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Red Wings Celebration of 1996-97 Cup Team Starts at 6 p.m. Tonight



Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings want make sure fans know that the special celebration of their 1996-97 Stanley Cup-winning will begin at 6 p.m. Fans attending the game should be in their seats by that time.

For those watching on cable, The Bally Sports Live pregame show starts at 6 p.m.

The Red Wings’ game against the Washington Capitals will begin just after 7 p.m. The Detroit team has lost of three of its last four. However, they will have center Michael Rasmussen back in the lineup after his two-game suspension. The NHL suspended him for a high stick against Boston’s David Krejci.


But the game will share the spotlight with 25-year reunion celebration of one of the most important Red Wings’ teams in the franchise’s history. The 1996-97 Detroit team swept Philadelphia in the Stanley Cup Final to end a 42-year championship drought for the Final.

That team boasted seven Hall of Famers (Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Brendan Shanahan, Igor Larionov, Larry Murphy and Slava Fetisov). There’s also been some support for the idea that Chris Osgood should be considered for the Hall of Fame.

The coach of that team was Hall of Famer coach Scotty Bowman. Former GM and long-time Red Wings executive Jim Devellano, who acquired or drafted many of the players, is also in the Hall of Fame.

Lalonde’s Appreciation

“(The) ceremony will be neat but I’m more excited about just seeing them around the room, meeting some of these guys, for me personally,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said.

The Red Wings won back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 1997 and 1998. Lalonde can appreciate how difficult that accomplishment was because he was an assistant coach on a Tampa Bay Lightning team that accomplished feat in 2020 and 2021.

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Lalonde says he enjoys having the past champion Red Wings around the dressing room.

“There’s a swagger to it, a confidence to it,” Lalonde said. “Getting to the top in this league is so hard. The way they did it, the way they stayed there, they had to go through adversity, too… They were where we are at one time. Just need to have that history within the organization.”

Lalonde looks up to Bowman who won nine Stanley Cups as a head coach.

“He’s going to go down as maybe the greatest coach of all-time,” Lalonde said. “I’ve gotten to know Scotty a little bit. Over that COVID era we had a coaches Zoom call – started with 15, 20 of us, there was 40-50 on some nights – it was really impressive, I think Scotty was ahead of his game in the way he managed people, to hear his stories on how he got
player A to buy in, player B to buy in, Xs and Os, it was a completely different game then. He obviously was on top of it. He was way ahead of the curve on managing people and personalities. It’s just neat. Got lucky with the fact that he was living close to Tampa and he’d be there all the time, got to meet him a little bit. It’ll be very exciting to see him.