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Red Wings Daily: It was 40 Years Ago That Ilitch Family Bought the Club

The Ilitch family is celebrating 40 years of ownership of the Detroit Red WIngs this week



Mike and Marian Ilitch, Red Wings
Mike and Marian Ilitch purchased the Red Wings in June of 1982.

Exactly 40 years ago this week, Mike and Marian Ilitch purchased the Detroit Red Wings franchise. It didn’t start out great and the recent campaigns have proven to be rough. In between, though, no one could debate that it was pretty sensational.

Since the 1982 acquisition of the Red Wings, the Boston Bruins (1,761) are the only NHL franchise with more wins than Detroit (1,720). From the start of the 1995-96 season to the present, the Red Wings lead the NHL with 1,238 victories – 1,093 regular-season wins and 145 playoff triumphs.

The successes of the Ilitch family as owners include four Stanley Cups, six Presidents’ Trophies and 16 division titles. Two of the first decisions made by the new owners were to hire Jim Devellano as general manager and select Steve Yzerman with their first-round pick in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft.

Those two moves continue to pay dividends for the franchise today. Devellano remains with the club as senior vice-president. Yzerman played more than two decades for the team, serving 20 seasons as captain. He’s been GM of the Red Wings since 2019, overseeing the team’s current rebuild.

Red Wings In Case You Missed It

  • Red Wings of Tomorrow is taking a look at Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Donovan Sebrango
  • Hall of Fame defenseman and Detroit VP of hockey operations Nicklas Lidstrom admires the desire of Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider to always seek to get better
  • Red Wings prospect Sebastian Cossa backstopped the Edmonton Oil Kings to an OT victory at the Memorial Cup

Hockey Now Network

Colorado: Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar responds to the suggestions of Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper that the Avalanche had too many men on the ice when Nazem Kadri netted the OT winner in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final.

Florida: New coach Paul Maurice is viewing the Florida Panthers as the right fit for him.

Pittsburgh: How bold is Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall willing to be in order to reshape the club’s roster?

Boston: An NHL source is telling Boston Hockey Now that the Boston Bruins will be narrowing their coaching search next week.

Montreal: Brendan Gallagher was discussing his chances of being the next captain of the Montreal Canadiens.

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Philadelphia: Could Felix Sandstrom challenge Carter Hart to be the No. 1 goalie for the Philadelphia Flyers?

San Jose: A look at the San Jose Sharks reverse retro jersey.

Washington: For the Washington Capitals, these next two offseasons figure to be very taxing.

Vegas: Reilly Smith, brother of former Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith, is reportedly set to sign a three-year pact with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Islanders: What a difference a year makes. One year ago, the New York Islanders were beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final.