While the NFL and NBA are popular sports in the United States, the NHL is just as popular and well-loved by fans. In fact, the NHL is creeping up in popularity and NHL odds are getting ever more popular at the booking offices.
What makes the NHL so popular? No one can say, there is so much to love, there is no one factor. Many people adore the attitude behind hockey, the action-packed nature of the game, the fact it is on ICE! So much to love.
But, one thing we can say is that the teams are what really make it great. Nothing quite beats watching your favorite team win it out on ice! It is just a sight to behold!
But, out of all the teams, who is one of the best?
Well, there are many greats, the Oilers, the Knucks, the Flyers, but the Red Wings are a very popular team. Sure, they have not had a non-stop success rate, but they are still doing well.
Behind them is a rich history that is worth knowing for any fan of the NHL and the Red Wings. So, let’s learn more…
Early Red Wings
The Red Wings are an ice hockey team who were founded back in 1926. They were one of the original 6 teams that made up the National Hockey League until their expansion which happened in 1967.
They are one of the oldest franchises in hockey, however, they are also one of hockey’s more successful teams too! They have managed to win 11 Stanley Cups which is definitely impressive.
The Red Wings also gained some early success back in the 30s, when they won a lot of their Stanley Cup’s.
They were led by their general manager and coach Jack Adams. Eventually leading the team’s first Stanley Cup in the 1935-1938 season against the Maple Leafs. They also got another victory a year later.
These Red Wings teams in their early years featured the Hall of Famer Syd Howe, who was a part of the 42-43 winning team as well.
Their right winger, Gordie Howe, as well as their goaltender, Terry Sawchuk, were more GOATs of hockey, and they led the team into its greatest ever success in the 50s, where they won Stanley Cups in 1950, 52, 54, and again in ’55.
As you might expect it was an era followed by a slump with only two playoff berths in the 66-67 and 82-83 years. This actually resulted in the team gaining the nickname “Dead Wings”.
Around this time they drafted a new center in the form of Steve Yzerman, and they returned to the playoffs that year, but there was no real turnaround until the 87-88 year when Yzerman, Probert and Klima all led the team to their first divisional title in 23 years.
Then the 90s saw the “Russian Five” with Kozlov, Larionov, Fetisov, Fedorov, and Slava.
The Russian Five alongside Yzerman, with his left wing Shanahan, and defenceman Lidstrom. With Scooty Bowman as coach, they all worked to bring about back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1996-1997.
Hasek and Hull were also on the team as All-Stars, and were on the team who won yet another Stanley Cup in 2001-2002.
2007-2008 Stanley Cup
Lidstrom, Osgood and Zetterberg were the most notable players on the 2007-2008 team who won the Stanley Cup against the Penguins.
The season with Lidstrom with Zetterberg and Osgood, as well Datsyuk helped to bring the Red Wings to yet another Red Wings vs Penguins rematch for the Stanley Cup finals, although the Red Wings lost in 7 games.
During the 2011-2012 season, Detroit ended up winning a record-setting home game 23 consecutive times.
Then as part of the NHL realignment, the Red Wings then moved over from the Western Conference and joined the Eastern Conference post 2012-2013 season.
The Red Wings’ first three seasons in the Eastern Conference, it all ended in a first round of playoff eliminations.
Then in the 2016-2017, the team’s streak of 25 consecutive appearances in the postseason, which is a tie for the third-longest playoff in NHL history, ended.
A Turn Around?
Detroit then failed to make the playoffs in the following two consecutive seasons after that. Then in 2019, Yzerman was hired as their general manager, which gave new hope for the team to turn things around.
He did previously serve as the GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning Team, and with a little change and some success he was then credited as being the instigator of it all being turned around for the Red Wings.
Yet, after this the Red Wings did end up struggling still, and they didn’t make it to the playoffs in the consecutive seasons after that, both of them ended up shortened thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic as well, which was obviously not their fault, but it did affect their season.
Overall the Red Wings have not won a Stanley Cup Final since 2007-2008. They made it to the NHL First Round in 2015-2016, but this was the last time they made it to the playoffs.