Over the course of their history, the Detroit Red Wings have scored 19,904 regular season goals. That’s a lot of goals.
Since the franchise arrived in Detroit, quite a few extraordinary players have graced the ice for the Red Wings and contributed to that goal tally. Let’s take a look at a small list of those Hockeytown greats and explore the legends who make up Detroit’s top 20 goal-scorers of all-time.
1. Gordie Howe (786)
Over Gordie Howe’s 25 seasons with the Red Wings, “Mr. Hockey” amassed 786 goals in regular season and another 27 in the playoffs. Fun fact: Howe never produced a 50-goal season in Detroit, though he came close with 49 during the 1952-53 campaign.
2. Steve Yzerman (692)
Up until Alex Ovechkin passed him, Steve Yzerman held the record for most career goals while only playing for one NHL team. If “Alex the Great” plays for another franchise at some point, the record is Yzerman’s again, with 692 goals over the course of his illustrious, 22-year Red Wings career.
3. Alex Delvecchio (456)
Can you consider a Hall-of-Fame player underrated? If so, Alex Delvecchio fits the description. Detroit’s long-time center and successor to Sid Abel on the Red Wings’ “Production Line” tallied 456 goals over 24 seasons in Hockeytown. More of a passer, Delvecchio’s highest goal total in a single season was just 31, but he also scored 20 or more goals 13 times with the Red Wings.
4. Sergei Fedorov (400)
Another fun fact: Sergei Fedorov’s 400th goal with the Red Wings was scored on a breakaway against Michael Leighton and the Chicago Blackhawks in what was Fedorov’s final regular season game with the franchise. For all those goals, the three Stanley Cups, and countless memories, the former all-world center deserves to have his number retired in Detroit.
5. Henrik Zetterberg (337)
Before Henrik Zetterberg retired, he moved into fifth place for goals in a Red Wings uniform with 11 in his final season. He scored 43 goals during the 2007-08 campaign and added 13 more in the playoffs en route to the 2008 Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy. Around that time, Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk were absolutely lethal together for the Red Wings.
6. Ted Lindsay (335)
A grueling pest to play against, Ted Lindsay was also a dominant scorer during his heyday. During the 1949-50 season, “Terrible Ted” won the Art Ross with 78 points, was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team, and won the Stanley Cup. He finished his Red Wings career with a 14-goal performance during the 1964-65 campaign after coming out of a four-year retirement.
7. Norm Ullman (324)
Like Delvecchio, Norm Ullman may be one of the most underrated Red Wings of all-time. He arrived in Hockeytown right after Detroit’s 1955 Stanley Cup victory, but never won a championship with the Red Wings, despite reaching the finals five times. Nevertheless, Ullman scored 324 goals with Detroit, frequently playing alongside Howe.
8. Pavel Datsyuk (314)
While he has the eighth-most goals among Red Wings players, Datsyuk easily has the most highlight-reel tallies in franchise history. The “Magic Man” accumulated 314 goals during regular season games and another 42 in the playoffs. Perhaps his most famous goal, Datsyuk introduced the world to his signature move during the 2003-04 season against the Dallas Stars.
9. Brendan Shanahan (309)
After arriving in Detroit, Brendan Shanahan quickly became a fan-favorite for his rugged style of play and propensity to light the lamp. His 309 markers rank ninth all-time among Red Wings players. Shanahan reached 40 goals three times with the Red Wings, including his first and last seasons with the organization.
10. John Ogrodnick (265)
Riding shotgun to Yzerman for the franchise icon’s first four seasons in the league, John Ogrodnick was a dependable winger who could score in bunches. During his nine seasons with the Red Wings, Ogrodnick had one 50-goal campaign and two more in which he topped 40. He was also Detroit’s main source of offense until Yzerman arrived on the scene.
