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The Red Wings Brotherhood

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Pete Mahovlich (above) and his brother Frank, played together with the Red Wings during the 1968-69 season.
When the Red Wings face the Stars tonight at Dallas’ American Airlines Arena, 25-year-old defenseman Jordie Benn will be making his NHL debut, joining his younger brother and Stars’ leading scorer, Jamie Benn.


“Yeah, it’s an exciting time for me and for him,” Jamie Benn told the Stars’ website. “You always dream of playing in the NHL since you were little and to get to play your first one with your brother is pretty cool. I think I’m more excited than him.”

While it’s not all that common for brothers to play together on the same NHL team, betcha didn’t know that the Red Wings have had eight different sets of brothers – at one time or another – play together, including the Maholviches and Wilsons?

In all, 15 sibling sets have worn the Wings’ uniform dating back to the second season of the franchise’s existence when forwards Frank and Johnny Sheppard played four games together with the Detroit Cougars during the 1927-28 campaign.

Since then, there have been more than 500 Wings’ games that have featured brothers in the lineup together. But none since March 30, 1969 – that’s when Frank and Pete Maholvich played together for the last time in a Wings' lineup during a 9-5 season-finale loss at Chicago Stadium.

The last tandem formed to join the Wings’ brotherhood was when enforcer Chris McRae joined the organization two years after his older brother Basil was traded to Quebec in 1987.

The Wings’ other sibling teammates were Des and Earl Roche (1934-35); Hec, Ken and Wally Kilrea (1934-40); Ed and Mud Bruneteau (1940-46); Nikina and Winky Smith (1943-44); Don and Rod Morrison (1947-48); and Larry and Johnny Wilson (1949-50).

The brothers to play for the Wings, but not together include Cully and Thain Simon; Bud and Don Polie; Charlie and Roy Conacher; Barry and Ray Cullen; Fred and Howie Glover; and Bryan and Dennis Hextall.

Scott and Rob Niedermayer (2003 Anaheim) and Brent and Duane Sutter (1983 NY Islanders) are probably the most famous hockey brothers to win the Stanley Cup together, but the Wings have had two sets of brothers also win the Cup as teammates: the Bruneteau brothers, from St. Boniface, Manitoba, helped the Wings to the 1943 championship, while the Wilson brothers paced Detroit to a title run in 1950.
 

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