x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

The Wings way means they will always fly high

The Detroit side's way of doing business secures a legacy of winning, the patient approach keeps the franchise developing prospects keeping them at the top.

The Detroit Reds Wings have won four Stanley Cups since 1997.
The Detroit Reds Wings have won four Stanley Cups since 1997.

The Detroit Red Wings, still dominant after all these years. The Wings have been the NHL's gold standard for the past 20 seasons, and this year is no different.

Detroit have been a regular-season force since the early 1990s and have won four Stanley Cups since 1997.

This year is the same sensational story, with the Wings leading the highly-competitive Western Conference with the best record in the NHL. Detroit are riding a team-record 17-game winning streak at home - they are 20-2-1 overall at the Joe Louis Arena in 2011/12 - and entered the weekend on a 9-1-0 roll.

Nicklas Lidstrom, the All-World defenceman, has been a presence during much of the Wings' two decades of success, while Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg took over up front when the likes of Steve Yzerman and Igor Larionov finally called an end to their superstar careers.

But Detroit's way of doing business also deserves credit, from the owner Mike Ilitch to the general manager Ken Holland to the core of grinders and depth players to the franchise's patient approach in developing prospects.

You have to earn your role and ice time in Detroit, but once you do, you're given the respect and freedom to do your job as you see fit - within the parameters of the team's puck-possession style, of course.

Me-first players do not last long with the Wings, which is why the team are never far from first place and a continual Stanley Cup contender.