On the night of September 15, 1996, DetroitHockey.Net was born. Originally known as "YzerFan19's Detroit Red Wings Page," it was a single-page site containing a few pictures of the team and scores of the games that had been played. It was not a very good site and little effort went into maintaining it. As such, when that version of the site crashed in January of 1997, it wasn't rebuilt for quite awhile.
The site relaunched in March of 1997, just in time to cover the now-infamous "Brawl Game" between the Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche. The new version of the site contained all the same information as the old but was updated much more frequently, quickly evolving into what is now known as a blog (though that term was still months from its first use).
More content continued to be added to the site and it became larger and better-organized through the 1997 playoffs and into the 1998 season. Eventually, the more opinion-based blog format was abandoned in favor of writing original articles about the team.
In May of 1998, after a series of redesigns and content additions, "YzerFan19's Detroit Red Wings Page" became known as "DRW Central." The change was made to provide a more accurate name to the site (capitalizing on Red Wings merchandise sold at the time that was based off of the "DRW" initials) and to get it listed higher in search engines and site indexes of the time, which were mostly alphabetical.
Another name change came in December of 1999 as the site moved to its own domain and became "drwcentral.net" to promote that fact. Problems related to the shift caused a month of downtime but the site came back from it bigger than ever.
The blog format returned in the winter of 2001 but only lasted until June of that year. The site's "modern era" began with the switch back from the blog format, as it marks both the start of a series of major changes to the site and the earliest entries in the existing News Archives.
The long process of converting the site to a database-driven format with a custom backend began in late-2001. This project was completed in the spring of 2002 and tweeks were conducted that summer.
Another name change took place in early September of 2002, as the site became "DetroitHockey.Net" just days before its sixth birthday. With the Red Wings having dropped their "DRW" merchandise campaign, the letters weren't as synonymous with the team anymore so a name that didn't conflict with any existing copyrights but was still more representative of the focus of the site was chosen.
The site was completely rebuilt from scratch during the 2004-05 lockout, integrating the main site into the forums to give users one account across the entire site, with which they could comment on articles, post in the forums, and manage fantasy hockey teams. Eventually the ability to log in via Twitter and Facebook account was added as well.
The site was redesigned again in October of 2006, November of 2008, and April of 2012. Each effort was an attempt to make the vast amounts of information in the site more easily accessible.
Beginning in early 2012 the site's multimedia library was rebuilt to take advantage of more modern technologies. In fall of 2013 our FHLSite software was re-relased, allowing the original "DetroitHockey.Net Fantasy Hockey League" to be joined by new simulated hockey leagues as part of the site.
Through all the redesigns and updates, the goal of the site remains to share information about the team, either as an archive or a place for discussion.
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