March 26, 1997. A day that will live in infamy. The Detroit Red Wings met the Colorado Avalanche on the ice at Joe Lewis Arena. The audience of close to 20,000 and possibly even the Avalanche assumed it would be a regular game against their Detroit rivals. Well, the Red Wings had been holding a grudge since the prior season. In game 6 of the 1996 Western Conference Finals Avalanche right winger Claude Lemieux checked Red Wings Center Kris Draper from behind. Draper suffered serious injuries after Lemieux drove his face into the boards. The Avalanche would win the Stanley Cup that year.
Fast forward to March 26, 1997. The Red Wings had not forgotten about the incident, and they were ready to settle up. Nine fights happened on the ice that night at the Joe. When all the blood, teeth, and equipment were cleared from the ice the Red Wings were victorious. They won against the Avalanche 6 to 5. Fight Night at the Joe was without a doubt the biggest fight of the Red Wings’ history, but there are some equally memorable Red Wing fights besides that one! Here’s just a few of some of the biggest fights in Red Wing’s history.
Bob Probert KO’s Gary Nylund 1/11/87
Bob Probert v. Marty McSorley 2/4/94
Joe Kocur v Rick Tocchet 1/28/98
Justin Abdelkader vs Michael Blunden & Brad Richards vs Nikita Nesterov 4/15/16
Bob Probert vs Tie Domi 12/17/92
Bonus! Although no longer a Red Wing, Bob Probert had a rematch against Tie Domi. Probert was playing for the Blackhawks and still had a taste for Domi’s blood. 4/3/96
Bob Probert vs Jeremy Roenick & Darren McCarty vs Neil Wilkinson 12/21/93
Red Wings V Calgary Flames 11/15/17
Red Wings V the Avalanche 4/1/98
Red Wings V the Penguins 11/26/83