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Sunday, August 9, 2020

DSN’s countdown of the most random Detroit Red Wings: No. 2

He got his name on the Stanley Cup because of a suspension!

The Detroit Red Wings have featured not only some of the National Hockey League’s greatest teams in history, but also some of the greatest players to ever lace up the skates. From Gordie Howe to Steve Yzerman, Ted Lindsay to Nicklas Lidstrom, Sid Abel to Sergei Fedorov, and plenty of others in between, Detroit’s is a rich history of some of the biggest names in the game.

But like any team with a history as extensive as Detroit’s, there are plenty of players that fans can certainly be excused if they plain forgot about. Our latest countdown will explore some of those names, and maybe even bring back a few brief memories in the process.

No. 10: Goaltender Norm Maracle
No. 9: Forward Mark Mowers
No. 8: Defenseman Jesse Wallin
No. 7: Defenseman Jamie Rivers
No. 6: Forward Yuri Butsayev
No. 5: Forward Josh Langfeld
No. 4: Forward Darryl Bootland
No. 3: Forward Kyle Calder

Our countdown is getting ever so closer to number one! Coming in at number two is a veteran defenseman that was acquired at the 2002 Trade Deadline, and got his name on the Stanley Cup – because of a suspension!

No. 2: Defenseman Jiri Slegr

Czech defenseman Jiri Slegr was a veteran of over eight NHL seasons by the time he came to Hockeytown in March of 2002. Acquired from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for Yuri Butsayev and a draft pick, he suited up in eight games for the Red Wings down the stretch of the regular season.

However, he didn’t see action in the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs – until Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals? The reason? Jiri Fischer was suspended for the contest due to cross-checking Carolina forward Tommy Westlund in the face during Game 4.

Slegr was on the ice for Brendan Shanahan’s empty-net clinching goal, and celebrated with the rest of his teammates by lifting the Stanley Cup. His name was also included on the famed trophy by meeting the requirement of having suited up for at least one Finals game.

He would later finish his playing career back in his native land, and was later involved in politics, getting elected into the Chamber of Deputies as a candidate of the Czech Social Democratic Party in the Ústecký kraj, a region in northern Bohemia.

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Michael Whitaker
Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

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