It has been a trying year for all Detroit Red Wings fans. For the first time in a quarter century, the winged warriors will miss out of post-season play. Their beloved owner, Mike Illitch passed away unexpectedly in February. And we say goodbye to Joe Louis Arena, the Detroit Red Wings home since the late 1970's. Most of us Wings fans have mixed emotions about this. The arena is old, doesn't have some modern amenities and supposedly they had to remove a few of the last rows from one side because they forgot to make press boxes when it was built. But these things are also what make Joe Louis Arena special. This was a place where hockey was played, and at times played well. The memories from the epic battles on the ice and the championships won also make it a special place. It wasn't the most comfortable place to watch a game, but it was special. The new Little Caesars Arena is looking to become something more than a building for sports and I am very much looking forward to checking it out next season to see all that it has to offer.
It is the teams that play inside its walls and the fans that go crazy cheering them on that makes a place special, so lets hope the Wings can turn things around next year and the fans will come and make themselves heard and more memories are made in the years to come a the Little Caesars Arena.
In the meantime, watch this short tribute to Joe Louis voiced by Doc Emrick and if you can make it all the way through without getting a little emotional, then a true Red Wings fan you are not!
The Wings play their final home ice game at "The Joe" at 5pm on Sunday, April 9 against the New Jersey Devils.