The Detroit Red Wings have been fortunate to have on their rosters over the years some of the games’ greatest players. In 1946, right winger Gordie Howe made his debut for the Red Wings. He would play with the team until 1971 and professional hockey into the 1980s. During his tenure with the Red Wings, the versatile Howe led Detroit to four Stanley Cups championships. He also won six most valuable player awards and six scoring titles. Known as “Mr. Hockey,” Howe was a prolific scorer who could fight if he had to. His unique style of play inspired the “Gordie Howe Hat Trick.” That’s a goal, an assist, and a fight. In 1986, Steve Yzerman was named captain of the Red Wings. He was only 21-years-old at the time. Yzerman would serve as the Wings captain for the next two decades, more than 1300 games. One of the most popular players in the history of Detroit sports, Yzerman led the Red Wings to Stanley Cup victories in 1997, 1998, and 2002. “The Captain” retired in 2006 as the league’s sixth all-time leading scorer.
The Detroit Red Wings were founded in 1926 when the Western Hockley League folded. The National Hockey League used the opportunity to expand into the United States. To hit the ground running, the Red Wings bought all the players that had been on the now defunct Victoria Cougars. They also used the name “Cougars.” After being called the “Falcons,” for a couple of years, the franchise adopted the appellation “Red Wings” in 1932. The team is currently aligned in the Western Conference’s Central Division with the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators, and St. Louis Blues. The Detroit Red Wings play their home games at Joe Louis Arena which can be found at 600 Civic Center Drive. Due to the team’s popularity, history (they are one of the NHL’s “Original Six” teams), and success (11 Stanley Cup championships as of 2011), fans often refer to Detroit and the surrounding area as “Hockeytown.”