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Remembering Joe Louis Arena

by Buffalo Sabres @BuffaloSabres / Sabres.com

At the end of the season, Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings will close its doors for the final time and the team will move into the brand-new Little Caesars Arena in September. 

The Buffalo Sabres played their final game at The Joe on Monday, coming away with a 2-1 victory. Here are some of their thoughts on the historic barn, which opened up back in 1979:

 

Brian Gionta: One of the biggest memories is with the Devils. It was a big game in here. We were late in the season and trying to get ready for playoffs. We came out in the first period and we kind of sucked in the first period. 

Scott Stevens got heated in the room. He threw a skate across the room and we ended up coming back and winning. That ended up being the year we won the Cup so that's a pretty defining moment to turn things around. 


Tyler Ennis: I love it. The first time I was there, I actually went to go watch one of my friends Darren Helm, that I played junior with, they were in the Stanley Cup Final. That was the first time I was there. Now that I've made the NHL and played in Joe Louis, it's a great barn to play in. 

You're right in it right away. It's smaller. It's darker. It's got so much character and every time you're out there, it's just amazing to be playing in a place with such history. 


Jack Eichel: My first game ever here was last year when we came here. I'd seen a few games when I playing for the national team, just coming here watching the Wings play. But other than that, I'd never played here.

It was pretty cool getting to meet Mr. Hockey last year and get a picture with him. It was definitely a special moment.

It's pretty cool to be able to score here a couple times. It's such a historic building. When you walk in and how old it is, and you think about some of the guys who have come through this locker room and have sat on that bench and played here, it's pretty special. It's a great building. It's tough to see it go, but I'm sure their next building is going to be pretty nice too so I'm excited to play in that one. 


Dan Bylsma: For me, the Joe Louis is the rink I was a fan of growing up. I don't know the Olympia. I've only known Joe Louis. I thought it was the Taj Mahal of all rinks. It was a destination for college hockey playoffs and the championship game as well.

The first NHL game I saw was in this building. I came and saw the Edmonton Oilers in their heyday play the Red Wings.

When we won the Stanley Cup [in 2009 as coach of the Penguins], that was probably the finest four hours of my NHL career. Game 7 - that was certainly a culmination of winning the Stanley Cup in this building and it's certainly one I'll never forget. I have stapled in my brain, the last five seconds. 

Pretty much every time I step on that bench, I'm holding my breath for Lidstrom at the side of the net and the Fleury save. I always have those flashback memories when I step back in here.

I had a moment by myself [Monday] morning, taking a deep breath of the smell of The Joe and the sight and some of the memories. I certainly enjoyed it stepping off the ice [Monday night]. 

I'll have something in my pocket on the way out the door. 


Josh Gorges: It's hard to really pinpoint one specific memory. When I think of that, I think of my first couple years in the League coming in when they had Stanley Cup teams - Chris Chelios and Steve Yzerman and Nick Lidstrom. You go on and on, the list of Hall of Famers that played in that building. 

You look up and it's one of those buildings where you see the Stanley Cup banners and the tradition - it's always fun playing in those old buildings. There always seems to be a little bit more - there's a feeling when you come into a rink like that that you don't feel in some of these new buildings. It's sad to see it go.   


Matt Moulson: Obviously it's a great historic landmark, but I'm sure the new facility will be very nice. Obviously you like to come here because of the history and all of the things that have happened here, but it'll be nice to play in a new rink, too. 

 

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