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 "weblog" or "blog."
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 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, to get it listed higher in alphabetical listings and to capitalize on Red Wings merchandise sold at the time that was based off of the "DRW" initials.
Another name change came in December of 1999 as the site moved to its own domain and became "drwcentral.net" to reflect the change. 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.
In October of 2001, drwcentral.net gained its first staff writer when Jenny Wilson began recapping Wings games. Shortly after that, the long process of converting the site to a database-driven format with a custom backend began. The conversion 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 create an area called "MyDetroitHockey.Net," where fans can host their own hockey blogs to get their thoughts out to the world. The infrastructure changes would live on but that design was short-lived, being replaced after only one season.
Our goal is for DetroitHockey.Net to remain a fan-operated site with the most recent news about the Red Wings and the NHL. With luck, it will continue to be "The Definitive Detroit Red Wings Resource."