Friday, November 18, 2016

1926-27 Detroit Cougars Russell Oatman Jersey

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 the Cougars would play their home games during their first season since they had no home arena in Detroit at the time.

When the Western Canada Hockey League folded after the 1925-26 season, a deal was made so the new Detroit expansion NHL club bought the rights to the players of one of the most successful of the WCHL teams, the 1925 Stanley Cup champion Victoria Cougars.

1925 Victoria Cougars photo 1925VictoriaCougarsteam.jpg
The 1925 Stanley Cup champion Victoria Cougars

The new Detroit club was named the Cougars in honor of the Victoria club from where it's roster originated. 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.

 photo 1926-27DetroitCougarsteam.jpg
1926-27 Detroit Cougars team

For the following season of 1927-28, the Detroit Olympia would become the Cougars new home, where they would play for the next 52 years, until December of 1979. That same season, Jack Adams would take over as coach in Detroit 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.

Detroit Cougars 1927-28 photo DetroitCougars1928.jpg
The Detroit Cougars in 1928

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 total goals 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, 1929-30, would see Detroit post a 14-24-5 record and miss out on the playoffs. Cooper would again lead the team in scoring, this time with 36 points in 44 games played.

Before the start of the next season, the Detroit club would change it's name from its original choice of Cougars to Falcons, bringing an end to the first era of of the franchise and hoping to change it's luck. The name Falcons would last but two seasons until a change in ownership led to the adaptation of the Red Wings name.

Today's featured jersey is a 1926-27 Detroit Cougars Russell Oatman jersey worn by the expansion Cougars during their first season in the NHL. The Cougars name lasted just four seasons, but the team wore a new style sweater for every one of those four years, offering no clues as to what was to come, as the Red Wings name was introduced in 1932 and their red jerseys have now remained unchanged for over 80 years!

Detroit Cougars 1926-27 jersey photo DetroitCougars1926-27jersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus 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. 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.

Detroit Red Wings 2008-09 Winter Classic jersey photo DetroitRedWings2008-09WClassicF.jpg
Detroit Red Wings 2008-09 Winter Classic jersey photo DetroitRedWings2008-09WClassicB.jpg

Our video section begins with a preview of the 2009 Winter Classic, during which the Red Wings wore jerseys inspired by the original Cougars jerseys.



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