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Ranking All 36 Captains In Detroit Red Wings History

A total of 36 different players have worn the C on their sweater for the Detroit Red Wings franchise since it entered the league in the 1926-27 season. The team was named the Detroit Cougars up until 1930 and then changed its name to the Detroit Falcons for two seasons. The Red Wings name was then bestowed upon the franchise in 1932. The team has won 11 Stanley Cups, which ranks third all-time and the most for an American-based franchise.

We’re going to take a look at and rank all the players who have been named captain of the Detroit franchise. Many of them ended up in the Hockey Hall of Fame after their stellar careers. However, to even put the playing field we’re going to rank the players on their overall careers, not just their days in Detroit or the time spent with the C on their sweater while with the team.

This is because some players served as captain for just a short period of time and may have otherwise enjoyed an all star or Hall of Fame career. The club used more than one captain for several seasons for one reason or another and in fact seven different players shared the captain’s duties in the 1973-74 campaign as the team used a rotating-captain system.

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35 Art Duncan

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The first captain in Detroit history was defenceman Art Duncan. He wore the C in the franchise’s inaugural NHL season as the Detroit Cougars. Duncan was the first captain, first head coach and first general manager of the new club. His pro career began in 1912-1913 and was interrupted when he enlisted in the Royal Air Force to fight in World War I, where he won a Military Cross for his actions. Duncan skated one season with Detroit, scoring three goals and two assists in 34 games. He then joined the Toronto Maple Leafs the next year and was also their player coach. Duncan played parts of four seasons in Toronto before hanging up his skates. He played 156 NHL games with 34 points as most of his career was spent in the Pacific Coast Hockey League.

34 Carson Cooper

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Carson Cooper was a right-winger who played eight seasons in the NHL with Boston, Montreal and Detroit. The Detroit franchise was known as the Cougars and then the Falcons during his five-year stay with the team. Cooper was the captain of the Detroit Falcons in 1931-32 after being acquired from Montreal. Cooper’s last four seasons in pro hockey were spent in the IHL with three of those campaigns being with the Detroit Olympics. He did manage to get his name engraved on the Stanley Cup later in life in both 1950 and 1952 when he served as the Red Wings head scout. Cooper played in 294 career NHL games and managed to tally 110 goals along with 167points. His best goalscoring campaign came with Boston in 1925-26 when he netted 28 times in 36 games.

33 Dennis Polonich

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Dennis Polonich wasn’t drafted by Detroit until the 118th pick in 1973, but ended up wearing the C in 1976-77 when Danny Grant was injured. Polonich was an instigator supreme who dropped his gloves at a moment’s notice even though he was just 5-feet-6-inches tall. Polonich played just 390 NHL games, but served 1,242 minutes in penalties and added 141 points. He spent his entire NHL career with the Wings from 1974 to 1983 before skating down in the minors for his last four campaigns. His Wings’ team managed to make the playoffs in 1977-78, but lasted only seven games. In 1978-79, Polonich’s face was smashed in by the stick of Colorado’s Wilf Paiement. Polonich had severe facial damage, a concussion and broken nose and needed reconstructive surgery. Polonich was awarded an $850,000 settlement in 1982 after suing.

32 Larry Johnston

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There aren’t too many defencemen on this list, but Larry Johnston is one of them. He spent his 14-year pro hockey career in half a dozen different leagues including 320 games in the NHL between 1967/68 and 1976/77. He skated with Los Angeles, Detroit, Colorado and Kansas City in the big leagues and chipped in with 73 points. The Red Wings acquired Johnston in a February, six-player 1970 trade with the Kings. He played with Detroit from 1971/72 to 1973/74 and shared captain’s duties with six other players in 73/74 when the team instituted a rotating-captain system. It didn’t have the desired effect though as the Red Wings failed to make the playoffs that year. Johnston signed with Baltimore of the WHA after three steady seasons in Detroit as the team was looking for some toughness.

31 Dennis Hextall

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Dennis Hextall wasn’t a flashy player by any stretch of the imagination nor was he a big scorer even though he netted 30 goals for Minnesota in 1972/73 and 20 the next year. Hextall was a solid, consistent pro who came from a fine hockey-playing family which featured his father Bryan, brother Bryan Jr., and his nephew Ron Hextall. Dennis played from 1968/69 to 1979/80 with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles, the California Golden Seals, Minnesota, Detroit and Washington. Unsurprisingly with the Hextall name, he played with and edge as he served 1,398 minutes in penalties. He played with the Wings from midway through 1975/76 to 1978/79 and was co-captain in 1977/78 and 1978/79 in Motown before being traded to Washington after just 20 games in the 78/79 campaign.

