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 2020/21 season.

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

Gerard Gallant played the first nine of his eleven NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, where the Sixth Round Pick worked his way up to the main roster and into the top line.
The son of former Hamilton Tiger and New York American, Leo Reise, Leo Reise Jr. had a better career than his father, which says quite a bit.
Bill Quackenbush was an excellent two-way Defenseman for his time, and he played the first half of his career as a Detroit Red Wing.
After six quality years in Boston, Marty Barry was traded to Detroit in 1935, where he played for four years, which was arguably the period that gained him his greatest success.
Mickey Redmond was a member of two Stanley Cup winning teams in Montreal, but he was dealt to Detroit for Frank Mahovlich in January of 1971.  This ended the era of playoff participation for Redmond, but as a Red Wing, he had his greatest individual success.
Before he ever played an NHL game, Doug Young had some interesting months leading up to his debut.
A two-time Stanley Cup Champion with New Jersey, Brian Rafalski brought his veteran presence and two-way skill to the Detroit Red Wings as a Free Agent in 2007.
A forgotten piece of some very good Detroit Red Wings teams, Defenseman Warren Godfrey, arrived as part of a mega-trade from Boston, but that happened in 1955 after Detroit had already won four Stanley Cups in the decade.
This is a controversial one for us as Bob Probert’s advanced stats show he doesn’t belong on a top-fifty list; however, his popularity and notoriety lands him a spot here.
Dominik Hasek was the best Goalie in the NHL, but while he was playing for the Buffalo Sabres, who were not blessed with the most fantastic assortment of talent, but nevertheless he carried them to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1999.  Frustration grew, and as the Czech superstar was past 35,…