Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch announced in an interview with the Detroit News last week that his team will be moving to the Eastern Conference in next season’s realignment.
Here are six teams that promise a great deal of tradition and importance for the Eastern Conference’s Detroit Red Wings.
The rivalry between the Red Wings and the Maple Leafs goes as far back as the NHL itself.
The two teams have faced off in 643 games and seven Stanley Cup Finals against each other.
The short distance of only 240 miles between the two cities is another factor that makes a good rivalry—fans can easily travel to away games.
Detroit leads the all-time series with 275 wins, 272 losses, 93 ties and three overtime losses.
The defending Stanley Cup champions, the Boston Bruins, could become another big-time rival of the Red Wings.
The two most successful American NHL franchises, based on Stanley Cup victories, seem destined for a rivalry.
Despite their long histories, the Red Wings and Bruins have met only twice in the Stanley Cup finals. In 1941 Boston swept Detroit, which returned the favor two years later, sweeping the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup in 1943.
The Red Wings lead the all-time series with 248 wins, 234 losses, 95 ties and a single overtime loss.
This Original Six rivalry is not only a rivalry between two hockey teams, but also between two of the greatest sports cities in our country; shiny, world-famous New York against rough, hardworking Detroit.
No matter the sport, the matchups between those two cities are always hard-fought and passionate.
The Red Wings and Rangers have played a total of 574 against each other, including the 1937 Stanley Cup finals, which the Red Wings won three games to two.
Detroit leads the all-time series with 261 wins, 210 losses and 105 ties.
The rivalry between the Canadiens and the Red Wings had its heyday in the ‘50s.
Between 1952 and 1956, the two teams faced off in four of the five Stanley Cup Finals, with Detroit winning three of the four Cups.
Names like Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe and Terry Sawchuk turned the Canadiens and Red Wings of the ‘50s into arguably the greatest teams in NHL history.
The Red Wings trail the all-time series with 201 wins, 270 losses, 96 ties.
The rivalry between the Penguins and Red Wings is a more recent one.
The two teams played in consecutive Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 and 2009.
Detroit won the 2008 Finals in six games, hoisting the Cup on Pittsburgh's home ice. The Penguins won 2009 in seven games and celebrated at the Joe Louis Arena.
Both series provided great hockey and entertainment.
Having the Red Wings in the same conference as the Penguins means at least four regular-season games between the two teams.
Detroit leads the all-time series with 61 wins, 58 losses, 16 ties and three overtime losses.
The last team on this list is the Washington Capitals.
The Capitals have been one of the best regular-season teams in the East since forward Alexander Ovechkin joined the team in 2005.
Seeing the Red Wings not only face off against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, but also against Ovechkin and the Capitals, should bring joy to every Red Wings fans.
The Red Wings lead the all-time series with 45 wins, 38 losses and 16 ties.
The only downfall of moving the Red Wings to the Eastern Conference is that they will never again play against any of these six teams in the Stanley Cup finals.