Founding

Early Seasons

1926-1932
Cougars and Falcons
1932-1942
The new Detroit Red Wings

Original Six Era

1940s
1950-66
The Gordie Howe Era

1967 Expansion to 1993

1967-82
The "Dead Wings" Era
1983-1993
The Yzerman Era Begins

1994 to Present

1994-2004
Return to Glory
2005 and beyond
New Era for Detroit



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At the April 18, 1926 National Hockey League meetings to discuss expansion of the NHL, five applications were received from Detroit along with three from Chicago, one from Cleveland, one from New Jersey, one from Hamilton and one from New York. The New York application, to become the New York Rangers was approved. The NHL decided to investigate all applicants before deciding at their next meeting. At the time, it was known that the Western Canada Hockey League was folding. Other than the Rangers, there was opposition to adding any other teams. The NHL constitution required unanimous approval on adding new teams and the New York Americans were opposed to the plan to add one team in Detroit and one in Chicago, as the Americans favored two teams in Chicago. This was overcome at the May 2, 1926 NHL meeting by amending the NHL constitution, which required only a 2/3 approval, to allow a simple majority vote for the approval of new teams and it became expected that Chicago and Detroit would receive franchises. At the meeting, what were now two competing syndicates vying for the Detroit franchise, one from Townsend and McCreath, and one from Bierer, were told to amalgamate by the NHL.

The next day, May 3, it was announced by Detroit promoters Morris Caplan and Morris Friedberg that they had purchased the 1925 Stanley Cup champion Victoria Cougars in expectation of a NHL franchise being awarded to them at NHL meetings later that month. Similarly, the Portland Rosebuds were also purchased that day by Chicago interests. On May 15, 1926, Detroit was tentatively awarded a NHL expansion team to a group of investors led by Townsend, Seyburn and McCreath, not Caplan and Friedberg, on condition of the arena being ready for the upcoming season. At the time, the arena was expected to be ready for December 1. The Victoria Club was sold by Lester and Frank Patrick to the Townsend group for $100,000, of which $25,000 went to Caplan and Friedberg. Although the arena was not ready, the franchise was permanently approved by the NHL on September 25, 1926. The franchise was established as the Detroit Cougars, retaining the Victoria name. However, the NHL does not consider the Red Wings to be a continuation of the Victoria team.

Early seasons - 1926-1932: Cougars and Falcons

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