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Before Steve Yzerman came along, the youngest captain in Red Wings history was left-winger Paul Woods. He was drafted 51st by Montreal in 1975 and helped their Nova Scotia AHL farm team win two Calder Cups, chipping in with the cup winner in 1975-76. Detroit claimed the hard-working forward in the 1977 waiver draft and Woods spent his entire NHL career in Motor City from 1977-78 to 1983-84. He was co-captain in 1979-80 along with Nick Libett and Dennis Hextall. Woods wasn’t a big scorer as he had 196 points in 501 games and didn’t make the playoffs once. However, he had fine leadership qualities and was rewarded for them with the C for a season. His speed and workmanlike attitude made him a fan favourite and he now works Red Wings games as a radio broadcaster.

30 Dan Maloney

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Tough guy Dan Maloney made the most of his weak skating and limited skills as he broke the 20-goal mark three times and came close to it on a few other occasions. He racked up 451 points in 737 games and also served 1,489 minutes in penalties. Maloney was co-captain of the Wings with Dennis Hextall in 1977-78. He played with Detroit for just three playoff seasons from 1975 to 1978 without making the playoffs. In fact, Maloney was acquired by the Wings from Los Angeles in the trade which sent Marcel Dionne out west. Maloney was then traded to Toronto in a deal that saw the Wings acquire another future captain in Errol Thompson. Maloney was poor at skating, decent at scoring and good at fighting. He then got into coaching after retiring in 1982.

29 Errol Thompson

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Winger Errol Thompson made a name for himself as a fine goalscorer with Toronto and the Wings acquired him in a steal of a deal in a trade in 1977-78 which saw former captain Dan Maloney head to the Leafs. Thompson was a co-captain with Reed Larson in the 1980-81 campaign in a season the Wings missed the playoffs. After scoring 26 points in 39 games that season Thompson was traded to Pittsburgh in January of 1981. He then promptly retired at the end of the campaign. Thompson scored 76 goals and 134 points in 200 games with Detroit and retired with 393 points in 599 games from 1972-73 to 1980/81. The speedy Thompson was drafted 22nd overall by Toronto in 1970, was a solid pro and led by example rather than being a rah-rah- type of guy.

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28 Terry Harper

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Rugged defenceman Terry Harper was a defensive, stay-at-home blueliner who had made a name for himself playing with Montreal and Los Angeles from 1962 and 1975. He won five Stanley Cups with the Habs and served as captain of the Kings for three years. Harper was a grizzled veteran when the Red Wings acquired him from LA in 1975 in the trade that saw former captain Marcel Dionne head to LA and another future Wings’ captain, Dan Maloney, join Harper on the trip to Detroit. Harper played 1,066 career games with 35 goals and 256 points, but was steady as a rock in his own end. He shared the captain’s duty with Danny Grant in 1975-76 and spent four seasons in Detroit before joining St. Louis and then Colorado for a season each before retiring in 1981.

27 Danny Gare

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Detroit’s captain from 1982 to 1986 was right-winger Danny Gare, a two-time 50-goal scorer who skated in the NHL from 1974-75 to 1986-87. Gare was drafted by Buffalo 29th overall in 1974 and played with them until the Wings acquired him in trade in 1981-82. He played four and a half seasons in Detroit and spent his final campaign with Edmonton. He took over Detroit’s captaincy from Reed Larson and had plenty of experience with the C as he was also the Sabres’ skipper from 1977 to 1981. Gare tied for the league lead in goals in 1979-80 with 56 and finished his career with 685 points in 827 games with 46 points in 64 playoff games. The Wings were a weak team during Gare’s time in Detroit and made the playoffs just twice with him.

26 Reed Larson

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Defenceman Reed Larson played 14 seasons between 1976 and 1990 and was a Wing from 1976-77 to 1985-86 after being drafted 22nd by Detroit in 1976. Larson was captain in 1981-82 after sharing the duties with Errol Thompson the previous season. Detroit failed to make the playoffs in either of those seasons though. The Minneapolis-born Larson appeared in 904 NHL games with 685 points, including 222 goals, and is in the US Hockey Hall of Fame. He was traded to Boston in 1986 and also played a season each with Edmonton, the New York Islanders, Minnesota and Buffalo. Larson had a hell of a shot and broke the 20-goal barrier five times. He also had seasons of 17, 18, and 19 goals and his 60 rookie points saw him voted as runner up in Calder Trophy balloting.

