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Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings were formed in 1926. The Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) folded that year, and many of the players from the WCHL's Victoria Cougars went to play for Detroit. As a result, the team was first called the Detroit Cougars, then later it changed to Detroit Falcons, before becoming known as the Red Wings.
In the late 1940s, the line of Sid Abel, Gordie Howe, and Ted Lindsey became very important to the team. Abel won the Hart Trophy in 1949, and Lindsey won the Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion in 1950. Howe then won six Hart and six Art Ross Trophies between 1951 and 1963. Terry Sawchuck was a star goaltender, who ended up with more career shutouts than any other goalie (103). Red Kelly won the first ever Norris Trophy as best defence. As a result of having such great players, the Red Wings won four Stanley Cups in six years: 1950, 1952, 1954, and 1955. Two of these were very close: they were won in overtime of the 7th and deciding game in 1950 (against the New York Rangers) and 1954 (against the Montreal Canadiens). These are the only two times the NHL championship has gone to overtime of game seven.
The Red Wings continued to be a strong team throughout the 1960. They lost the NHL Finals five times between 1956 and 1966. Norm Ullman was their star center in the 1960s.
They were not a strong team again until the late 1980s. Steve Yzerman became a star at this time. Sergei Fedorov became the first Russian to win the Hart Trophy in 1994. The Red Wings won the President's Cup as top team in the NHL regular season in 1995, 1996 (with a record number of wins), and 2002. They won the Stanley Cup in 1997, 1998, and 2002. Nicklas Lidstrom won the Norris Trophy as best defenceman three times beginning in 2001. The team was one of the richest in the NHL, which helped them get many good players.
The Red Wings have won eleven Stanley Cups, the third most of any team, and the most of the United States teams. They first won in 1936 and 1937, and again in 1943. Ebbie Goodfellow won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player in 1940. Sid Howe was also a star on the team at this time.