Detroit Red Wings History: Best Moves in the Ilitch Era, Part 3, Dynasty Years

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Detroit Red Wings History: Best Moves in the Ilitch Era, Part 3, Dynasty Years
Harry How/Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings won Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998, repeating as champs. 

After the 1998 Stanley Cup, they were essentially guaranteed a division championship and were usually contending for best in the Western Conference, if not the entire NHL.

But the Red Wings did not go back to the Stanley Cup Finals for a few years after their back-to-back championships.

It took them til 2002 to get back to the Finals, where they knocked off the Carolina Hurricanes in five games.

After that, Detroit experienced some of the biggest playoff upsets in Red Wings history.

The Red Wings lost to Anaheim in the first round in 2003. In 2004, they lost in the second round to Calgary. 2005 was the lockout. 2006 saw Detroit lose to Edmonton in the first round, in possibly the biggest upset in playoff history. In 2007, Detroit lost to the Anaheim Ducks in the conference finals.

Detroit won the Stanley Cup again in 2008, and almost repeated in 2009.

But who brought them to these Stanley Cup championships?

And how does a team win four cups in a span of 11 years after not making the Stanley Cup Finals out of any of the other seasons?

Those answers and more are coming up in part three of my series on the best moves in the Mike Ilitch era.

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