25 Dale McCourt

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Centre Dale McCourt was drafted first overall by Detroit in 1977 after being named CHL player of the year. However, Detroit GM Ted Lindsay had signed goalie Rogie Vachon from Los Angeles and an NHL arbitrator decided Detroit should give the Kings McCourt as compensation. The youngster refused to report to LA and ended up suing the NHL, the players’ association, the Kings and the Red Wings. He played his rookie season in Detroit during the mess and the courts decided he could remain with the Wings. McCourt stayed with Detroit Wings until 1981-82 when he was traded to Buffalo. He captained the Wings in 1979-80 with 81 points in 80 games, but they failed to make the playoffs. McCourt scored 478 points in 532 NHL games and then played eight seasons in Switzerland.

24 Nick Libett

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Left-winger Nick Libett served as a co-captain or alternating captain with the Red Wings in both the 1973-74 and 1979-80 seasons. He shared the honour the first time with Alex Delvecchio, Red Berenson, Gary Bergman, Ted Harris, Mickey Redmond and Larry Johnston as for some strange reason the team used seven alternating captains in 1973-74. He then shared the C with Paul Woods and Dennis Hextall half a dozen years later. Libett broke in with the Wings in 1967-68 and played with them until 1978-79 before spending his final two NHL seasons with Pittsburgh after being traded for Pete Mahovlich. Detroit made the playoffs just twice in his 12 seasons there. Libett cracked the 30-goalmark once and the 20-goal barrier five times in Detroit and ended his career with 505 points in 982 games.

23 Danny Grant

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Minnesota North Stars’ Danny Grant was the rookie of the year in 1968-69 with 65 points even after helping Montreal win the Stanley Cup the year before by playing 22 regular-season games and 10 in the playoffs. Montreal made a mistake by trading Grant as he averaged about 30 goals in his six seasons with. The Stars traded Grant to Detroit in 1974 and the left-winger scored 50 goals and 86 points in his first season in Motown while playing with Marcel Dionne. He shared captain duties for the squad with Dennis Polonich in 1976-77. Grant’s time in Detroit was plagued by injuries though and he was traded to LA in 1977-78. He spent two seasons there and time in the AHL before retiring in 1982. Grant scored 263 goals and 535 points in his 736 games.

22 Gary Bergman

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Gary Bergman was an underrated defenceman who was part of the 1973-74 rotating-captain season which saw seven players wear the C on their sweater. Bergman surprised a lot of people when he was named to Team Canada for the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union as they saw how effective he could be. Detroit took him in the 1964 Intra-League Draft after he’d spent four years in the AHL. Bergman played just 11 games in the rotating-captain season as he was traded to Minnesota midway through it. Defender Ted Harris was acquired in the trade and would also be a rotating captain that season. Bergman was reacquired by Detroit before 1974-75, but was traded to Kansas City the next year, which was his last in the NHL. He had 367 points in 838 games.

21 Ted Harris

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Blueliner Ted Harris was acquired by Detroit from Minnesota in the 1973-74 campaign for defenceman Gary Bergman, who had been one of seven rotating-captains that year. When Harris arrived in Motown he also wore the C on his sweater at times that season. Harris broke into the NHL with Montreal in 1964-65 and won four Stanley Cups with them and had played in five All-Star Games by the time he joined the Wings. He didn’t stay long though as Harris played in just 41 contests with Detroit scoring 11 assists before being dealt to St. Louis in his second trade of the season. Harris was on the move again a year later when he joined Philadelphia and won his fifth cup in which was his final season. He had 198 points in 788 games and 1,000 penalty minutes.

20 Modere "Mud" Bruneteau

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Right-winger Mud Bruneteau was a co-captain of the Wings with Flash Hollett in 1943-44. He played with the team from 1935-36 to 1945-46 before joining Omaha of the USHL. His brother Ed Bruneteau was also a well known NHL’er. Bruneteau’s claim to fame was scoring the winning goal and the NHL’s longest-ever playoff game. He tallied the winner back on March 24, 1936 at the 16:30 mark of the sixth overtime period against the Montreal Maroons as the Red Wings downed them 1-0. Bruneteau had 277 points in 411 NHL games and potted 35 goals for Detroit while wearing the C in 1943-44 in just 39 games. He helped the Red Wings win three Stanley Cups with 23 playoff goals in 77 games and is a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.

