Detroit Red Wings: Examining the Fuss over “Hockeytown”

16 Jun 1998: Former member of the Detroit Red Wing Vladimir Konstantinov poses with the Stanley cup and former teammates during the Stanley Cup Finals game against the Washington Capitals at the MCI Center in Washington, D. C.. The Red Wings defeated the Capitals 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Robert Laberge /Allsport
16 Jun 1998: Former member of the Detroit Red Wing Vladimir Konstantinov poses with the Stanley cup and former teammates during the Stanley Cup Finals game against the Washington Capitals at the MCI Center in Washington, D. C.. The Red Wings defeated the Capitals 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Robert Laberge /Allsport /
facebooktwitterreddit

It has been at center ice for what seems like forever now. “Hockeytown” written over the famed winged when Detroit Red Wings logo. For some Red Wings fans, they have only known Detroit as “Hockeytown.”

During the Detroit Red Wings rise to a championship level of play in the 1990’s, the organization adopted the “Hockeytown” moniker. It stuck. At Joe Louis Arena and moved with the team last season to the new beautiful Little Caesar’s Arena.

Now it appears the team is moving away from the “Hockeytown” phrase. Some fans are sad. Some fans are mad. I for one do not believe it is all that bad of an idea. But it does not mean it will be gone forever.

“Hockeytown”, came in a time when no other Detroit sports team was doing that much. Sure the Detroit Lions made the playoffs a few times in the 90’s. The Tigers and Pistons were for the most part terrible. The Red Wings were the greatest show in Detroit.

Steve Yzerman, Sergei Fedorov, and company made “Hockeytown” come alive. It spoke to fans looking for someone to root for, “Hockeytown,” when someone said it, people knew they were talking about Detroit.

It needs to be echoed that “Hockeytown” came about ONLY after the team reached a championship level. It continued and grew as the team sustained that caliber of play. In my opinion, Detroit Red Wings owner Christopher Ilitch is right to remove it. No matter what players and fans want.

With the Detroit Red Wings in the early stages of a total rebuild perhaps “Hockeytown” can be used as a goal.  The players need to perform at a higher level if want it back on the ice.  The overall level of play will dictate that drive to have it painted on the ice again.

Fans should not get caught up with the label on the ice. They should get caught up with on-ice production. Cheer, cheer loud, help the Detroit Red Wings return to the level of play that turns and returns Detroit to being “Hockeytown.” Perhaps Dylan Larkin, Filip Zadina, and a few others can lead the next batch of “Hockeytown” greats.

Next. Detroit Red Wings: The Zetterberg Effect. dark

Detroit will always be “Hockeytown.” If not in painted words on the ice. Then in the hearts of Red Wings nation. But until then watch, watch and see what the new batch of talent can do. Perhaps, we will get a glimpse of that old “Hockeytown” magic again soon.