"Hey, Hey Hockeytown," Eno wrote. "Ryan Suter, Zach Parise Don't Think the Red Wings are All That."
While this article makes for great entertainment, it is inaccurate to say the least.
So let me be the one to set the record straight.
The Detroit Red Wings are all that.
Hockeytown is not some fanciful dream conjured up by Detroiters longing for a bright hockey future that would never come.
This term was born during the 1996-’97 hockey season, in celebration of this hockey club’s return to prominence after more than four decades of misery. It was also the same year the Red Wings won its first Stanley Cup since 1955.
Since then, the Red Wings have excelled—regardless of what resentful hockey critics and fans pen and say.
Call the Red Wings the right-hand man of the Evil Empire that is the New York Yankees. Call this team what you will. But nobody in their right mind can dispute this fact: the Wings are a straight juggernaut, plain and simple.
While it is true this hockey club has endured its fair share of misery in its history, and while it is true this team will not win the title every season, it is still one of the most successful and heralded franchises in all of sports.
Detroit’s 11 Stanley Cups are second only to the the Montreal Canadians and Toronto Maple Leafs—neither of which have won a championship in nearly two decades.
In the meantime, Detroit has won four in recent past, thanks to a resolute owner who vowed to alter the course of this team when it mightily struggled, and a town of passionate hockey fans who stuck by this Original Six team through thick and thin.
Many players playing in half-empty arenas around the league saw these developments unfolding in Motown. And many wanted to be part of it. Call these men ring chasers, limelight swimmers, washed-up dreamers; call them whatever helps you sleep at night.
But frankly, to quote The Rock, “It doesn’t matter what you think!”
What does matter is that at the end of the day, Wings owner Mike Illitch and team GM Ken Holland are going to keep going about their business, and they are going to do it well.
In spite of Parise and Suter signing elsewhere—which they are completely entitled to—the Wings are going to find creative ways to make things happen. And scores of loyal Red Wings fans will continue to invade every NHL arena, donned in red and white.
And no writer who pretends to know the ins-and-outs of the thought processes of Holland and Co. can change the fact that Hockeytown is a household name that will be around for a very long time to come.
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