Detroit Red Wings
Clear Bag Policy Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App

  • RSS

Could another Wings win rank them as dynasty?

Wednesday, 09.17.2008 / 12:01 PM ET / Features
Detroit Red Wings
Share with your Friends

Could another Wings win rank them as dynasty?

Marian Hossa's addition may go a long way towards the Red Wings repeating as Stanley Cup champions.
Little did we know that the 1997-98 Red Wings would mark the beginning of a drought. That Wings club marked the last time an NHL team secured back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. Here we are, a little over 10 years later, and all the tea leaves, tarot cards and astral charts are again pointing to the possibility of another Wings repeat. Or are they?

"The reality is all you have to do is listen to everyone talk about their team and they all feel they have a chance to win the Cup this season," Detroit coach Mike Babcock told "The parity between all 30 teams is great and the separation from top to bottom is as small as it's ever been. When you win, everyone wants your players, so you have to make decisions.

"As a player, you have to decide how bad you want to win. And if you want to win, will you be willing to share the wealth a little bit with the guys? With the new CBA, there's not enough to go around and we're fortunate to have a captain in Nick Lidstrom who has basically put our cap at a place that allows us to have good players."

The stars seem to be aligned for a Wings repeat. The personnel on the ice and in the front office remain second to none in the business. Over 11 seasons, the club has won four Presidents' trophies, four Stanley Cups and has had eight consecutive 100-point campaigns.
There hasn't been a real dynasty since the Edmonton Oilers' run in the 1980s. The most recent collective bargaining agreement has made it difficult for teams to keep the same core players, creating a lot more parity. Not since the New Jersey Devils in 2000 and 2001 has a team even reached a Stanley Cup Final in back-to-back seasons.

But it would shock many if the Wings didn't return to Final this year, considering they landed one of the best players on the free-agent market this summer in forward Marian Hossa, while returning other offensive gems in Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula and Tomas Holmstrom.

The defense isn't too shabby, either, with Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart supporting goalie Chris Osgood.

Steve Yzerman, now a Wings vice president, won back-to-back Cups as a player in Detroit in 1997 and '98.

"The CBA is relatively new, so I feel you really can't say that it is the sole cause for a lack of dynasties," Yzerman said. "Teams are trying to tie up their core guys and sign them to long-term contracts so, potentially, if you could get the right core group of guys and have them tied up, maybe you can keep them together for six or seven years. Regardless of what CBA structure you're under, the teams that do well are the teams that draft well, are managed well and are coached well."

Still, Detroit General Manager Ken Holland understands how complacency could play a part in denying a team a second-straight title.

Following an emotional six-game series victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Final last June and a memorable summer tour with the Stanley Cup, could the Wings have gotten lethargic?

"I just find that history sort of shows a lot of teams who have won the Stanley Cup are slow out of gate the following season," Holland told "I attribute that to the fact it's hard to dig down for that emotion in October when you've experienced so many gigantic games not too long ago (during the Stanley Cup playoffs).

"I'd classify those Edmonton Oiler teams of the 1980s as the last classic NHL dynasty since they won championships year after year. I don't know if anyone again will be able to duplicate that. To me it's not possible within a cap world, in a parity League, to win three or four championships in a row."

Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Murphy, who won consecutive Cups with the Penguins in 1991-92 and the Wings in 1997-98, feels Detroit should be considered a dynasty this decade.

"I think a dynasty is a team like Detroit because every year they have a legitimate shot at winning the Cup," Murphy said. "That's how I define a dynasty today, looking to see if a team can string together a bunch of wins because I doubt that we're going to see a team duplicate what the Islanders or Oilers did. On that extremely short list of teams with the chance of winning the Cup every year, Detroit has been right there."

"I think a dynasty is a team like Detroit because every year they have a legitimate shot at winning the Cup. That's how I define a dynasty today, looking to see if a team can string together a bunch of wins because I doubt that we're going to see a team duplicate what the Islanders or Oilers did." - Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Murphy
Brett Hull, co-GM of the Dallas Stars, agrees with Murphy that the Wings are the closest thing the NHL has to a dynasty.

"But I think there are too many teams and the player pool is diluted, which make it hard to build and keep a team together," Hull said. "Free agency is also a big part of it, but the Wings have a chance because they have a fantastic team. The thing I like is that they play the game the way it's supposed to be played. They work hard to get the puck and then keep it. Most teams in the League work hard to get the puck and then they just give it away again. To me that's how you play the game and that's why they're Stanley Cup champions."

"I'm one of those guys who doesn't like to throw the (dynasty) word around all the time," St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations John Davidson said. "It's like a Hall of Famer -- you have to do it over a number of years in order to enter the Hall. For a dynasty, you should be a team that holds up probably four or more years."

Carolina center Eric Staal has always admired Detroit's consistency.

"Detroit plays such a great puck-possession game," he said. "You can't just dump it in on their defense without a purpose otherwise they will get it out and move it the other way quicker than you can get in on the forecheck. Their defenders are extremely skilled and mobile. It doesn't hurt to have guys like Zetterberg and Datsyuk, who are great two-way players."

Los Angeles center Anze Kopitar, whose team went 1-3 against the Wings last season, marveled at how Detroit's veteran players picked it up a notch in the postseason.

"It'll be hard to knock off the Wings," Kopitar said. "It seems like they have a core of really old guys, yet they can still play. And guys like Lidstrom, Datsyuk and Zetterberg really make that group tough to beat. It'll be a challenge for every team in the League, especially for those teams in the West, to knock off the Wings."

Babcock is proud of what his teams have accomplished in his three seasons behind the bench.

"You don't suddenly get lucky and turn it on," he said. "It took us three years to finally win it, but day in and day out we've been a really good team to watch and we're going to be a good team again this year, so our focus is on not trading away our draft picks and doing a good job developing those picks to the point where we're in no hurry to move the players here before they're actually ready.

"I'm cognizant of the fact that everyone talks at how difficult it is to repeat, but what we're going to try and do is focus as much as we can. Creating normalcy and just doing what we do at training camp by building a foundation based on work ethic and structure is what we will stress."

Contact Mike Morreale at

Author: Mike G. Morreale | Staff Writer




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Site Map