When you grow up a die-hard fan of Detroit sports teams, the crown jewel in your lineup is the Red Wings. I’ve always felt that the misery the Lions have put me through in my lifetime have been a penance for the fortune I have experienced from the Red Wings. This season is now only the 5th time in my LIFETIME the Red Wings have not made the playoffs. Although I hate to not be able to watch them in the playoffs this year, it is very hard to complain.
This year has been a year of losses for the Red Wings in more ways than one. It was the first time in 14 years Pavel Datsyuk was not on the team. The greatest legend in the franchise and perhaps NHL’s history, Gordie Howe, passed away. Amazing owner and Detroit loyalist Tom Illitch passed away. The 25 year playoff streak came to a halt. Now, after hosting so many amazing Red Wings memories in my lifetime, Joe Louis Arena will create memories no longer.
As much as I’m bombarded with nostalgia and a sense of loss, there is a great optimism within in me. As much as I miss my hockey heroes from the past, I’m excited for what the future holds. It is time for the team to rebuild and it seems like moving to a new home is some what fitting. The Joe is now becoming a metaphorical museum for me, housing the the eras I grew up watching. I narrowly dodged the “Dead Wings” era, but as a possible new one looms it will be nice to take a trip to the museum every so often. Who knows, maybe another “Dead Wings” era is what is karmically required to finally make the Lions successful.