Red Wings Receive Royal Treatment

by Joe O'Connor

The Wings brand is so powerful and the organization so impeccably run that players who could sign anywhere, for almost any price (think: Marian Hossa), take a pay cut just to play in Detroit. Among the many perks, is a fan base with a magic touch.

After Wings forward Johan Franzen scored a hat trick in last year’s Western Conference finals, he arrived home to find his driveway covered in hats.

"I still have them in my garage," the 29-year-old Swede stated. "It's a good healthy relationship between us and the fans."

Last year, during a television interview, goaltender Chris Osgood told the Free Press he had not had a beer in months. Twenty cases of beer miraculously appeared on his front step thereafter. Even head coach Mike Babcock is capable of eliciting kind and creative gestures from the team's supporters.

"I have one fan that sends me country songs all the time,” Babcock said. “He puts the tune it's to and then writes lyrics about the Red Wings. So that keeps me entertained. I read those. I have them piled up on my desk.”


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