|BACK IN TIME
|NOVEMBER 5, 1996
After major defeats in the past, 52 percent of Detroit voters approved legislation to bring casino gambling to their city.
|FEBURARY 19, 1997
The longest newspaper strike in U.S. history ended when two Detroit newspapers accepted the strikers unconditional offer to return to work.
|AUGUST 31, 1997
Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in Paris along with Emad Mohamed al Fayed, a film producer with whom she was romantically linked.
|WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL STANDINGS
||RED WINGS REGULAR SEASON LEADERS
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1996-97 SEASON IN REVIEW
Nine Wings – Canada's Steve Yzerman, Paul Coffey and Keith Primeau, Russia's Vyacheslav Kozlov, Igor Larionov, Sergei Fedorov and Viacheslav Fetisov and Sweden's Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom – participated in the pre-season World Cup, along with Detroit assistant coach Barry Smith, who worked with the Swedes and trainer John Wharton, who served with the Russians.
An October trade brought left-winger Brendan Shanahan to Detroit and hope to Hockeytown. Shanahan led the club with 47 goals and 88 points and was aware of his status. "I'm not saying I'm the missing piece of the (Stanley Cup) puzzle," Shanahan said. "But I definitely think I can be a big piece in that puzzle."
Shanahan, Yzerman and Fetisov played in the NHL All-Star Game and Shanahan tied a club record February 12 with three goals in one period of a 7-1 win against San Jose. Sergei Fedorov scored all five goals December 26 as the Wings edged Washington 5-4. A scoreless tie December 10 with Edmonton was Detroit's first 0-0 game since 1976-77.
Before the playoffs commenced, a score was settled. Colorado came to town March 26 and a brawl saw Detroit's Darren McCarty pummel Colorado's Claude Lemieux, exacting revenge for Lemieux's cheap shot on Kris Draper in the 1996 playoffs. McCarty scored the game-winner after 39 seconds of overtime to give Detroit a 6-5 win and much more.
"Detroit won the Stanley Cup that night," confessed Colorado goalie Patrick Roy.
Officially, the inscriptions on Lord Stanley's mug weren't earned until a sweep of Philadelphia in the final series, following series wins over St. Louis, Anaheim and Colorado en route to Detroit's date with destiny. The party was sweet and sadly, short. Less than a week after their first Cup triumph in 42 seasons, Fetisov, Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov were injured in a limousine crash, the latter two suffering career-ending closed-head injuries.
"For a team as close as us, for this to finish it off, it's the worst thing that could ever happen," forward Mathieu Dandenault said.
|19||Steve Yzerman "C"||2||Viacheslav Fetisov|
|17||Doug Brown||16||Vladimir Konstantinov|
|11||Mathieu Dandenault||5||Nicklas Lidstrom|
|33||Kris Draper "A"||55||Larry Murphy|
|91||Sergei Federov||4||Jamie Pushor|
|15||Tomas Holmstrom||3||Bob Rouse|
|26||Joe Kocur||27||Aaron Ward|
|20||Martin Lapointe||31||Kevin Hodson|
|8||IGor Larionov||30||Chris Osgood|
|18||Kirk Maltby||29||MIKE vERNON
|| SCOTTY BOWMAN (Head Coach)
BARRY SMITH (Associate Coach)
DAVE LEWIS (Associate Coach)
MIKE KRUSHELNYSKI (Goaltending Consultant)
|WINGS ROAD TO THE CUP
|4/25||STL||2||-||5||DET||det won series 4-0||5/24||DET||0||-||6||COL||det won series 4-0|
|det won series 4-2||det won series 4-2|
|*GAME WON IN OVERTIME **DOUBLE OVERTIME ***TRIPLE OVERTIME
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FEATURED ARTICLE: WINGS CELEBRATE EIGHTH STANLEY CUP
"I said we'd get it here," noted Wings senior vice-president Jimmy Devellano, who promised to deliver a Stanley Cup when hired as GM in 1982. "It took us a long time, but we got it here."
The roar reached its peak when captain Steve Yzerman hoisted the shiny, silver mug aloft.
"The majority of this team played in the Stanley Cup final two years ago," Yzerman said. "You realize that finishing second means absolutely nothing."
Scotty Bowman, who coached his seventh Cup winner, praised the determination of his team.
"This team went through a lot of agony the last two years and sometimes I think you have to take that pill to learn what you have to do to win," Bowman said.
FEATURED ARTICLE: VERNON CAPTURES CONN SMYTHE TROPHY
"You start with goaltending and he got hot at the right time," Detroit coach Scotty Bowman said of Vernon, who backstopped the Wings to their first Stanley Cup in 42 seasons.
Vernon posted a 16-4 record and a 1.76 goals-against average during the playoffs, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as Stanley Cup MVP.
"You don't get many opportunities like this and I'm enjoying it," Vernon said, puffing on a victory cigar after the Cup was secured, while sharing the credit for his individual honor with his teammates. "We gained a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge over the past few years. This hockey club was well focused."
Vernon achieved another personal milestone earlier in the season. A 6-5 verdict March 26 over the Colorado Avalanche was his 300th win as an NHLer.
FEATURED ARTICLE: ASSEMBLY LINE
Looking to make their team grittier and more difficult to play against, the Wings pulled off several moves designed to toughen up their roster. They traded Paul Coffey, Keith Primeau and a 1997 first round draft pick (Nikos Tselios) to Hartford for left-winger Brendan Shanahan and defenseman Brian Glynn. Greg Johnson went to Pittsburgh for irascible right-winger Tomas Sandstrom. Defenseman Larry Murphy, with two Stanley Cups to his credit, was picked up from Toronto for future considerations. Right-winger Joe Kocur, a former Wing who was playing senior hockey in Lakeland, Mich., was signed as a free agent, as was left-winger Mark Major. The NHL entry draft supplied left-winger Tomas Holmstrom and right-winger Mike Knuble. Bob Errey (San Jose) and Stu Grimson (Hartford) were both lost on waiver claims and Dino Ciccarelli went to Tampa Bay for future considerations.
FEATURED ARTICLE: 1996-97 FINAL
The Red Wings returned home to a vocal and supportive crowd for game three at Joe Louis Arena and responded with a 6-1 win to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. The Flyers opened the scoring on a first period goal by John LeClair, but Detroit replied with three unanswered goals before the period ended. The win snapped Detroit’s eight game and 33 year home ice losing streaks in the Stanley Cup Final. Sergei Federov and Martin Lapointe each tallied twice to pace the Red Wings.
The Red Wings completed the series sweep by defeating the Flyers 2-1 in game four. Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom’s goal late in the first period gave Detroit a lead it would not relinquish and Darren McCarty scored the Stanley Cup winning goal on a spectacular individual effort at 13:02 of the second period. Goaltender Mike Vernon was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the MVP of the playoffs, finishing the postseason with a 16-4 record and a 1.76 goals-against average. He allowed two goals or fewer in 17 of his 20 playoff games.
|STANLEY CUP||DETROIT RED WINGS||CONN SYMTHE TROPHY||MIKE VERNON
|CLARENCE S CAMPBELL BOWL||DETROIT RED WINGS|