Red Wings legends sound off on 1997 Cup reunion

What a night in Hockeytown.



The Detroit Red Wings ended what was 42 years of frustration and futility on a warm June night in downtown Detroit, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in what was considered at the time as a stunning sweep to capture their first Stanley Cup championship since 1955. The image of captain Steve Yzerman raising the famed chalice above his head will forever live on in Red Wings lore.

Of course, the Red Wings would repeat as champions the next year with the season being dedicated to their fallen teammate in bruising defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov, who was nearly killed in the horrible limousine crash just a week after the first Cup win. Team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov was also seriously injured, while veteran defenseman Slava Fetisov escaped with minor injuries. 

Thursday night at Little Caesars Arena saw the reunion of several members of the team, including Konstantinov as well as the likes of Kris Draper, Nicklas Lidstrom, Doug Brown, Brendan Shanahan, Mike Vernon, Martin Lapointe, and of course current GM and former captain Steve Yzerman. And to make things even more special, former head coach Scotty Bowman was also on hand. And needless to say, it was a spectacular evening for all those involved. 

“It means a lot to see everyone again, to meet some of the guys I haven’t seen in a lot of years,” Lidstrom said. “Great memories coming back, thinking about what we went through to go all the way and win a couple Stanley Cups.”

“Seeing Nick and Homer (Tomas Holmstrom) is always special, but Aaron Ward, haven’t seen him in a while. Bob Rouse is in, he was an incredible teammate,” Draper explained. “Kevin Hodson was one of the funniest human beings I’ve ever played with."

“I truly believed there was some fate, some destiny for us going back-to-back. It’s amazing to see him, but it’s obviously very emotional when we see Vladdy as well," Draper continued.

The Red Wings will continue the celebration tomorrow afternoon when they honor the 1998 Stanley Cup championship team. 

Source: MLive