Well folks, this week I'm going to interrupt the final installment of the Detroit Mt. Rushmore series for a special news bulletin...
That's right folks... it's time to celebrate and have a good time; Papa Grande has been handed his walking papers! So long Valverde... so long stupid dance after doing your fucking job... so long can't understand what the fuck you're saying in post game interviews. Enjoy that plane ride back to the Dominican... I doubt you'll be getting any calls any time soon!
Now, back to business at hand, the final edition of the Detroit Mt. Rushmore series, the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings are a storied franchise, Original Six team and owner of the third most Stanley Cups in the rich history of the National Hockey League. Some great names have donned the winged wheel, including Mr. Hockey himself, who will be the most obvious of choices for this monument! The rest of it is really up to your own discretion... not really easy to pick a BAD name to go up here.
Giant Head #1... Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe.
What else can you say about Gordie Howe... he's Mr. Hockey for Christ's sake! If you combine his NHL and WHL totals, he's still the top goal scorer in professional hockey history with 975! Wayne Gretzky has passed him in NHL history in goals and points, but Howe still ranks #3 all-time in career points with 1,850. Though some would list Gretzky and perhaps even Bobby Orr ahead of Howe as the greatest player in hockey history, even Bobby Orr himself is quoted as saying Howe is the greatest ever to play the game. In his Hall of Fame career, he played in 23 all-star games, won 4 Stanley Cups, 6 Art Ross trophies and 6 Hart Trophies. He is also the only player ever to appear in an NHL game in five different decades (40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's), and even appeared in a game for the Detroit Vipers of the IHL in 1997 when he was nearly 70 years old!
Giant head #2... The Captain, Steve Yzerman
The Captain... the iconic face of the Red Wings of the late 90's and early 2000's that won three Stanley Cups. Yzerman also won another Cup in 2008 as an executive with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Yzerman is forever known as "the Captain" for a reason; he served as captain of the Detroit Red Wings for an NHL record 19 consecutive seasons. Yzerman retired with 692 career goals, 1,755 career points, and the respect and admiration of the entire city of Detroit after the 2006 season.
Giant head #3... Terry Sawchuk
The two toughest positions to play in this city... quarterback for the Lions and goalie for the Red Wings. Success at either makes you the hero, failure makes you the goat. Sawchuk made a career out of success, a four-time Stanley Cup champion and four-time Vezina Trophy winner. Sawchuk died as a result of "horseplay" at age 40, cutting an NHL career that included 447 wins and 103 shutouts, and a 2.52 GAA short.
Giant head #4... Nicklas Lidstrom
When Steve Yzerman retired in 2006, Lidstrom was the man tabbed with replacing the longest tenured captain in NHL history. The Swede was up to the task, continuing his storied career as Wings captain unitl just last year after 20 NHL seasons. Considered the best defenseman of his era, Lidstorm won four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies, was a 12-time NHL All-Star, and won an Olympic Gold Medal for Sweeden in 2006.
Well, there are the four giant heads I'd chose to represent the Red Wing franchise... but there are certainly a lot of names that could easily take a spot out there; Ted Lindsay and Sid Abel of the "Production Line" of the 1950s certainly warrant a lot of consideration. Red Kelly won 8 career Stanley Cups with the Red Wings among others. Alex Delvecchio was a part of three Stanley Cup champions and scored 1,281 career points as a Red Wing. Current Wings Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk were a major part of the Wings last championship in 2008. Federov, Shannahan, and Vladamir Konstantinov were major factors in other recent Stanley Cup title runs. As were GM Ken Holland, coach Scotty Bowman, and 1950s coach Jack Adams. No matter what way you go with this team, you'll end up with a nice looking monument!
How about you, Gabbers? What's the Mt.Rushmore for your favorite NHL team? Be sure to let me know on your way out. Hope you all have a great weekend.