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2000s

A surprise came at the trading deadline when longtime Red Wing nemesis Chris Chelios was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks. Another surprise acquisition was made the following November when former Dallas Star Pat Verbeek was signed as a free agent. That set up a season of milestones for the Red Wings in 1999-2000. Yzerman scored goal No. 600, Verbeek tallied No. 500, Shanahan collected No. 400 and Fedorov earned No. 300. Yzerman also recorded his 1,500th point and 900th assist while Verbeek scored his 1,000th point.

By the end of the season, only Gordie Howe had played more NHL games than Murphy. The post-season honors continued as Steve Yzerman won the Selke Trophy and was among three Red Wings along with Brendan Shanahan and Nicklas Lidstrom, who were selected as First Team All-Stars.

The Red Wings finished with the league's second best record in 2000-01, but were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings during the first round of the 2001 playoffs. After finishing second in Norris Trophy voting for three straight years, Lidstrom finally won his first Norris as the NHL's top defenseman.

Significant moves were made during the summer of 2001. Future Hall of Famers Dominik Hasek, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille were added to Detroit's already potent roster. The moves resulted in a league-best 116 points and culminated with the franchise's 10th Stanley Cup after the Red Wings defeated the Carolina Hurricanes in five games during the 2002 Stanley Cup finals.

Lidstrom, who would go on to win his second straight Norris a week after winning the Cup, became the first European-born player to win the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP.

With his NHL-record ninth Stanley Cup as a head coach, Bowman stepped down, retiring after nine seasons behind the Red Wings bench.

After Dominik Hasek announced his retirement following the 2001-02 Stanley Cup Championship, the Red Wings signed veteran goaltender Curtis Joseph to replace Hasek.

Several Red Wings reached major milestones throughout the season, including Brett Hull recording his 700th goal on February 10 against the San Jose Sharks (Evengi Nabokov). Hull became the sixth player in NHL history to reach this prestigious mark. He finished the season with 716 goals, for fifth best all-time.

Despite finishing the regular-season with the second best record in the Western Conference and third best overall, Detroit was swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Lidstrom won his third consecutive Norris, Steve Yzerman was awarded the Masterton Trophy for perseverance after returning to the Detroit line-up late in the regular season following off-season knee surgery. Brendan Shanahan was named the King Clancy Memorial Award winner for his humanitarian efforts and Darren McCarty was awarded with the NHL Foundation Player Award for his contributions in the community.

2007-08

When the NHL returned to action after the 2004-05 lockout, the Red Wings were supposed to be the team affected most by the salary cap. Free agent spending sprees were gone, and Detroit was supposed to struggle.

After a trip to the Western Conference finals in 2006-07, the Red Wings geared up for a longer playoff run in the summer after.  GM Ken Holland signed offensive defenseman Brian Rafalski and enforcer Aaron Downey, and brought back grinder Dallas Drake and Dominik Hasek for their second and third stints with the Red Wings, respectively. 

The Red Wings came flying out of the gate to start the 2007-08 campaign, winning 11 of their first 13 games, and they never looked back. Fan favorite Darren McCarty signed back on with the Wings on February 25, and one day later the team added steady defenseman Brad Stuart from Los Angeles at the trade deadline.

The team finished 54-21-7, their third straight season of 50 or more wins, which was enough to capture the organization’s sixth Presidents’ Trophy. The end of the season saw the emergence of forward Johan Franzen as a dominant force in the NHL. Franzen scored six game-winning goals in the last month of the regular-season to break Gordie Howe’s franchise record, and his goal scoring streak continued into the playoffs.

Detroit rolled into the playoffs as a heavy favorite, and they disposed of the Nashville Predators in six games in the Western Conference quarterfinals. Chris Osgood took over between the pipes for Game 3, and won the rest of the games of the series.

In the second round, the Wings met their longtime rivals, the Colorado Avalanche, and swept them handedly.  Franzen continued his torrid pace, recording two hat tricks in four games, and the Red Wings as a whole outscored the Avs, 21-9. The Wings headed into the conference finals for the second consecutive season after an 8-2 thrashing in Game 4.

The Dallas Stars took on the Wings in the third round. Detroit jumped out to an early 3-0 series lead, but lost Franzen prior to Game 3, with concussion-like symptoms. Henrik Zetterberg took over where Franzen left off, scoring the game-winner in Game 3, and the Red Wings clinched another trip to the Stanley Cup finals with a 4-1 win in Game 6.

The Red Wings squared off with Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the finals, and jumped out to a commanding lead early. Osgood earned back-to-back shutouts in the first two games at Joe Louis Arena, with wins of 4-0 and 3-0. Mikael Samuelsson led the way in Game 1 with two unassisted goals, and Stuart, Tomas Holmstrom and Zetterberg tallied goals in the Game 2 win.

The series shifted back to the Steel City for Game 3, and the Penguins finally snapped Osgood’s shutout streak, with a 3-2 win. However, the Red Wings responded in Game 4, with Jiri Hudler scoring the game-winning goal in the third period.

Detroit returned home with a commanding 3-1 series lead and a chance to capture the Stanley Cup at home, but it wasn’t to be. The Penguins’ Petr Sykora scored in a triple-overtime thriller to dash the Wings’ hopes of celebrating with the hometown crowd.

Pittsburgh’s last-ditch effort wasn’t enough, however. The Red Wings took to the ice at Mellon Arena, and by the end of the night, were celebrating the team’s 11th Stanley Cup championship. Rafalski, Valtteri Filppula and Zetterberg scored in the 3-2 clinching win. Nicklas Lidstrom became the first European player to captain a team to a Stanley Cup championship, and Zetterberg won the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP.

The Red Wings captured eight individual and team trophies throughout the 2007-08 season. The team brought home the Stanley Cup, the Presidents’ Trophy, and the Clarence Campbell Bowl as Western Conference champions. Zetterberg proudly displayed the Conn Smythe during the parade down Woodward Avenue. At the NHL Awards Show in Toronto, Pavel Datsyuk won the Selke Trophy (top defensive forward) and Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship), Lidstrom captured his sixth Norris Trophy (top defenseman), and Osgood and Dominik Hasek shared the Jennings Trophy (team goals against). Detroit legend Gordie Howe was also honored that night with the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award.

In their quest for a repeat, the Red Wings improved their roster even more in the summer of 2008. Holland signed the top free agent of the summer in Marian Hossa, and brought in a more than capable backup netminder in Ty Conklin, replacing the recently-retired Hasek.
 

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