The Detroit Red Wings have seen many impressive seasons throughout the years, some of the most impressive ones have occurred since 1985. Which players have recorded the best individual seasons for the Red Wings in this time span? Let’s take a look at them now.
Steve Yzerman- 1988-89
Coming off the 1987-88 season where Steve Yzerman suffered a torn ligament in his knee on March 1st and missed the rest of the season, there was skepticism on how he would be able to bounce back from the injury. Yzerman was able to quiet the doubters after returning from the injury, tallying a total of 155 points in 80 games played during the 1988-89 season.
Among those 155 points, he tallied 65 goals and 90 assists, ranking him third in the league in both categories. He recorded three hat tricks during the year as well. Yzerman is also the only player outside of Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky to be able to top the 155-point plateau in the league’s history. He would go on to win the Lester B. Pearson Award (now known as the Ted Lindsay Award) for most outstanding player in the league.
Even with the individual success that he had during the regular season, Yzerman was the Red Wings only player to top the 100-point mark, with Gerard Gallant finishing second on the team with 93 points. The team would finish the season with the best record in the Norris Division before falling against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of a six-game series.
Sergei Fedorov- 1993-94
After coming into the league during the 1990-91 season, Sergei Fedorov was able to leave his imprint on the Red Wings roster, slowly building up point-wise from one season to the next. Yet, after a 1992-93 season where he tallied a total of 87 points, he made the drastic jump to 120 points in the 1993-94 season.
Fedorov topped the 50-goal mark, tallying 56 goals, placing him third in the league and also finishing second behind Gretzky in points. He also finished as the only player who would record over 100 points for the Red Wings, with Ray Sheppard as the closest to him with 93 points followed by Yzerman who tallied 82 points in only 58 games played.
This is another individual season that did not translate to playoff success for the Red Wings, however, as they were upset in the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks in the first round in a seven-game series after finishing with the best record in the Central Division.
The 1993-94 season was a coming-out party of sorts for Fedorov, as he won the Lester B. Pearson Award.
Nick Lidstrom- 2005-06
Coming into the 2005-06 season, there were high expectations for the Red Wings. They were expected to make a push for a deep playoff run once again, and Nick Lidstrom was part of the reasoning for that. He did not disappoint fans at all, leading the league in points by a defenseman with a total of 80 points, which cleared the second-highest total by nine (Sergei Zubov of the Dallas Stars finished with 71).
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His 80 points and 64 assists are also the most points in a season by a Red Wings defenseman in team history.
Lidstrom’s play on the back end with Mathieu Schneider led the Red Wings to the Presidents’ Trophy for most points by a team in regular season play, finishing with a 58-16-8 record. Lidstrom also earned the honor of best defenseman in the league by winning the Norris Trophy.
Even with the successful regular season though, the 2005-06 season was another season where the team would not be able to get over the hump and live up to the expectations come playoff time, losing to the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the playoffs.
Dominik Hasek- 2001-2002
When the Red Wings acquired Dominik Hasek from the Buffalo Sabres (from Hasek Traded to Red Wings, latimes.com, July 1,2001) in 2001, they knew that they were getting one of the league’s best goalies. In his first season with the team, Hasek was that goalie yet again, leading the league in wins with 41 and recording five shutouts in 65 games played.
The 2001-02 Red Wings team has been viewed as one of the best teams to be assembled with the number of future hall-of-famers they had. This came with the sky-high expectations of a Stanley Cup. Come playoff time, the team did not disappoint, and Hasek was a big part of that. He led the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup while going 16-7 with an impressive 1.67 goals-against average (GAA) and six shutouts. His six shutouts rank second all-time in a single playoff behind New Jersey Devils legend Martin Brodeur‘s seven in the 2002-03 season.
While only one of these impressive individual seasons ended in a Stanley Cup for the Red Wings as a team, they are nonetheless some of the most impressive Red Wings fans have seen since 1985.