DETROIT (AP) — Plans are moving forward for the demolition of the former home of the Detroit Red Wings in downtown Detroit.
Detroit Building Authority Director Tyrone Clifton tells the Detroit Free Press that demolition of Joe Louis Arena is expected to begin in the next four to six weeks and finish by the end of the year or early 2020.
Clifton says that crews will start by disassembling the arena’s interior and then proceed to the exterior by June or July. The newspaper says Detroit-based Adamo Group is doing the demolition under a $5.9 million contract with the city and there will be no implosion that people might be able to gather to see.
The Red Wings moved to the new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit in 2017.
For the most part, retired athletes tend to be pretty civil when an active player eclipses their records. The friendliest ones might even travel to see it happen, while others at least go through the motions.
Of course, there’s also the arguably-more-honest-reactions, like those old Miami Dolphins cracking open champagne bottles once the last undefeated NFL team finally loses so their perfect season won’t be matched.
With that reaction in mind, the Red Wings might want to fatten that streak of 21 home games so they don’t have to go through that awkward process.
(The motivation increases when people poke holes in their streak, including Mike Milbury. Milbury believes that the 1929-30 Boston Bruins really won 22 games in a row because of scheduling issues that actually forced two should-be road games to Boston.)
The Red Wings will play four of five and six of their next eight games at home, so they can cast aside doubters in little time. Here’s a list of their remaining home games:
Feb. 17: Nashville
Feb. 19: San Jose
Feb. 23: Vancouver
Feb. 25: Colorado
March 2: Minnesota
March 4: Chicago
March 9: Los Angeles
March 19: Washington
March 24: Carolina
March 26: Columbus
March 30: Nashville
April 1: Florida
April 5: New Jersey
April 7: Chicago
The next three games all have a strong chance to end the streak and there’s plenty of landmines in those 14 remaining regular season home contests. I cannot help but ask, then: when do you think the Red Wings’ run at Joe Louis Arena will come to an end?
(Note: Detroit’s overall home record is 24-2-1* this season, in case you were wondering.)
* – The Red Wings’ two home regulation losses came against San Jose (4-2 on Oct. 28) and Calgary (4-1 on Nov. 3) while their lone shootout loss came to the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 1. In other words, they were beatable at Joe Louis Arena for one three-game span this season.
Red Wings stand alone with 21 consecutive home wins
Nitpickers can quibble about shootout wins all they want, but the Detroit Red Wings’ run of home dominance is now unmatched in NHL history.
Detroit extended its winning streak at Joe Louis Arena to an astounding 21 games, passing the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers in the process. It was a tight game with the Dallas Stars, but the Red Wings pulled out a 3-1 win after taking an early 2-0 lead.
The natural next step is to compare the Red Wings’ run to the best that have occurred in other sports. In case you’re wondering, here are the all-time leaders in the “Big Four.” (H/T to Greg Wyshynski)
1995-96 Chicago Bulls 37 wins
1971-74 Miami Dolphins 27 wins*
1978 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1988 Boston Red Sox 24 wins
2011-12 Red Wings 21 wins (and counting?)
Stay tuned for more on this impressive achievement, including a look at how the Red Wings could make their already-amazing streak that much tougher to top.
* – Beat up those Dolphins teams for drinking champagne whenever the last undefeated NFL team loses if you want, but they had a ridiculous run. Their streak might be the most amazing of all since it was one game short of two full seasons in those days.