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Detroit Red Wings
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Stadium: Joe Luis Arena
Nickname: Dead Wings, The Red and White, Winged Wheel , Wings
Rivals: Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks
Notable Players: Terry Sawchuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Ted Lindsay, Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio, Sid Abel, Steve Yzerman
Stanley Cup Titles: 11
Last Stanley Cup Title: 2007-08
Website/Box office: redwings.nhl.com
The Detroit Redwings are one of the original six teams of the National hockey League (NHL) and are one of the most popular teams as well as one of the league’s most prosperous teams. They are the most successful team from the USA in the NHL, having won an impressive 11 Stanley Cups, and are only behind the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens for the most NHL championships.
The Red Wings have a storied past full of ups and downs, their periods involve much success, as well as many difficult periods of decline.
They go back as one of the first six teams to play in the NHL. Founded in 1926 when the NHL approved a franchise for the city of Detroit. The team, then known as the Detroit Cougars, never had an appropriate arena to play their games; their fist season was actually played in Windsor, Ontario, before moving to the famous Detroit Olympia the following year.
That season also saw hall of famer Jack Adams begin his 36 year association with the club. It would only take year to make it to their first playoff, that they would go on to lose to the Toronto Maple Leafs. They would go on to change the name to the Falcons a few years after, before being purchased by James E Norris who would go on to rename the franchise by their current name the Red Wings.
The following period from 1933-34 to 1965-64 seasons saw unrivalled success for the Red Wings, as they would only miss the playoffs a staggering four times in during this period. They would also win 7 of their 11 Stanley Cup’s. If this is the time in which the history made the Detroit Wings the massive club they are today, they were forced to go through some harsh times not long after this golden era.
The following 25 years proved to be a very dark time in the Red Wings history, and the 1966-67 to 1990-91 seasons saw the franchise find limited success. In fact during this time period they only managed to secure a playoff position for 8 seasons out of the 25, which was a far cry from the previous decades of glory.
It was during this period that the team was given one of its most famous nicknames the ‘Dead Wings’ as a mockery of their massive decline, this rough patch for the team was only a very long bump on the road.
They won their eighth Stanley Cup not long after this period, in the 1996-97 season, after more than 25 years since their pervious win. They have since gone on to dominate the next 20 years in the NHL, managing six regular season firs place finishes. They would go on to lift the Stanley Cup a total of four times in six Finals over this period, with the most recent coming in the 2007-08 season, cementing their position as the most successful team based in the United States.
As one of the oldest teams in the NHL, there have been many rivalries formed over the years for the Red Wings. Many have since disbanded with the closure of relocating of many of the teams but some still stand out as the most famous rivalries in the NHL.
One of the oldest rivalries of the NHL these two teams first met in their inaugural season and have been bitter rivals ever since. Detroit drew first blood in their first encounter winning the game 1-0, the game was historic for both teams, as it was the Red Wings (known then as ‘the cougars’) first ever win, whilst inflicting the first loss the Blackhawks.
The Chicago Blackhawks first ever Stanley Cup win came at the expense of The Detroit Red Wings in 1934, with the Blackhawks scoring in overtime, the first time ever overtime winner for the Stanley Cup in the history of the NHL
Having met over 800 times including 16 playoffs, the rivalry is known to be one of the most heated between fans. Heckling and slurs are regularly sung at the games. This is perhaps reflected on the players, with the teams meetings resulting in many brawls.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Another of the original teams who have frequently met over the years and establish a firm rivalry. From the 1920s to 97 the teams have met a staggering 23 times in the playoffs, with Toronto taking 12 wins and Detroit close behind with 11. They have also had their number wining most of their encounters in the finals, however the Red Wings first ever Stanley Cup was against the Maple Leafs.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Detroit Red Wings
A much more competitive rivalry, this one began around the 1950s, when both teams were battling out for league supremacy. The Red Wings have helped add fire to the rivalry having defeated the Canadiens in 3 consecutive Stanley Cup Finals in the 50s.
The Canadiens would get a degree of revenge on the Red Wings as they would go on to win five straight Stanley Cups from 1956 to 1960, with their first win of this period against their rivals the Red Wings.
The rivalry has died down after the changes to the divisions in the 1980-81, meaning regular meetings were not as frequent. This is likely to revert back, since the 2013-1 season, which has seen the Red Wings move Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division.
The Detroit Olympia and Jose Luis Arena
The original ground for the Detroit Red Wings home games was the famous Detroit Olympia, which the played at for over 40 years, from its opening in the 1927 till its closure in 1979. They would then relocate to the Jose Louis Arena, which holds more than 20,00o and is still one of the oldest venues for the NHL, they have seen much success since moving here.