19 Red Berenson

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Detroit was in an experimental mode in 1973-74 when they introduced the magnificent seven to the NHL. This was a system of rotating captains which seven different players wear the C at one point or another during the campaign. One of these was centre Red Berenson who debuted in the NHL over a decade earlier with Montreal where he won a Stanley Cup. He also spent time with the New York Rangers before coming into his own during stint with St. Louis, scoring six goals in a game in November, 1968 and being named captain in 1970. Detroit acquired the 31-year-old from the Blues in 1970-71 in a deal which cost them Garry Unger. Berenson played with Detroit until 1974-75 when he was dealt back to the Blues. He retired in 1978 with 658 points in 987 games.

18 Mickey Redmond

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When it comes to scoring goals Mickey Redmond was one of the best of his era. The right-winger broke into the league with Montreal in 1968-69 and won two Stanley Cups with them during his four-year stint. He scored 27 goals and assists in 1969-70 and had 14 goals in 40 games when the Habs traded him to Detroit in 1970-71 in a deal which saw Hall of Famer Frank Mahovlich go the other way. Redmond had seasons of 42, 52, and 51 goals with Detroit before running into back problems. He was the first Red Wing to reach the 50-goal plateau and one of seven rotating-captains in 1973-74. However, he only played until 1975-76 when he retired at 28 due to his bad back. Redmond scored 233 goals and 428 points in his 538 games.

17 Doug Young

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Between Ebbie Goodfellow’s stints as captain, defenceman Doug Young had the honour of wearing the C from 1935 to 1938 and saw his squad win a pair of Stanley Cups. The Red Wings were known as the Detroit Falcons when Young broke into the league in 1931-32 and he spent eight seasons with the franchise before heading to Montreal as a free agent in 1939-40. Young made a great first impression in Detroit with 10 goals as a rookie and showed he was capable at both ends of the ice. He would score 35 goals and 80 points in 388 games and played in the 1939 All-Star Game. Toronto claimed Young on waivers in 1940, but he soon retired after being sent to the AHL. He then worked as an on-ice official and also worked for the Wings.

16 William "Flash" Hollett

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Flash Hollett captained the Wings from1943-44 to 1945-1946. He was co-captain for the first and last seasons of his three-year stint and the sole captain during 1944-45 campaign. The defenceman made his NHL debut with Toronto in 1933/34 and played 13 seasons with the Leafs, Ottawa, Boston and Detroit, winning three Stanley Cups with the Bruins. The former lacrosse player was a good offensive blueliner with excellent skating and puck handling skills. He set a then-NHL record for goals by a defender when he scored 19 of them with Boston in 1941-42 and then repeated the feat the next season. He scored 20 in his second of three seasons with Detroit in 1944-45 in just 50 games. Hollett totaled 313 in 565 career games, making him the highest-scoring blueliner when he retired from the league in 1946.

15 Herbie Lewis

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The 1933-34 NHL season saw left-winger Herbie Lewis captain the Red Wings. He had joined the franchise in 1928-29 when it was known as the Detroit Cougars and also played with the team for the two years it was known as the Detroit Falcons. He stayed with the club until the 1938-39 season and then finished his career with Indianapolis of the AHL for two seasons. Lewis had a pretty good scoring touch as he racked up 309 points in 483 career games and added 23 more in 38 playoff contests. Lewis was also known for his excellent speed and he’s another former Red Wings’ captain who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as he was given the honour in 1989. He was a tough little player who never forgot about his defensive duties either.

14 Larry Aurie

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At just 5-feet-6-inches, right-winger Larry Aurie was one of the smallest players to ever wear the C for Detroit, which he did in 1932-33. He spent his entire NHL career with the franchise from 1927-28 to 1938-39 and won two Stanley Cups. He was called the heart and soul of the squad by owner James Norris and netted 147 goals and 276 points in his 489 NHL games. He led Detroit in assists twice and in points once. His 46 points in the 1934/35 campaign ranked third in league scoring and he placed fourth the next season with 43 points. Aurie also played in the first-ever NHL All Star Game 1934 and led the league once in playoff scoring and once led the league in goals. He was the first Detroit player to have his sweater retired.

