Memorable Red Wings moments at Joe Louis Arena

Red Wings forward Darren McCarty celebrates his goal in Game 4 of the 1997 Stanley Cup Final against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Red Wings forward Darren McCarty celebrates his goal in Game 4 of the 1997 Stanley Cup Final against the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Tom Pidgeon)

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings are edging closer and closer to their last game at Joe Louis Arena.

Little Caesars Arena will be their new home at the start of the 2017-18 season, meaning this season is the last at The Joe. 

Watch: Red Wings players, fans already missing The Joe

Watch: Virtual tour shows inside of new Red Wings arena

Here's a look back at some of the most memorable moments at The Joe (there have been a lot, so this list will miss plenty), where the Red Wings began playing on Dec. 27, 1979. 

Please share your memories in the comments section.

Feb. 5, 1980 -- Howe's last, Gretzky's first All-Star game

Red Wings legend Gordie Howe, who was playing for the Hartford Whalers at the time, was welcomed back to Detroit for what would be his final All-Star game. It was the 32nd NHL All-Star Game (Howe's 23rd) and it happened to be young Wayne Gretzky's first.

Notes: Reggie Leach (who later played for Detroit) was game MVP. Reed Larson was the only Red Wings player in the game. Scotty Bowman (Buffalo Sabres) coached the Wales Conference team.

June 13, 1987 -- First NHL draft held in the United States

Joe Louis Arena was the site of the first NHL Entry Draft to be held in the U.S. Pierre Turgeon was selected 1st overall by the Buffalo Sabres. Brendan Shanahan was drafted 2nd overall by the New Jersey Devils.

Notes: The Red Wings' first pick was Yves Racine at 11th overall. Hall of Famer Joe Sackic was selected 15th overall by the Quebec Nordiques.

June 17, 1995 -- Red Wings back in Stanley Cup Final

The Red Wings returned to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1966. They hosted the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 on June 17, 1995 at Joe Louis Arena. The Devils swept the series, 4-0, keeping the Cup away from Joe Louis Arena.

Note: This was the first of six Stanley Cup Final series (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2009) held at The Joe.

Dec. 26, 1996 -- Sergei Fedorov scores 5 goals

Sergei Fedorov scored all 5 of the Red Wings' goals, including the overtime game winner (5-4), against the Washington Capitals.

Related: Fedorov is in Hall of Fame; time for Red Wings to retire No. 91?

May 16, 1996 -- Yzerman scores 'The Goal'

Captain Steve Yzerman scored what would become one of the most iconic goals in Red Wings history, and he did it in front of the playoff crowd at Joe Louis Arena. It was the second overtime period of Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinal against the St. Louis Blues. Yzerman swiped the puck from Gretzky in the neutral zone, then rifled it from the Blues' blue line and past goalie Jon Casey, top-shelf. It's Hollywood stuff.

Unfortunately, the Red Wings fell to the Colorado Avalanche in the next round.

March 26, 1997 -- The Brawl

The brawl between the Colorado Avalanche and Red Wings lives in hockey infamy. It captures the rivalry in a nutshell. They did this again in 1998.

Brendan Shanahan recently opened up about his involvement: Shanahan recalls flying tackle of Patrick Roy in 1997 brawl

June 7, 1997 -- Red Wings end 42-year Cup drought

Darren McCarty's Stanley Cup-winning goal in Game 4 is about as iconic as it gets. The Red Wings won the Cup for the first time since 1955, and it was done with a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers in front of the home crowd at The Joe.

June 13, 2002 -- Red Wings hoist cup again at JLA

With an All-Star cast, the Red Wings won their 3rd Stanley Cup since 1997, and they did it in front of the home crowd at The Joe.

NOTE: The Red Wings have won four Cups since 1997, but only twice -- 1997, 2002 -- have they actually clinched it on home ice.

Jan. 2, 2007 -- Konstantinov returns to ice for Yzerman's No. 19 retirement

Vladimir Konstantinov, helped by a walker, returned to the ice at Joe Louis Arena for Yzerman's No. 19 retirement ceremony. It was the first time he took to the ice without a wheelchair since he was injured in a limousine crash in 1997, ending his career.

March 6, 2014 -- Lidstrom's No. 5 goes to rafters

Nicklas Lidstrom's No. 5 was retired by the Red Wings, joining his former teammate Yzerman's No. 19 in the rafters at Joe Louis Arena.


About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.