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The 2010s are nearing a conclusion and it was a decade of many memories for Red Wings fans — both good and bad. Let’s get the bad out of the way first: franchise icons like Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg retired from the NHL, a playoff streak spanning a quarter of a century was snapped, and we said farewell to the famed Joe Louis Arena. The farthest the Red Wings made it to in the postseason was game 7 of the conference semifinals. Not what the franchise was accustomed to the previous decade.

Now for the good: Detroit finally made the switch to the Eastern Conference in 2013, the new state-of-the-art Little Caesars Arena opened doors for a new era of Red Wings hockey, and, of course, Steve Yzerman returned home to become the 12th general manager in team history.

Along the way, there were many other memories created that mean something different to all of us. Hockey is a funny sport, one that can have a greater impact on our lives outside of the rink. To celebrate the past 10 years of Red Wings hockey, our writers told the tales of their favorite memories from the decade. The uniqueness and personal touch of each story is what make them so special.

We’d love to hear your favorite memory as well. Make sure to share in the comments!

John Beiser

From “Come Home, Stevie” to Sergei Fedorov’s return after his hall of fame induction, there are many moments that make this decade one to remember. I had one Gordie Howe memory on the tip of my brain, and that led me to remembering his puck drop with Ted Lindsay at the 2014 Winter Classic. Both that puck drop and the crowd at Joe Louis Arena singing Happy Birthday to Gordie months before he passed away are moments that Wings fans won’t soon forget about the 2010s. For Wings fans in attendance, getting to sing Happy Birthday to the greatest man in Detroit history was a bucket list moment. For those watching from home, to see a slowing down Gordie Howe process the love of the Detroit crowd, it’s a moment that doesn’t need much describing.

My grandpa was born and raised in the downriver Detroit area, Lincoln Park to be more specific. He served his country in World War 2 and went on to retire after a successful lithography career with several other jobs in between. He used to moonlight as a bartender at a bar the Red Wings would hang out at in the 50s and sit in the stands next to Mrs. Howe at the Olympia. I’d grow up hearing countless stories which built the foundation to my Red Wings fandom and to see Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay showered with the love of the hockey fans in attendance was a special moment for all to cherish.

Zander Blaylock

The past decade for Detroit has been quite mediocre. Filled with early playoff exits and the decline of the team into a fully active rebuild, this decade was filled with more bright spots than consistent positivity.

My favorite moment also has to deal with Little Caesars Arena. Attending the most recent home opener, the 4-3 win over Dallas, was an experience I will forever remember fondly. While being born and raised in Michigan, my family moved to Florida in 2011, so that night happened to be the first time I ever saw the Red Wings play in Detroit and Anthony Mantha made sure it was an unforgettable one. Dylan Larkin, Filip Hronek, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Dennis Cholowski being on the score-sheet also sparked a level of confidence in the future of the organization, showcasing the talent the Wings have in the present and future.

The building was electric, loud, and energized the whole night. And despite the assumption the Wings would ultimately miss the playoffs later next year, that October night felt like it could have been a game in May. Seeing Niklas Kronwall drop the puck, former alumni interact with fans, and being at the first home game with Steve Yzerman as the new GM were also surrounding details that made the night even better.

The arena felt like a perfect mix of tributes to older championship teams and legacy players, but still embracing the future stars and youth while encompassing the heart and hustle of the city. Spending the weekend with good friends who also love the Wings only made the climatic comeback win sweeter, and it’s for those reasons that is my personal favorite moment from the past 10 years.

Alex Drain

The 2010s have been the worst decade for the Red Wings since the 1980s, but part of that sentence is a testament to the incredible run that we all experienced through the 1990s and 2000s. For some other organizations, this may have been a mostly successful decade, with a few playoff series wins, and there still some positive memories to pick from. For me it comes down to one in particular. This was the home win streak during the 2011-2012 season, which reached an NHL record 23 games before being snapped by the Vancouver Canucks.

Maybe the most memorable part for me was that my dad and I attended the last loss before the streak began (it was Zetterberg bobblehead night against the Flames) and we didn’t realize we had been to the last loss until more than a month later. I remember the anticipation of each game at Joe Louis, turning on the TV that night to see if they could keep it going. I remember the magic in the building when the Wings knocked off Philadelphia to tie the record and then set it two nights later against Dallas.

Then there was the Datsyukian escape against Nashville on Friday, as the Magic Man scored with 7 seconds left in regulation to win it and stretch the streak even further. For a then-13 year-old who lost his grandfather during the midst of the streak, it was an incredible time to be a fan and showed the true healing powers sports can have. That season didn’t end the way we wanted it to (a first round exit against the Predators), but we’ll always have that memory.

Tom Mitsos

There hasn’t been a lot of great moments for the Red Wings during the past 10 years. A couple of second-round eliminations, three consecutive first-round exits and three straight years of missing the playoffs altogether doesn’t give fans much to be happy about.

However, my favorite moment of the past decade was attending the first regular season game at Little Caesars Arena. While Joe Louis Arena always will hold a special place in my heart as one of the few remaining hockey “barns,” it needed an upgrade, and Little Caesars Arena delivered on every aspect. The place was electric, fans were excited and the game was as close to a playoff atmosphere as you can get with the current state of the team.

When Anthony Mantha scored the first goal in Little Caesars Arena history, you’d think he scored the game-winning overtime goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final; the eruption was intense. The Red Wings were one season removed from snapping the 25-year playoff streak and the initial rebuild was just getting underway, so the fans released a lot of pent-up frustration when Mantha got on the scoreboard. Everyone knew the team probably was going to miss the playoffs again, but a win in the first game at the new arena made it seem as if things eventually would turn around for Hockeytown.