13 Henrik Zetterberg

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Henrik Zetterberg is the current captain and unfortunately wearing the C while the team’s 25-year playoff streak comes to an end. Zetterberg took over from fellow Swede Nicklas Lidstrom when he retired after the 2011-12 season. He was a popular choice with his teammates and recently scored in his 1,000th career NHL game. The special occasion took place on the final day of the 2016-17 campaign in the last-ever NHL game played at the Joe Louis Arena. The 36-year-old Zetterberg helped the Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2007-08 by claiming the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason’s MVP. He also took home a gold medal from the 2006 Winter Olympics and World Championships. Zetterberg was drafted 210th overall in 1999 and has 904 points in his 1,000 games with 120 points in 137 playoff contests.

12 Ebbie Goodfellow

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Ebbie Goodfellow was another Wing who had different stints as captain. He first wore the C by himself in 1934-35 and didn’t wear it again until 1938 to 1941. He then shared captain’s duties with Syd Howe in 1941-42. Nicknamed Poker Face, Goodfellow skated for 14 seasons in the NHL, all of them with Detroit between 1929 and 1944. Like Red Kelly, he also played defence and forward. He helped the Red Wings win three Stanley Cups, but didn’t captain a cup-winning team. Goodfellow took home the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP for 1939-40 and was the first Red Wing to do so. Goodfellow hung up his skates in 1942-43 and became a head coach in the AHL and then with the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hall of Famer racked up 324 points in 554 NHL outings

11 Syd Howe

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The first Howe to captain Detroit wasn’t Gordie, it was Syd. The left-winger wore the C on his sweater in 1941-42 along with Ebbie Goodfellow. Howe skated for 17 NHL seasons with the Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Quakers, Toronto, St. Louis Eagles and the Detroit Red Wings, where he spent a dozen years. Howe was a league fixture between 1929-30 and 1945-46 and helped the Red Wings win three Stanley Cups. He was acquired by Detroit from the St. Louis Eagles in February of 1935 when the Eagles sold him. Howe scored an impressive 237 goals and 528 points in 698 career games and was also named captain of St. Louis and Ottawa when he played for them. His most-telling accomplishment though was being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1965.

10 Ted Lindsay

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'Terrible' Ted Lindsay stood just 5-feet-8-inches tall, but was as tough and talented as they come. The Hall of Fame left-winger was skipper from 1952 to 1956. The nine-time All-Star won four Stanley Cups in Motown and was captain for three of them. He also won the Art Ross in 1950. Lindsay debuted with the Wings in 1944-45 and played with the team until 1957 when he was traded to Chicago. He spent three seasons in the Windy City and then retired. However, four years later in 1964 he returned to Detroit for one final season. Lindsay was the first NHL captain to skate around the rink with the Stanley Cup to show it off to the fans. He later got involved in the players’ union and the Lester B. Pearson Award was renamed the Ted Lindsay Award.

9 George Hay

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Left-winger George Hay was the captain of the Detroit Falcons in the 1930-31 campaign. Even though he was born in Ontario he was known as The Western Wizard for his fine play in the Western Canada Hockey League where he was a four-time All Star. Hay debuted in the NHL in 1926 and made history by scoring the first-ever goal for the Chicago Blackhawks franchise. He joined Detroit the next season after being traded along with another player for cash and retired in 1933. Hay managed to score 134 points in his 239 NHL games and in 1958 he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958. Hay was a great stick handler who led Detroit in goals and points in 1927-28 with 22 and 35 respectively and coached their minor league team after retiring.

8 Reg Noble

The first multi-season captain in Detroit history was Reg Noble as he held the honour from 1927 to 1930 with the Cougars. The small centre could also play defence and played 17 years in the NHL and NHA (National Hockey Association). He skated with all three versions of Detroit, the Cougars, Falcons and Red Wings as well as the Toronto Blueshirts and Toronto St. Pats and the Montreal Canadiens and Montreal Maroons. Noble won three Stanley Cups in his career and in 1962 was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He joined Detroit in a 1927 trade shortly after the franchise joined the league and spent six seasons in the Motor City until being traded back to the Montreal Maroons. Noble scored 181 goals and 290 points in 536 combined games in the NHL and NHA.

7 Sid Abel

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Sid Abel got a taste of the captaincy in the 1942-43 season and then shared it with Flash Hollett after returning from World War II in 1945-46. Abel then wore the C by himself from 1946 to 1952 when he was sold to Chicago for the last two years of his career with Ted Lindsay taking over. Abel was another Wings’ Hall of Famer who won three Stanley Cups, two of them while serving as captain. Lindsay, Abel and Gordie Howe formed one of the most effective lines in the league which was known as the Production Line. Abel served as player/coach with the Blackhawks and returned to the Wings in 1957-58 as head coach until 1969-70. Abel was a four-time All-Star who also won a Hart Trophy and finished his career with 472 points in 612 games.

