Detroit Red Wings

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 04:02

History of Detroit Red Wings

Information about NHL team Detroit Red Wings.

Detroit houses one of the strongest and steadiest teams in professional hockey history, the Detroit Red Wings. Bagging championships, putting up great matches, gathering incredible home attendance, and serving as training ground for hockey Hall of Famers and superstars, the Red Wings is one of the most sought-after teams for aspiring hockey players and for hockey fans as well.

The Detroit Red Wings is one of the five professional hockey teams playing in the Central Division of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Western Conference. With them in the same division are the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators, and St. Louis Blues.

Previous team names

The Red Wings were previously known as the Detroit Cougars and the Detroit Falcons. It was only in 1932 that the franchise was called Red Wings, derived from an amateur team that then team owner James Norris played for, the Montreal Hockey Club nicknamed as the Winged Wheelers.

The Red Wings joined the National Hockey League as the Detroit Cougars in 1926, following the downfall of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). The team was admitted into the National Hockey League as an expansion team, along with the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers. Once playing as the Victoria Cougars in the WCHL, the franchise was transferred to Detroit and was then renamed the Detroit Cougars. In 1930, the Cougars were renamed as the Detroit Falcons. About two to three years later, the team was given its current name, the Detroit Red Wings.

Joining the NHL

The WCHL, which used to be the premier professional hockey league in Western Canada, was considered as the National Hockey League’s sole major rival. Its champions usually compete with the Stanley Cup champions. However, the WCHL folded in 1926, leaving the Victoria Cougars (The Red Wings’ ancestor) as the last champion in a match between the WCHL and the National Hockey League in 1925. When the WCHL folded, it was then that the Victoria Cougars and another team called the Portland Rosebuds (ancestor of the Chicago Blackhawks) were moved to the National Hockey League.

Since its inception as the Detroit’s official National Hockey League franchise, the Detroit Red Wings have already bagged 11 National Hockey League Championships, including their latest Stanley Cup to date, the 2008 season championship. Thirty-four of the Red Wings’ players and four of their builders have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The Cougars first played at the Border Cities Arena in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. After finishing their first season with a record of 12 wins, 28 losses, and 4 ties, the Cougars were moved into the Detroit Olympia, which was to be the team’s home arena until 1979. In that season (1927-28) hockey legend Jack Adams joined the team as general manager and head coach, and the team progressed to fourth place in the American division with its 19-19-6 record.

The Detroit Red Wings is a member of a group of six hockey teams known to the hockey world as the Original Six. The Original Six was composed of five other members including the Blackhawks, the Rangers, the Boston Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Detroit Red Wings' playoffs and Stanley Cups

In 1929, the Red Wings reached the National Hockey League playoffs for the first time. However, they lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 1932, a change in team name followed a change in team ownership. The team was renamed as the Red Wings, and it was as if it were invigorated by the new face. Carl Voss was named as the Rookie of the Year, receiving the Calder Trophy in the 1932-33 campaign. The Red Wings made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The 1935-36 hockey season saw the Detroit Red Wings’ first championship in the National Hockey League playoffs, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs. On the way to getting their first Stanley Cup, the Red Wings played against the Montreal Maroons in the longest overtime game that the National Hockey League has ever seen. The Red Wings defeated the Maroons in the sixth game overtime frame. The match ran for about 2 hours, 56 minutes, and 20 seconds, finally ending when the Red Wings’ rookie Mud Bruneteau scored a goal for a 1-0 win. The Detroit Red Wings proceeded to defeat the New York Rangers the following year, grabbing their second consecutive National Hockey League title.

The Red Wings continued making it to the Stanley Cup Finals for three seasons in a row. However, the team lost to the Boston Bruins and to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1941 and 1942 Finals consecutively. A re-match between the Red Wings and the Bruins took place in 1943, and the Red Wings won their third Stanley Cup title. Through the rest of the decade, the Red Wings went on playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In 1945, 1946 and 1949, the team got to play in the Finals match. However, they lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs in all there seasons.

The Detroit Red Wings' success in the NHL

Considered as one of the strongest and oldest teams in the National Hockey League, the Red Wings fills the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan with streaks of red and white in its every home game. The team has reached the Stanley Cup playoffs for 18 seasons in a span of only 32 years from 1934. Seven seasons of which, the team won the Stanley Cup championship.

The Detroit Red Wings is also home to a long list of hockey legends and Hall of Fame winners, who, at one point or another, played significant roles in placing the team as one of the strongest teams in the National Hockey League.

For one, Jack Adams, for whom the award for the National Coach of the year was named, stayed with the Red Wings for about 20 years either as the Red Wings’ head coach or general manager. In only seven years of his stay (1936 to 1943), he had led the team toward winning three Stanley Cup championships. Gordie Howe, one of the principal scorers in the history of the National Hockey League, became the Red Wings’ mighty right wing from 1946 to 1971.

The Detroit Red Wings' Hall of Famers

The 1946-47 season marked a significant one in team history, as hockey legend Gordie Howe joined the team. Gordie Howe was to become one of the National Hockey League’s greatest players of all time.

The Detroit Red Wings’ other Hall of Fame inductees are: Sid Abel, Marty Barry, Andy Bathgate, Johnny Bucyk, Paul Coffey, Roy Conacher, Alex Delvecchio, Marcel Dionne, Viacheslav Fetisov, Frank Fredrickson, Bill Gadsby, Eddie Giacomin, Ebbie Goodfellow, Doug Harvey, George Hay, Gordie Howe, Syd Howe, Gordon "Duke" Keats, Red Kelly, Igor Larionov, Herbie Lewis, Ted Lindsay, Harry Lumley, Larry Murphy, Reg Noble, Brad Park, Marcel Pronovost, Bill Quackenbush, Borje Salming, Terry Sawchuk, Earl Seibert, Darryl Sittler, "Black" Jack Stewart, Tiny Thompson, and Norm Ullman.

The team won Stanley Cups in the years 1936, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008, making it one of the most successful hockey franchises in the history of the National Hockey League.