After almost 40 years in existence, Joe Louis Arena will be closing its doors on Sunday, the day after the Canadiens pay their last visit to the legendary amphitheatre in Detroit. With a key chapter in NHL history coming to a close, several members of the Canadiens organization with links to the Red Wings' home shared their most cherished memories from their time at the "Joe".
Marc Bergevin (Red Wings defenseman, 1995-96)
My favorite memory from Joe Louis Arena is that my first goal in the National Hockey League was scored in Detroit. As a young defenseman then, it wasn't really a nice goal. It was a shot from the blue line that went off five skates, three helmets and two gloves. But it was my first goal in the NHL.
Martin Lapointe (Red Wings forward, 1992-93 to 2000-01)
My favorite memory from Joe Louis Arena is the first Stanley Cup I won with the Wings, in 1997. We won it on June 7, which is also my wife's birthday. It was against the Flyers and it was really special. Another great memory I have from my time as a player is that whenever it was nice outside, Al Sobotka - who was the zamboni driver - would put together these big barbecues for us so we could all eat together, as a team.
Steve Ott (Red Wings forward, 2016-17)
My favorite memories from the Joe Louis Arena have to be just crossing the border from Windsor, ON as a kid, going to see the likes of Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Chris Osgood, [Chris] Chelios, [Mike] Vernon, [Darren] McCarty, you name it - [Kris] Draper, [Kirk] Maltby, all those legends that I grew up watching. Winning the Stanley Cup, seeing the octopus thrown on the ice, listening to Karen Newman start with the national anthem. All those memories are stuck in my brain forever, and I'm so thankful I got to grow up in that area.
Michael McCarron (Grosse Pointe, MI native)
My favorite memory of Joe Louis is probably the first time I played an NHL game there. I grew up playing in that rink, and going to watch my brother play when he was with Little Caesars, too. Those were some fond memories, but my favorite was definitely playing my first NHL game there.
Max Pacioretty (University of Michigan Wolverines forward, 2007-08)
My favorite memory from "The Joe" was winning the CCHA Championship. I have a lot of good memories from there in college and pro, and I'm going to miss playing there a lot.
Jeff Petry (Ann Arbor, MI native)
My favorite memory from "The Joe" was probably the first NHL game I played there. I played for Little Caesars growing up and got to play at "The Joe" in minor hockey, but I think finally officially getting to the NHL and playing a game there against some of the guys that I watched growing up was my favorite moment, and something that sticks out to me.