In 2010, the Detroit Red Wings went to the National Hockey League playoffs, making it to the second round before bowing out. This part was not all that remarkable. What was amazing was the fact that this was the 19th straight season in which Detroit's hockey team had been to the playoffs, a streak of greatness as bright as the recent mystery missile over California. This is the longest current streak in the whole NHL. In fact, it is actually the longest such streak in all major North American sports . Some people have compared the Red Wings to the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. This was a more fitting comparison before the National Hockey League instituted a salary cap a few years back; because prior to the cap, Detroit always spent freely under owner Mike Illitch.
Original Six Hockey
The Detroit Red Wings are one of the Original Six members of the NHL. The franchise dates back to the 1920s. From 1926 until 1930, the team was called the Detroit Cougars. From 1930 until 1932, it was named the Falcons . In 1932 the name Red Wings was applied and the first winged wheel logo appeared, a logo that would end becoming just about as famous as the Yankees' "NY" on their hats.
Through the years, the franchise has been one of the most successful in the National Hockey League. The team has won a total of 11 Stanley Cups, the trophy given to the team that wins the league championship, the last one being in 2008 when they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins. Only two NHL teams have more Stanley Cups, Detroit's 11 are the most by any U.S. based team in the league. The team has been successful under owner Mike Illitch because of relentless scouting that leads to a constant influx of young talent mixed with bold free agent signings of marquee players.
Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman
The two greatest Red Wings in history are inarguably Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman. Howe played for the team from 1950 to 1966, and Yzerman was a player from 1983 to 2006. Both were the captains of the team for many years; both were great goal scorers; but most importantly, both were great leaders. Yzerman was a phenomenal offensive player when he was younger but as the team began to bring more talent in around him, he recognized his need to develop other parts of his game. This leadership was a catalyst for the Red Wings to win three Stanley Cups while he was a player, in 1997, 1998, and 2002.
Today's Red Wings Team
These days, every civilian and military car insurance consumer in Detroit knows all about the Red Wings. In the early going of the 2010-11 season, they are off to an extremely hot start, once again owing to their great combination of young talent from the draft and the farm system and star free agents brought in to play a role. This team has been so deep for so long that players are accustomed to seeing their minutes and their stats go down as soon as they join the team. The Red Wings regularly run a true four lines for forwards, which is remarkable in this league where most teams only really play three during even strength situations. The Detroit National Hockey League team is apparently not ready to fold up just yet, even as prognosticators year after year announce that the great run is just about to end. The Red Wings have been the most successful franchise in the NHL since the days of Wayne Gretzky in Edmonton.