While they’ve had their ups and downs just like any other NHL teams, there’s no denying that the Detroit Red Wings have had one of the most illustrious histories of sustained success in the sport of ice hockey. With a record 11 Stanley Cup titles, the Red Wings happen to be the most decorated team in the entire league and currently own a tremendous streak of 23 straight playoff appearances, more than any other franchise across all the major American sports!
Formed from the ashes of the WHL club the Victoria Cougars in 1926, the team went through several name changes before settling on the Red Wings in 1932. Another temporary name was the Detroit Falcons. The Red Wings title would prove to be very helpful in improving team fortunes. Behind Larry Aurie and John Sorrell, Detroit reached the 1934 Stanley Cup Finals, only to lose. Nevertheless, the team would come back and win it 1936, starting a sustained period of success. Some of the key members of this team would be Ebbie Goodfellow and Syd Howe. The team even defended their title in the following season.
Another Stanley Cup in 1943 was marvelous but revealed a squad that was starting to age. Needing to rebuild, Detroit got it right in the 1950s, entering a period of 4 championships in just 6 years! This time the heroes included Sid Abel, Ted Lindsay, and Red Kelly.
But following this wonderful run, the Detroit Red Wings would have to endure 40 years before another title, all the way up to the mid 1990s. While a few decent seasons in the 80s saw the team win division titles, this is a team that is judged by Stanley Cup trophies!
In 1997, the team was ripe for success. Steve Yzerman, Mike Vernon, Sergei Fedorov, Chris Osgood, and Nicklas Lidstrom finally brought glory back to the Red Wings, sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers in 4 games! Much of the same team brought a repeat championship the following season as well, this time sweeping the Washington Capitals.
Yzerman continued his remarkable Red Wings career with another Stanley Cup in 2002, this time helped along to glory by Brett Hull and Chris Chelios, two Hall of Fame NHL journeymen.
A most recent title arrived in 2008, bringing the tally to 11. The key members of the squad had changed by this point, further proving Detroit’s ability to rebuild and carry over sustained success through generations of stars. Now it was time for Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Kris Draper, as Lidstrom captained the side. Defeating Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Red Wings proved their worth once again.
The current lineup of Red Wings include a well-balanced team that can certainly find another Stanley Cup in them. Great points performances from players like Daniel Alfredsson, Niklas Kronwall, Gustav Nyquist, and Johan Franzen bode very well for the future. Unfortunately, Detroit lost early in the NHL playoffs last season, but if history serves as any barometer, the Red Wings will be returning to their winning ways again quite soon!
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