Red Wings start their last season at the Joe
By James Paxson, Sports Editor
The Detroit Red Wings started their 2016-17 regular season this past Thursday Oct. 13 in Tampa Bay, Florida to play the Tampa Bay Lighting. This upcoming season will be more memorable than the past due to the fact it is the final season the Wings will play at Joe Louis Arena.
Joe Louis Arena was built in 1979 and was named after legendary boxer Joe Louis; who grew up in the city of Detroit. Joe Louis Arena is the second oldest ice hockey stadium remaining next to Madison Square Garden in New York City. Detroit hockey won four of their 11 Stanley Cups at Joe Louis. Starting next year the Red Wings will start playing their games at Little Ceasers Arena in Detroit.
“It will be a very sad season seeing Joe Louis Arena not host the Red Wings anymore. The games were so much fun to watch at the Joe, I hope it will be similar at the new stadium,” said Schoolcraft Nursing Student Leah Snyder.
The final season at Joe Louis is a big part of the upcoming Red Wings season, but there are a lot of headlines surrounding this year.
This is the second year for Coach Jeff Blashill after making the playoffs in his first season as a coach in the National Hockey League (NHL). This will also be the first season since 2000 without all-star center and former assistant captain Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk left the NHL to go back to his homeland of Russia and finish off his hockey career there. In his tenure with the Red Wings he scored a total of 314 goals, racked up 604 assists to equal out 918 points for his career (NHL.com).
“Pavel was definitely one of the best Hockey players in the NHL. He was called the magic man because of his ability to pull off shots and plays that seemed impossible. He was the face of Detroit and he will be missed,” said Andrew Lindsey the captain for the Schoolcraft Hockey Team.
To fill the void of the great Datsyuk, Detroit is hoping that young speedy forward Dylan Larkin and new free agent signing Steve Ott helps bring a greater offense to the table this season. In the first day of free agency the Red Wings picked up 34-year-old center Steve Ott on a one-year deal. Ott has formerly played for the Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars and the St. Louis Blues.
Last season the Detroit sports world and National Hockey League met rising star Dylan Larkin. The 20 year old scored 23 goals in his first season last year and assisted 22 times.
Larkin and other Red Wings have the hope of beating teams that they have a problem against. Last season’s Stanley Cup champion and new generational rival the Pittsburgh Penguins play against the Wings three times from the months of December to February.
The goal for this season and every season is keeping the playoff streak alive and try to win Stanley Cup number 12. The Wings have made it to the playoffs every season since 1991 and if they make it the playoffs this season the playoff streak will be 25 straight seasons. Red Wings hockey games will be on Fox Sports Detroit and they will be covered by radio station 97.1 the ticket all season long.