Detroit is another of the original six franchises and they have the long illustrious history to go with it. The Red Wings have won the most Stanley Cups of any U.S.-based NHL franchise with 11, and are crowding the Toronto Maple Leafs for second overall in the entire league behind the Montreal Canadiens.
They have had their share of success. When you run a team as long as they have, there are a long list of mistakes to go with it though.
Jack Adams started as the Detroit Cougar GM and coach back in 1930. He established a farm system that kept the team prospect rich for decades.
He was infamous for trading Ted Lindsay away to punish him for attempting to start a player's union in the NHL. He dumped his brilliant young goalie Glenn Hall off to the Chicago Blackhawks at around the same time.
The worst trade he made though was to get rid of another union-friendly player, Leonard "Red" Kelly.
Kelly had an off-year with the Red Wings in 1958-59. He was criticized and fined the next year by former teammate and coach Sid Abel for his bad play.
As Kelly explained to hockey reporter Trent Frayne, his play had suffered because the previous year management had asked him to play with a wrapped broken ankle. He was just recovering now, a year later. He'd kept quiet about playing with the injury, but really hadn't expected to be fined when his play suffered as a consequence.
The story made the papers and "Jolly" Jack Adams was furious. He denied everything and then tried to trade Kelly to the Rangers. Kelly refused to report, saying he would take a real job first. Adams finally dealt Kelly to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Leafs transformed Kelly from defenseman to checking center, and he helped the Leafs to four Stanley Cup victories in his seven-and-a-half seasons in Toronto. "Red" Kelly had 119 goals and 232 assists with the Leafs. He became famous for the checking job he did on Montreal Canadiens first line center Jean Beliveau.
The player "Red" Kelly was traded for? It was Marc Reaume. Adams claimed at the time he was happy to trade for Reaume because he was a defenseman who was seven years Kelly's junior.
Marc Reaume managed to get in two seasons with the Leafs, playing 47 games before he slipped back to the minor leagues never to return. He had a total of two assists as a Detroit Red Wing.