|View single post by lobo316|
|Posted: Tue Oct 18th, 2016 12:54 am||
|It's the end of an era for the Detroit Red Wings.
As the team plays its home opener Monday, it marks the beginning of the final chapter at the iconic Joe Louis Arena - home to the Red Wings since 1979.
The team is set to move into its new home next season, the Little Caesars Arena, but will first bask in the final year at The Joe, the old barn that oversaw the Red Wings become the NHL's model of success.
Under the tutelage of general manager Ken Holland, at the helm since 1997, the Red Wings have established a winning culture, as evidenced by the club's 25 straight postseason berths, including four Stanley Cup wins over that time.
The Joe has also been the only home to team owner Mike Ilitch, who bought the Red Wings in 1982. Under his watch, the Red Wings have missed the postseason on just three occasions.
“It just had a special feeling, that the crowd was going to help you as much as they could,” Scotty Bowman told Gregg Krupa of The Detroit News.
Bowman, of course, is the legendary bench boss who coached the Red Wings to three Stanley Cup championships.
The first Cup, in 1997, ended a 42-year drought for the Red Wings. The next, in 1998, stands as the NHL's most recent back-to-back championship. He won his third with the Red Wings in 2002, and captured a fourth in 2008 as part of Detroit's front office.
In addition to Stanley Cups, Red Wings fans have witnessed many a star grace The Joe over the years, from former captain Steve Yzerman to elite blue-liner Niklas Lidstrom, as well as star forwards Sergei Fedorov and the recently departed Pavel Datsyuk.
On Monday, the Red Wings host the Ottawa Senators in what will be their final home opener at The Joe. No doubt the franchise that defined excellence will look to begin its "Farewell Season" on the right note.