11. Nicklas Lidstrom (264)
Though he ranks 11th in franchise history for goals, Nicklas Lidstrom has the most tallies among defensemen to have suited up for the Red Wings. Remarkably consistent, the “Perfect Human” scored 10 or more goals 17 times in Detroit, topping out at 20 during the 1999-00 season. Another fun fact: Lidstrom did not record a hat trick until he was 40-years old.
12. Tomas Holmstrom (243)
It’s fitting that Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom are side-by-side. Best friends off the ice, Lidstrom frequently assisted on Holmstrom’s goals – usually with the latter parked in front of the net. Another fun fact: Datsyuk—not Lidstrom—has assisted on more Holmstrom goals (78) than anyone else. Lidstrom is a close second with 75 assists.
13. Nick Libett (217)
A mainstay during the “Dead Wings” era, Nick Libett recorded 217 goals during his 12-year Red Wings career. He scored 31 times during the 1971-72 campaign and could generally be counted on to reach 15-20 goals a season. Libett only reached the playoffs twice with the Red Wings, scoring five goals in 11 games.
14. Gerard Gallant (207)
One of Yzerman’s favorite linemates, Gerard Gallant scored 207 goals with the Red Wings. In fact, Yzerman assisted on quite a few—97—of Gallant’s tallies (47 percent). Not only could he contribute offensively, Gallant was known to mix it up too, often surpassing 200 penalty minutes a season in Detroit.
15. Slava Kozlov (202)
The second member of the Russian Five to make the list, Slava Kozlov was a dangerous goal-scorer during the 90s and early-2000s. Riding shotgun to Fedorov, Kozlov topped out at 36 goals during the 1995-95 campaign – the inaugural season of the Russian Five. He finished his Red Wings career with 202 goals; Kozlov was traded to Buffalo as part of a package for Dominik Hasek in 2001.
T16. Reed Larson (188)
Spending the first 10 seasons of his NHL career with the Red Wings, Reed Larson recorded 188 goals in 708 games. The second blueliner on this list, Larson was known for his cannon from the point and was Detroit’s best defenseman during his tenure. Further, when putting together a roster of the best Red Wings of all-time, it’s fair to consider Larson in the same category as Niklas Kronwall, Chris Chelios, Gary Bergman, and Jack Stewart.
T16. Syd Howe (188)
Not related to Gordie, Syd Howe won three Stanley Cups in Detroit and scored 188 goals along the way. The elder Howe once scored six goals in a 1943-44 contest for the Red Wings and finished the season with 32 markers in 46 games. He also added 17 career goals in the playoffs.
18. Johan Franzen (187)
“The Mule” was a pain in the ass for opponents when he was at his peak. Johan Franzen could bully his way to the net or snipe from a distance with his lethal wrist shot. He had a five-goal game against Ottawa in 2011, joining Syd Howe and Fedorov as the only three Red Wings to record five tallies in a single contest. Concussions cut Franzen’s career short – there’s no telling where he would have ended up among Detroit’s top goal-scorers if he was able to stay healthy throughout his career.
19. Sid Abel (184)
During his 12 seasons with the Red Wings, Sid Abel recorded 184 goals across 570 games. If not for Abel serving in World War II, that total certainly would have been higher. Another fun fact: Lindsay, Abel, and Howe finished first, second, and third, respectively, in scoring during the 1949-50 season en route to winning the 1950 Stanley Cup.
20. Mickey Redmond (177)
Detroit’s old No. 20 lands at No. 20 on this list. Mickey Redmond’s 177 goals came in only 317 games with the Red Wings across six seasons. In fact, Redmond holds the Red Wings record for highest career goals per game (0.56). Not too shabby for a farm boy for Kirkland Lake, Ontario.
Final fun fact: Six Red Wings have scored 50 goals in a season. Four players are on this list. Who are the other two? Find the answer here.
Tony Wolak is based in the Washington D.C. area and covers the Detroit Red Wings for THW. As a former junior and college hockey player, Tony has a unique perspective on Red Wings topics.