Wednesday, November 18, 2009
It was on this date in 1926 that the Detroit Cougars would play in their first NHL game, losing 2-0 to the Boston Bruins at the Border Cities Arena in Windsor, Ontario where they would play their home games during their first season since they had no arena in Detroit at the time.
When the Western Canada Hockey League folded after the 1925-26 season, a deal was made so that the new Detroit expansion club bought the rights to the players of one of the most successful of the WCHL teams, the 1925 Stanley Cup finalist Victoria Cougars.
The club was named the Cougars in the Victoria club's honor. The Cougars played a 44 game schedule, finishing last in the American Division of the 10 team league with a 12-28-4 record. John Sheppard would lead the team in scoring with 21 points in 43 games.
The following year the Detroit Olympia would become their new home, where they would play for 52 years, until December of 1979. That same season Jack Adams would take over as coach and spend the next 36 years as either the coach or general manager of the club. The Cougars would finish the season with a 19-19-6 record for fourth place in the American Division. George Hay would lead the team with 35 points in 42 games, tied for third in the league.
he 1928-29 Cougars would finish with a similar 19-16-9 record, but make the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time, losing out to the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-2 in a two game series. Carson Cooper would lead the Cougars in scoring with 27 points in 43 games to finish third in the league.
The final season for the name Cougars would see Detroit finish with a 14-24-5 record and miss out on the playoffs. Carson Cooper would again lead the team in scoring, this time with 36 points in 44 games played. For the next season the Detroit club would rename itself the Falcons.
Today's featured jersey is a 2008-09 Detroit Red Wings Nicklas Lidström jersey worn for the Winter Classic on January 1, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago when the Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4. Lidström had one assist in the game. This jersey features the Winter Classic patch, as worn on all players jerseys during the game.
This jersey is based on the style that Detroit wore in during the franchise's first season of 1926-27 when they were known by their original name of the Detroit Cougars.
We know you saw this eleventy-billion times leading up to the game, but now that some time has passed, it's probably safe to view it once again because it is really well done.
Here is the NBC introduction to the game and the Canadian and US national anthems.
Finally, the start of the second period, which features the goal that Nicklas Lidström assisted on.