6 Alex Delvecchio

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Centre Alex Delvecchio was a legendary Wing and long-time captain who wore the C proudly on his sweater by himself up until the 1973/74 season. The Wings then inexplicably used a rotating-captain system for a year with Delvecchio being one of them. What the decision odd was the fact the captaincy was rotated between a total of seven different players. Delvecchio spent his entire playing, coaching and managing career in Detroit with his playing days coming from 1951 to 1974. He was a gentleman who served just 383 penalty minutes in 1,549 games while adding 1,281 points with another 104 points in 121 playoff outings. The Hall of Famer helped Detroit win three Stanley Cups and he also won the Lady Byng Trophy three times. When he retired, Delvecchio was ranked second all-time in NHL scoring.

5 Red Kelly

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Centre/defenceman Red Kelly captained the Red Wings from 1956 to 1958, between Ted Lindsay and Gordie Howe’s stints. Kelly broke in the Detroit in 1947-48 and spent 13 years with the club before being traded to Toronto where he spent another eight years. He was an eight-time All-Star who won four Stanley Cups with Detroit and four more with the Leafs. The Hall of Famer who didn’t swear was known for his sportsmanship as he took home three Lady Byng Trophies as well as a Norris. Kelly hung up his skates in 1967 and then became a head coach for several years with Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Toronto before entering politics. He racked up 823 points in 1316 games with just 327 minutes in penalties and was seventh all-time in scoring when he retired.

4 Marcel Dionne

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Hall of Fame center Marcel Dionne was drafted second overall by Detroit in 1971, but unfortunately the Wings weren’t able to hold onto him. He spent his first four seasons in Detroit on a weak team and served as captain in the 1974-75 season when he scored 47 goals and 121 points. Dionne wasn’t too happy with losing all the time though and he was traded to Los Angeles in a blockbuster deal which saw two future Wings’ captains, Terry Harper and Dan Maloney head to Detroit. This was arguably one of the worst trades in hockey history as Dionne was a franchise player. He would enjoy eight 100-point seasons, win a pair of Lady Byng and Lester B. Pearson Awards, lead the league in scoring in 1979-80 and be named to several All-Star Teams.

3 Nicklas Lidstrom

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Sweden’s Nicklas Lidstrom is one of the greatest defenceman and Europeans to ever play the game and one of the best skippers the Red Wings ever had. Lidstrom played his entire NHL career from 1991-92 to 2011-2012 with Detroit and was named captain in 1996 after Steve Yzerman retired. The 46-year-old Hall of Famer won four Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe Trophy and seven James Norris Trophies during his career and was voted to a dozen All-Star games. Lidstrom was just the second captain born in Europe to lead his team to a Stanley Cup (2008) and never missed the playoffs in his 20-year career. He was also the first European to win the Conn Smythe. He’s the all-time leader for games played with one franchise and played the most NHL games ever for a European.

2 Steve Yzerman

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Hall of Fame centre Steve Yzerman is generally regarded as the Wings’ best captain. He played his entire career with Detroit from 1983-84 to 2005-06 and was given the C in 1986 at the age of 21. He retired as the longest-serving captain in history of any major league sports team in North America. Yzerman led his team to three Stanley Cups and five first-place finishes in the regular season. He also won plenty of individual awards including a Conn Smythe, Lester B. Pearson Award, Selke Trophy, and the Bill Masterton Trophy. Yzerman was named to 10 All-Star Teams as well as the 1984 All-Rookie Team. He was once voted as Detroit’s most popular athlete and won another Stanley Cup with the team as its vice president. He’s now the GM of Tampa Bay.

1 Gordie Howe

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The name Mr Hockey basically says everything you need to know about Hall of Fame right-winger Gordie Howe. This guy held just about every career scoring record imaginable during his 26-season tenure until Wayne Gretzky came along. He was Detroit’s captain from 1958 to 1962, spent 25 seasons with the team and was a 23-time All-Star. Howe was a complete player who could do everything on the ice and was as tough as nails. The Gordie Howe hat trick was a goal, assist and a fight. He won four Stanley Cups in Detroit along with six Hart and Art Ross Trophies and also led the league in goals five times. Howe set numerous milestones and scored more than a point-per game in both the regular season and playoffs. He’s arguably the best all-round hockey player ever.

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