It was 19 years ago today that the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup. As someone who was there to witness the moment, it was a night filled with romance, history and an exclamation point shock finish when Wings coach Scotty Bowman announced after donning his skates to do a tour of the ice with the Stanley Cup hoisted over his head that his unparalleled Hall of Fame career was at an end.
It wasn’t, as so many want to anoint it, the crowning moment for the best team in NHL history. The 2001-02 Red Wings were worthy Stanley Cup champions, a roster filled up with Hall of Fame talent. What they weren’t, though, was the best-ever NHL team.
No, not then. Not now. Not ever.
In fact, they’d struggle to gain a podium finish in the best-there-ever-was category.