|BACK IN TIME
|NOVEMBER 29, 1997
Coleman A. Young, Detroit's first African American mayor, as well as its longest serving mayor, died of respiratory failure.
|JANUARY 1, 1998
The University of Michigan won the Rose Bowl, defeating Washington State by a score of 21-16, earning a share of the national title with Nebraska.
|MAY 7, 1998
In the biggest industrial merger in history, German luxury carmaker Daimler-Benz announced it was buying Chrysler Corporation.
|WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL STANDINGS
||RED WINGS REGULAR SEASON LEADERS
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1997-98 SEASON IN REVIEW
"Believe," said the crest in Russian and English. While defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov fought the battle of their lives to overcome brain injuries suffered in an off-season limousine accident, the Wings set about on their mission to retain Lord Stanley's mug without their fallen comrades.
They'd also have to start the season without center Sergei Fedorov, holding out in a contract dispute with the team.
A 10-1-2 start to the season got the Wings rolling, but there would be periods of struggle - enough to allow Dallas to claim first place in the Central Division, three points ahead of Detroit, which finished 44-23-15.
Captain Steve Yzerman led the club with 69 points, the first time he'd been Detroit's leading scorer since 1992-93. Brendan Shanahan's 28 goals were the lowest total to top the team in 21 seasons. Winger Doug Brown tied two club marks December 19 with three goals and four points in one period of a 5-4 victory over New Jersey.
The return of Fedorov to the lineup came February 3, when he signed a six-year, $38-million deal, which included a $14-million signing bonus and a $12-million bonus if the Wings advanced to the final four.
The NHL went to the Winter Olympics for the first time and the Wings were well represented. Yzerman and Shanahan (Canada), Fedorov (Russia) and defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom (Sweden) all participated. Shanahan, Lidstrom, center Igor Larionov and defenseman Slava Fetisov performed in the NHL All-Star Game.
In the playoffs, winger Slava Kozlov scored a record-tying four game winners, while the club set records with 75 goals and six shorthanded markers. Fedorov's 10 goals during the playoffs and three points May 3 in the second period of a 5-2 series-clinching win over Phoenix tied team marks.
After rallying from a 2-1 series deficit to oust Phoenix in six games, St. Louis won the first game of the second round, but Detroit again came back to win in six. The Wings never trailed the Western Conference final against Dallas, taking another six-game verdict. Only Washington stood in the way of a repeat. The Capitals were swept aside in the minimum four games and Stanley stayed put in Hockeytown.
|19||Steve Yzerman "C"||44||Anders Eriksson|
|17||Doug Brown||2||Viacheslav Fetisov|
|11||Mathieu Dandenault||5||Nicklas Lidstrom|
|33||Kris Draper "A"||34||Jamie Macoun|
|91||Sergei Federov||15||Dmitri Mironov|
|41||Brent Gilchrist||55||Larry Murphy|
|96||Tomas Holmstrom||3||Bob Rouse|
|22||Mike Knuble||27||Aaron Ward|
|13||Vyacheslav Kozlov||31||Kevin Hodson|
|20||Martin Lapointe||30||Chris Osgood|
|18||Kirk Maltby|| SCOTTY BOWMAN (Head Coach)
BARRY SMITH (Associate Coach)
DAVE LEWIS (Associate Coach)
Jim Bedard (Goaltending Consultant)
|WINGS ROAD TO THE CUP
|4/30||PHX||1||-||3*||DET||5/17||STL||3||-||1||DET||6/03||DET||2||-||3*||DAL||det won series 4-0|
|det won series 4-2||det won series 4-2||det won series 4-2|
|*GAME WON IN OVERTIME **DOUBLE OVERTIME
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FEATURED ARTICLE: WINGS WIN TWO CUPS IN A ROW
When injured defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov was wheeled onto the ice after Detroit's 4-1 Cup-winning verdict at Washington's MCI Center, the sentiment of the moment took over. "This is so emotional, it's great," Igor Larionov said as he helped Konstantinov take a victory lap in his wheelchair with the Stanley Cup. "This is for Vladdy and Sergei (Mnatsakanov)."
Scotty Bowman won his eighth Cup as a coach, tying the record of Toe Blake, his mentor. Captain Steve Yzerman set a club record with 18 assists and 24 points and was presented the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
"We found a lot of ways to play," Bowman said. "We found a lot of ways to win. This team was totally focused on the mission." And they never stopped believing.
FEATURED ARTICLE: LIDSTROM LEADS ALL DEFENSEMAN IN POINTS
Performing effectively ever since he first joined the Red Wings to start the 1991-92 season, the 1997-98 campaign brought an element to Nicklas Lidstrom's game not seen before.
It was called recognition and it was long overdue.
Lidstrom led all NHL blueliners with 59 points, one shy of the career-high points total he assembled during his rookie season. Lidstrom also tallied a personal-best 17 goals. The result was selection to the NHL's First All-Star Team and runner-up status behind Rob Blake of Los Angeles in the voting for the Norris Trophy.
"It has been a long time coming," teammate Darren McCarty said. "He's always been the most underrated player in the league – our little secret."
In the playoffs, Lidstrom established new Wings standards for defensemen with 13 assists and 19 points, while tying Paul Coffey's club mark for goals with six.
FEATURED ARTICLE: ASSEMBLY LINE
Two months after he'd won the Conn Smythe Trophy as Stanley Cup MVP, Mike Vernon was dealt to San Jose with a 1999 fifth round draft pick for second round picks in 1998 and 1999. Left-winger Brent Gilchrist was signed as a free agent and Tim Taylor was lost to Boston in the NHL waiver draft. Jamie Pushor was dealt to Anaheim for defenseman Dmitri Mironov and a 1998 fourth round draft choice went to Toronto for defenseman Jamie Macoun. The NHL entry draft supplied center Darryl Laplante, defenseman Yan Golubovsky and goalie Norm Maracle.
FEATURED ARTICLE: 1997-98 Final
Despite the four game sweep in the Final, Detroit did not have a smooth road to the Cup, as they were forced to play six games in each of the three series leading to the Stanley Cup Final. Overall, the team had equal success at home and on the road, posting identical 8-3 records. A total of ten Red Wings players contributed the 16 game winning goals scored en route to the Stanley Cup.
The on-ice celebration produced one of the most emotional moments in NHL history, as injured teammate Vladimir Konstantinov participated in the post-game festivities from his wheelchair. Konstantinov has been a key part of Detroit’s Stanley Cup championship in 1997, but nearly lost his life in a car accident one week after the victory.
|STANLEY CUP||DETROIT RED WINGS||CONN SYMTHE TROPHY||STEVE YZERMAN
|CLARENCE S CAMPBELL BOWL||DETROIT RED WINGS||FIRST TEAM ALL-STAR||NICKLAS LIDSTROM|