Detroit Red Wings: Recent History Works Against Defending Stanley Cup Champions

WoooooSenior Writer IJuly 6, 2008

The 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings have bolstered their roster this off-season, in large part due to the acquisition of Marian "Benedict Arnold" Hossa.

Early predictions have the Red Wings slated to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions.

I will not argue that, on paper, the Red Wings probably have the most impressive roster from first line through fourth and from center to goaltender.

However, recent history is working against the Red Wings' hopes of a repeat.

No team since the 2001 Colorado Avalanche has managed to make it out of the first round of the playoffs the following season, let alone repeat as Stanley Cup Champions.

Here's the breakdown of Stanley Cup Champions since 2001, and how they fared the following season.

(Format: Championship Year: Championship Team- Following Year: Defending Champion Teams' Outcome {Team that Eliminated Defending Champions})

2001 Champions: Colorado Avalanche—2002: Eliminated in Conference Finals {Detroit Red Wings}

2002 Champions: Detroit Red Wings—2003: Eliminated in Conference Quarter Finals {Anaheim Ducks}

2003 Champions: New Jersey Devils—2004: Eliminated in Conference Quarter Finals {Philadelphia Flyers}

2004 Champions: Tampa Bay Lightning—2005: NHL Lockout Season {No Stanley Cup Awarded}

2006: 2004 Champion Lightning Eliminated in Conference Quarter Finals {Ottawa Senators}

2006 Champions: Carolina Hurricanes—2007: Did Not Make Playoffs

2007 Champions: Anaheim Ducks—2008: Eliminated in Conference Quarter Finals {Dallas Stars}

So, as you can see, Benedict Hossa and the boys in Hockeytown may have the talent working for them, but recent history is most certainly working against them.

Before you start taking off work to attend another Stanley Cup Championship parade in downtown Detroit next June, consider that history may have other intentions for the 2008 Red Wings.