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Red Wings poised to miss playoffs for first time since 1990

Goalie Tim Cheveldae of the Detroit Red Wings makes the save as his teammate Yves Racine battles with Tom Chorske of the Montreal Canadiens during an NHL preseason game in September, 1990 in Montreal. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)
Goalie Tim Cheveldae of the Detroit Red Wings makes the save as his teammate Yves Racine battles with Tom Chorske of the Montreal Canadiens during an NHL preseason game in September, 1990 in Montreal. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

DETROIT – Barring a miraculous finish to the season, the Detroit Red Wings will not be appearing in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 1990. 

And that brings an end to one of the greatest runs in professional sports history. The Red Wings made six appearances in the Stanley Cup final and won the Cup four times during a 25-season playoff run. It likely would have been a 26-season run if the league was not locked out for the 2004-05 season. 

Now with just 8 games remaining to this season the Red Wings are 12 points out of a playoff spot. Depending on what certain teams ahead of them in the standings do this week, a couple Red Wings losses will bounce them from post season contention. 

A look back at 1989-90 season

When the Red Wings missed the playoffs in 1989-90 they were still part of what was known as the Norris Division. They finished last place in the division and second-to-last place in the Campbell Conference with a 28-38-14 record.

Steve Yzerman led the team with 62 goals and 65 assists. Joe Kocur compiled 268 penalty minutes. Jim Nill, who became a Red Wings scout and now GM of the Dallas Stars, played 15 games as a right wing for the Red Wings in 1989-90. 

Jim Devellano was general manager and Jacques Demers was coach -- Demers was fired after the team missed the playoffs. 

Here's a look at the 1989-90 Red Wings roster:

 

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Things would turn around quickly: Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom had been drafted the season before. Fedorov began playing for the Red Wings in 1990-91 and Lidstrom started in 1991-92. The team made the playoffs the next season under coach Bryan Murray and never looked back. 

Now it's the final season at Joe Louis Arena, an arena accustomed to an annual playoff party. The Red Wings officially are entering a new era and a new arena. 

Little Caesars Arena will open with rock shows in September ahead of the NHL season. The Red Wings will share the new home with the Detroit Pistons


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