Farewell to Joe Louis Arena

Sergei Fedorov and the Detroit Red Wings clinched two Stanley Cup titles at Joe Louis Arena Elsa/Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings play their final home games at Joe Louis Arena this weekend, hosting the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday and the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.

Joe Louis Arena has been host to a number of iconic hockey moments, including the Red Wings' the 1997 and 2002 Stanley Cup titles, clinched on home ice. Stats & Info looks back on the stadium's history:

Facts and figures

Entering the final two games of the season, the Red Wings are 827-432-195 in the regular season at Joe Louis Arena and 108-66 there in the postseason. The Red Wings have won four Stanley Cup titles while playing their home games there, including the two previously mentioned.

Nicklas Lidstrom has played the most regular-season games at Joe Louis Arena with 789, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. Steve Yzerman is the all-time leader in goals (330) and points (897) in regular-season games there, according to Elias.

The visiting player with the most goals at Joe Louis Arena is Brett Hull with 26. The visiting player with the most points, not surprisingly, is Wayne Gretzky, with 65, which is 17 more than any other visiting player, according to Elias.

The most goals a player has scored in a game at Joe Louis Arena was five, by Sergei Fedorov in a 5-4 Red Wings win over Washington in 1996. The most assists was also five, by Mark Osborne on Feb. 7, 1982, in an 8-5 Red Wings win, according to Elias.

Two players scored six points in a game at Joe Louis Arena: Yzerman in 1990 and Dale McCourt in 1981, courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau research.

If he plays both this weekend, Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will have played 1,000 games at Joe Louis Arena. He’s spent his entire career with Detroit.

Memorable moments

Though impossible to list all the memorable moments at this arena, below is a look at a few of them:

Feb. 5, 1980: Longtime Red Wings star Gordie Howe, representing the Hartford Whalers, received a lengthy standing ovation before his 23rd and final NHL All-Star Game. Also of note, this was Gretzky’s first NHL All-Star Game.

June 13, 1987: Detroit hosted the first NHL entry draft held in the United States. Buffalo selected Pierre Turgeon with the first overall pick. New Jersey had the second pick, and they selected Brendan Shanahan, who won three Stanley Cups in Detroit.

May 16, 1996: After winning a record 62 games during the 1995-96 regular season, the Red Wings were pushed to a seventh game in their Western Conference semifinal series against St. Louis. The game was scoreless into the second overtime when Detroit captain Yzerman rocketed a shot past Blues goalie Jon Casey for the series-winning goal.

March 26, 1997: Detroit's Darren McCarty fought Colorado's Claude Lemieux in retaliation for Lemieux's hit on teammate Kris Draper during the 1996 Western Conference final. Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon also went at it in a rare goalie fight. The brawl has been called Bloody Wednesday, Fight Night at The Joe and the Brawl in Hockeytown.

June 7, 1997: The Red Wings end a 42-year Stanley Cup drought with a four-game sweep of the Flyers in the final. McCarty scored the Cup-clinching goal in Game 4 with stickhandling around defenseman Janne Niinimaa and goalie Ron Hextall.

June 13, 2002: The Red Wings clinched their third Stanley Cup in six seasons by defeating the Hurricanes. The 2001-02 team featured nine players currently in the Hall of Fame. It was also the ninth and final Stanley Cup title for Scotty Bowman as a head coach. Bowman put on his skates to take one final twirl with the Cup.

Jan. 2, 2007: Vladimir Konstantinov, helped by a walker, returned to the ice at Joe Louis Arena for Yzerman's No. 19 retirement ceremony. It was the first time Konstantinov took to the ice without a wheelchair since being injured in the 1997 limousine crash that ended his career.

Fun facts

Known as “The Joe,” the stadium is named after former boxer and heavyweight champion Joe Louis, who grew up in the Detroit area. Joe Louis Arena and Madison Square Garden are the only buildings in the NHL without a corporate naming sponsor.

Opened in 1979, Joe Louis Arena is the second-oldest building in the NHL. Only the “new” Madison Square Garden, which opened in 1968, is older, but it has been renovated extensively in recent years.

Joe Louis Arena has been host to a number of non-hockey events, including:

  • The 1984 NBA Eastern Conference first-round series between the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks

  • The Detroit Shock winning the 2006 WNBA title in Game 5

  • The 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships

  • The 1980 Republican National Convention, where the party first nominated Ronald Reagan for president