayne Gretzky has been banned throughout the league since February 6, 2000.

Top 10 voting rights in the NHL Entry Draft

Surname year Draft position
Jim Rutherford 1969 10.
Marcel Dionne 1971 2.
Bill Lochead 1974 9.
Rick Lapointe 1975 5.
Fred Williams 1976 4th
Dale McCourt 1977 1.
Willie Huber 1978 9.
Mike Foligno 1979 3.
Steve Yzerman 1983 4th
Surname year Draft position
Shawn Burr 1984 7th
Brent Fedyk 1985 8th.
Joe Murphy 1986 1.
Keith Primeau 1990 3.
Martin Lapointe 1991 10.
Michael Rasmussen 2017 9.
Filip Zadina 2018 6th
Moritz Seider 2019 6th
Players from the early draft years 1963 to 1968 are not listed here.

They were able to select a player 17 times as one of the first ten teams and twice they had the first right to vote in the draft. In 1969 they selected Jim Rutherford in tenth place , who was active as a regular goalkeeper for a few years, but who lacked the necessary consistency to keep himself on the post for a long time. In the NHL Amateur Draft in 1971 , they selected Marcel Dionne in second position , who quickly developed into a superstar, but left the Red Wings after four years because the Los Angeles Kings offered him more money.

Bill Lochead , who was selected in 1974 in ninth place, was a solid striker, but could not assert himself permanently in the NHL squad and played the last eight years of his career in Germany. The following year, Rick Lapointe was drafted in fifth place, but only stayed in Detroit for a season and a half and played for other NHL teams for almost ten years. The Red Wings had no luck in the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft with Fred Williams , who did not get more than 44 games in the course of his career.

The Red Wings had their first first overall pick in 1977 and selected Dale McCourt . McCourt immediately developed into a good scorer, but was transferred to the Buffalo Sabers in 1981 , where he could no longer build on his performance with the Red Wings. This transfer included Mike Foligno , who was selected third in 1979 and played over 1,000 games in the NHL over the course of his career. The year before they had drafted Willie Huber, a Canadian defender of German descent in ninth place, who only stayed in Detroit for four years, but performed well during that time.

In 1983 , the Red Wings made perhaps their most important draft decision when they picked Steve Yzerman in fourth position. Yzerman was with the Red Wings for 23 years and, as team captain , led them from the greatest crisis of their existence to three Stanley Cup triumphs.

Shawn Burr was drafted seventh in 1984 and was part of the Red Wings squad for ten years as a defensive-oriented striker. With Brent Fedyk in the following year, they chose a player who had problems permanently asserting himself in the NHL and was eventually given to the Philadelphia Flyers . In 1986 the Red Wings had their second first overall draft pick and thus selected Joe Murphy , who, however, could not meet the expectations and was given to the Edmonton Oilers , where he won the Stanley Cup.

They had more success in the election of Keith Primeau in third place in the NHL Entry Draft 1990 , which could set accents both on the offensive and on the defensive. Martin Lapointe , who was selected in tenth position in 1991 , won the Stanley Cup twice with the Red Wings and is the Red Wings' last top 10 draft pick to date.

But players selected in later rounds should also have a large share in the success of the Red Wings, such as Nicklas Lidström or Sergei Fjodorow , who were drafted in the third and fourth round in 1989 and have developed into superstars. The first row of attacks from the 2006/07 season consisted of three strikers who were selected very late in the draft. Tomas Holmström at position 257, Henrik Zetterberg at position 210 and Pawel Dazjuk at position 171. Even so, they have established themselves among the best players in the NHL.

Franchise top point collector

The ten best point collectors in the history of the franchise by the end of the 2019/20 regular season and the 2020 playoffs .

Regular season

Surname Item season GP G A. Pts P / G
Gordie Howe RW 1946 / 47-1970 / 71 1687 786 1023 1809 1.07
Steve Yzerman C. 1983 / 84-2005 / 06 1514 692 1063 1755 1.16
Alex Delvecchio C. 1950 / 51–1973 / 74 1550 456 825 1281 0.83
Nicklas Lidström D. 1991 / 92–2011 / 12 1564 264 878 1142 0.73
Henrik Zetterberg C. since 2002/03 1082 337 623 960 0.89
Sergei Fyodorov C. 1990 / 91-2002 / 03 908 400 554 954 1.05
Pavel Datsyuk C. 2001 / 02–2015 / 16 953 314 604 918 0.96
Norm Ullman C. 1955 / 56–1967 / 68 875 324 434 758 0.87
Ted Lindsay LW 1944/45–1964/65 862 335 393 728 0.85
Brendan Shanahan LW 1996 / 97-2005 / 06 716 309 324 633 0.88


Surname Item GP G A. Pts P / G
Steve Yzerman C. 196 70 115 185 0.94
Nicklas Lidström D. 263 54 129 183 0.70
Sergei Fyodorov C. 162 50 113 163 1.01
Gordie Howe RW 154 67 91 158 1.03
Henrik Zetterberg C. 137 57 63 120 0.88
Pavel Datsyuk C. 157 42 71 113 0.72
Alex Delvecchio C. 121 35 69 104 0.86
Tomas Holmström LW 180 46 51 97 0.54
Ted Lindsay LW 123 44 44 88 0.72
Johan Franzén RW 107 42 39 81 0.76
Abbreviations: Pos = position, GP = games, G = goals, A = assists, Pts = points, P / G = points per game



  • Dan Diamond: NHL Official Guide and Record Book. Triumph Books, 2006, pp. 55-58, 145-176, 204-224, 240-260, ISBN 1-57243-917-3 .
  • Steve Dryden: The Hockey News Century of Hockey: A Season-Byseason Celebration. Mcclelland & Stewart Ltd, 2001, pp. 29, 35, 39-40, 49, 53-60, 67, 77, 98-100, 240-260, ISBN 0-7710-4180-2 .
  • Glenn Wilkins: Legendary NHL Coaches. Altitude Publishing, 2006, pp. 119-138, ISBN 1-55439-101-6 .
  • Richard Kincaide: The Gods of Olympia Stadium: Legends of the Detroit Red Wings. Sports Publishing, 2003, ISBN 1-58261-601-9 .
  • Nick Cotsonika, N. Cotsonika, Gordie Howe: Hockey Gods: The Inside Story of the Red Wings Hall-Of-Fame Team. Triumph Books, 2002, ISBN 1-57243-481-3 .
  • Nicholas J. Cotsonika: Red Wings Essential. Triumph Books, ISBN 1-57243-757-X .

Web links

Commons : Detroit Red Wings  - Collection of Images, Videos, and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1., Red Wings look to halt epic slide vs. Avs
  2., list the farm team of the Detroit Red Wings
  3., Legend of the octopus
  4. a b, Detroit Red Wings Player List
  5., Red Wings Team Captains
  6., Detroit Red Wings Draft History
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on February 22, 2007 .