The Detroit Red Wings are one of the NHL's "Original Six" along with the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. In 1926, the Red Wings franchise entered the NHL as the Detroit Cougars. In 1930, the franchise became the Detroit Falcons. Finally, in 1932, the franchise settled on the nickname Red Wings. The name came from James E. Norris, the owner of the team at the time. Norris had been affiliated with a hockey club whose nickname was the "Winged Wheelers." He also designed the first Red Wings logo.
Red Wings tickets are sold to the Joe Louis Arena located in Detroit, Michigan. The team is aligned in the Central Division of the Western Conference with their most hated rival, the Blackhawks. A tradition among Red Wings fans is to throw octopi onto the ice during the playoffs. The ritual began in 1952 when a fan tossed an octopus onto the ice to signify the eight wins necessary to capture the Stanley Cup (that number has since changed). The tradition has become so popular that the Red Wings' unofficial mascot is an octopus.
The Detroit Red Wings have had quite a few great players over the years including Steve Yzerman, Ted Lindsay, Terry Sawchuk, Red Kelly, and Alex Delvecchio. However, the greatest Red Wing, and one of the greatest hockey players of all-time, is forward Gordie Howe. Known as "Mr. Hockey," Howe led the Red Wings to four Stanley Cup titles and was named the NHL's most valuable player six times. Even more impressive, Howe competed in five decades—1940's through the 1980's. No NHL player has ever done that. Entering the 2010 season, the Wings had won the Stanley Cup 11 times. That's the third most in league history and the most for any team based in the United States.