Welcome to the Wings Nation Roundtable! Every Friday, the WingsNation staff will assemble to take on a mutual question from different perspectives. This week, we talk about what we’re most excited about during this Stadium Series Weekend.
I’m excited for the nostalgia of the entire event. I grew up in the 90’s and really started developing my love and obsession for hockey right around the start of the Wings/Avs rivalry. It’s going to be great reliving lots of my favorite childhood memories that are extra special because a lot of them were firsts for me. First Cup run. First line brawl. First ‘Oh I really hate that guy moment’ (’96 Claude Lemieux). Plus, it’s always nice beating the Avs. I also look forward to there being less outdoor games so they feel special again, now you kids get off my damn lawn.
How can I not be excited for the Alumni game? I’m at the age where a lot of the players who will be on the ice are guys I either grew up watching or hearing about from my grandfather (the person who got me most hooked on hockey), so it’s a nostalgic game for me. Also, because I need to spit a hot take: I’m looking forward to Detroit’s stadium series jersey. There, I said it. Between the jerseys and the mask that Jimmy Howard is going to have – which is absolutely incredible, if you haven’t seen it – I just like the look they went for. I know a lot of people hate it but I don’t care. I love it.
As much as the rivalry might be dead, it’s great to revisit the whole ordeal in such a massive way. With the nastiness before the Alumni Game heating up and an actual (mildly less exciting) NHL game afterwards, I can’t wait to have our most heated rivalry back, at least for one weekend. There’s also the added bonus of an on-ice three team trade when Yzerman, Shanahan, and Sakic are out there, but I suspect that’s more of a fantasy than anything.
I’m going to give the actual game some love. Say what you will about the less-than-optimal conditions, but I love seeing how coaches and players react to the different atmosphere; be it crowd, wind, ice consistency, or in the case of day games, the reflection of the sun. Also, the Stadium Series has a fun thinking going for it with the hyper-modern jerseys; they’re a cool contrast to the fauxbacks that teams who play in multiple outdoor games (or in the Wings’ case, only really have one jersey in their history) have to invent out of thin air.