When Detroit Red Wings defenseman and now studio analyst Larry Murphy compared the ’97 Cup to his kids, I couldn’t grasp the reference. How could he not have a favorite title? I knew you’re not supposed to have a favorite kid, but how could you not have a favorite Cup?
Nearly a quarter century later with kids of my own, I now understand. It’s the same reflecting on the Cup wins as a fan through the lens of time. It’s not that one is better than the other–it’s that certain things stand out from each one.
There’s been a lot of nostalgia on social media lately centering around Red Wings Cup victories that occurred around this time. And questions have been asked about which of the Cup wins was the most memorable.
I don’t think you can pick just one as Murphy alluded to. If anything, you can pick a moment from each that stands out more clearly than the others.
So taking a break from rebuilds and trade rumors, here are a few that stand out to me:
Red Wings 1997 Win – Stevie’s Lap with the Cup
It was utter relief when the final horn sounded, ending 42 years of frustration and the notion that the Red Wings couldn’t finish. Here he was–a gap where a tooth once was in his beaming grin, hoisting is for all to see and then taking a lap around the ice as the crowd cheered and the 90s Detroit staple We Got Stanley blared at the Joe.
It was when he handed it to owner Mike Ilitch that I remember my mom saying how happy she was they won it for him. She watched through the “Dead Wings” era. She suffered with us during those playoff disappointments. From there, I remember the relief and thinking how lucky I was to see them win for the first time in over four decades.