Goodbye Joe

Last night I attended one last Detroit Red Wings game at Joe Louis Arena with some friends. Next year the team will be moving to the brand new Little Caesars Arena. They lost 5-4 to Toronto, but the team is rebuilding and it’s been a down year, so it wasn’t that surprising. It’s just a little bittersweet that the final year at “The Joe” is the first year since the 1989-90 season that the Wings will miss the playoffs. I don’t really know a spring without them playing after the regular season; I was 10 years old the last time this happened!

I’ve been to several games over the years and have posted about some of them on this blog:

My Mom is a big Wings fan, so I took her to a playoff game in 2015…

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The NHL game has changed a lot throughout this Red Wings playoff streak. A former player, Kris Draper, recently published an excellent article titled There Will be Blood to The Players’ Tribune, which tells stories that contributed to many of the changes.

There have also been some strikes and lockouts during the playoff streak. Due to the lockout during the 2004-05 season I was able to experience one of my favorite professional sports related memory. On New Year’s Eve that year, my Dad and I found ourselves playing poker with Darren McCarty in a St. Ignace casino. If it hadn’t been for the lockout he never would have been there.

So there have been a lot of great Red Wings memories and visits to Joe Louis Arena. It was fun to get in one last trip. Detroit hockey is long overdue for a new home as the building is quite old and outdated. Every guy who has been there can tell you how weird it is to piss in the community trough urinals. Compared to any arena these days, it really is a shit hole.