Red Wings and Their Fans Bid One Hell of a Farewell to Joe Louis Arena (Video + Pics)

Joe Louis Arena farewell ceremony

No NHL franchise has enjoyed as much success at their home arena over the last 40 years than the Red Wings. The Wings won six Presidents’ Trophies, 16 division titles, six conference championships and four Stanley Cups at Joe Louis Arena, while Hall of Famers such as Steve Yzerman, Sergei Fedorov, Nicklas Lindstrom, Brendan Shanahan, and Brett Hall hung their sweaters in The Joe’s locker room.

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. Next season the Red Wings move into the brand new Little Ceasars Arena. So on Sunday, at the Red Wings’ last game of the season, the team and its fans said goodbye to The Joe forever.

As you would expect, everybody pulled out all the stops. During the game the team had franchise greats Darren McCarty, Tomas Holmstrom, Larry Murphy, Dino Ciccarelli, and Joe Kocur serve as the ice crew.

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As you can see, these wings legends didn’t just have to remove snow from the ice. According to one report, fans threw an insane 35 octopi onto the ice during the final game.

Sorry, PETA. After the game the Red Wings held a “Farewell to the Joe” ceremony, inviting all sorts of franchise legends back for one last visit, which made for some pretty memorable photos. Here’s one with all the great Swedish Red Wings:

Here’s a shot of “everybody” (they were actually missing a few) who tended goal at The Joe:

Steve Yzerman—the greatest living Red Wing after the passing of Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe—gave a speech. But franchise icons who couldn’t be there in person sent in video messages.

Deceased Red Wings greats were given their due, too. Dani Probert, the widow of legendary Wings enforcer Bob Probert, was at the game with her daughter. And they brought some of Bob’s ashes…

bob probert widow spreads ashes in penalty box

Which they reportedly spread in the penalty box…

Of course, no farewell to the Joe would have been complete without one last rousing rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.” The song, in which singer Steve Perry boasts of being “born and raised in South Detroit,” became the official anthem of the Red Wings during their incredible 25-year playoff streak.

It was the perfect way to close things out:

You can bet a lot of Red Wings fans were balling their eyes out by the time that song was over.

Hat Tip – [Yahoo, Detroit Free Press]

Tags: Arenas, detroit red wings, Joe Louis Arena, NHL, Stadiums,