Top 50 Detroit Red Wings

An Original Six franchise, the Detroit Red Wings have been a “streaky” team as they have had periods of either feast or famine.

Beginning in 1926 as the Cougars, the team was renamed the Falcons before adopting the Red Wings moniker in 1932.  Detroit would win two Stanley Cups that decade (1936 & 1937), with another in 1943, then after a drop, would rebound in the 1950s led by Gordie Howe. The Red Wings won Cups in 1950, 1952, 1954 & 1955, and were arguably a league-dynasty.

After years of heartache, it was not until the arrival of Steve Yzerman, Niklas Lidstrom and the “Russian Five” where their fortunes turned.  They won Cups 8 through 11 in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008.

This list is up to the end of the 2021/22 season.

Note: Hockey lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics and post-season accolades.

Nicklas Lidstrom is without question the most outstanding Defenseman in the history of the Detroit Red Wings, and we feel equally confident saying he was the best blueliner of his generation.
The Detroit Red Wings were an awful team in the years leading up to the selection of Steve Yzerman Fourth Overall in 1983.  We don't think it is hyperbole to state that it was "Stevie Y" who turned around the fortunes of Detroit's member of the Original Six.
From a Ukrainian background in the tundra of Winnipeg, Terry Sawchuk is one of the greatest hockey players to come out of the province of Manitoba.  The Red Wings signed the Goalie in 1947, and after a stint in the minors, he was called up to replace the injured Harry Lumley…
The importance of Ted Lindsay extends far beyond what he did on the ice, but we will get there later.
The Detroit Red Wings signed red Kelly in 1947, and the Toronto Maple Leafs, who had passed on him, hung their head in shame for that decision for 13 years.
In sports, you often talk about the "glue guy," which is the character player who holds the team together.  That player is not necessarily a star, but in hockey forward, Alex Delvecchio is what we have.
Sid Abel began his NHL career way back in 1938 with the Detroit Red Wings, a team that “Old Bootnose” would become synonymous with.
Sergei Fedorov made the CSKA Moscow team at age 16, and as Soviet players started to defect, NHL teams began drafting players from the Iron Curtain.  The Red Wings were one such squad, selecting Fedorov in the Fourth Round in 1989.  A year later, Fedorov defected and was in the premier league…
We are going so far back on this one that when Ebbie Goodfellow signed with Detroit, the team was called the Cougars.
Marcel Pronovost was in the Detroit Red Wings for a couple of years, and after tearing it up in the USHL, he was called up for the 1950 Playoffs.  Pronovost helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup, and he won Hockey's Holy Grail before he ever had a regular season…
Norm Ullman was not the premier scorer in the National Hockey League, but when he had the puck, few could control it better than he could, and if there was a better forechecker in his day, we don’t know who it was.
Pavel Datsyuk might be one of the best stick handlers the world of hockey ever saw.
There are a lot of pieces needed to make a Stanley Cup Championship, or for that matter, an elite NHL team.  Many have argued that the missing piece that put the Detroit Red Wings over the top was the acquisition of Brendan Shanahan.
With the Detroit Red Wings for his entire career, we have Henrik Zetterberg, another example of the Detroit brass's brilliant scouting.
Jack Stewart was a bruising Defenseman who was a tough man in a challenging sport.
Before the Detroit Red Wings had Gordie Howe, they had another eventual Hall of Famer with the same surname in Syd Howe.
With a claim as one of the first really good American Defenseman, Reed Larson learned his craft from the legendary Herb Brooks at the University of Minnesota.
Pound for pound, Herbie Lewis was among one of the toughest players in the National Hockey League, and he spent all of his 11 NHL campaigns in Detroit. Lewis had blistering speed and could play make as well rush behind on defense.  He would score 308 Points for the Red Wings…
The entire NHL career of Swedish Defenseman was spent in Detroit, where he proved himself to be one of the most dependable blueliners in league history.