Jamie Samuelsen blogs for freep.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Detroit Free Press or its writers. You can hear Jamie 6-8 a.m. weekdays on WDFN-AM (1130). You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more of his opinions at freep.com/jamie.
Would you consider the Red Wings a dynasty?
We discussed this topic on the radio last week. It’s always a gimme on sports radio. Whenever a team wins multiple titles, you must discuss whether or not it constitutes a dynasty. It’s like a by-law. So in advance of the topic, I actually did about thirty seconds of prep work to look up the definition of the word.
Dynasty - a powerful group that maintains its position for a considerable time.
Well, the Wings may not be the Mings or even the Carringtons ('80s TV reference that about six readers will get), but if you go by the definition, they are a dynasty.
A lot of callers disagreed. They claimed that to be a sports dynasty, you have to win multiple championships in consecutive years. Like the '90s Bulls or the '80s Islanders and Oilers. But I disagree. In fact, I’d argue that it’s the opposite.
To me, a dynasty is a franchise that maintains excellence even as the players change. The Bulls were great because of one guy – Jordan. The Oilers were great because they had Gretzky and surrounded him with Hall of Famers like Kurri, Messier and Coffey. Those guys stayed together and won a ton. Those are great teams, not dynasties.
The Red Wings have been the best or one of the best teams in hockey for more than a decade. Each and every year they are a favorite to win. They are a consistent challenger for the top spot in the league. And they’ve won four Cups. Yet during that run they have changed general managers, coaches, goaltenders, captains and leading scorers. They have maintained excellence while changing the roster almost entirely. That’s more dynastic than striking gold for three or four years with a superstar player or tandem.
The one flaw in my argument is Nicklas Lidstrom. He is the one constant and what a constant he is. Maybe this whole argument proves that when you talk about the greatest athletes in their sports, that he should be in there. The Bulls never won without Jordan. The Pats haven’t won without Brady. The Spurs haven’t won without Duncan. And the Wings haven’t won without Lidstrom. But I differentiate just a bit by arguing that a basketball player or a quarterback can have a far greater impact on a game that one skater can in hockey. Not to diminish Lidstrom, but to me the Wings Cups are more of a reflection of the job the front office has done to constantly put out a championship contender. Would the Wings have won four Cups without Nick? No way. Would they have been a contender? I say yes. You can’t say that about the Bulls sans Jordan or the Pats sans Brady.
It’s a great debate and I certainly see where the other side is coming from. But I guess my question would be this. If the Wings are not a dynasty, what team is? And if the Wings are not yet a dynasty, what do they have to do to earn that distinction? Because if they haven’t gotten there yet in your eyes, I have a feeling they might very, very soon.http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article? ... 3/SPORTS05