Updates on the Joe Louis Arena Rafters


Back in January I wrote a bit about the Red Wings’ banners at Joe Louis Arena.

For years, the Red Wings were displaying a banner for the 1933-34 League Championship, a championship that they did not actually win. As of November, that banner had been removed, correcting the error.

On Friday I noticed another change. A new banner joining the 12 League Championship banners.

The 1934 American Division Championship banner.

This is interesting to me because its addition goes against the Red Wings’ current banner-raising criteria.

Since Mike Ilitch bought the Red Wings, banners have been raised for every team accomplishment, from regular season division championships to Stanley Cup Championships.

During the reign of the Norris family, only regular season league championships and Stanley Cups were recognized.

We now have a division championship from the Norris era recognized in the rafters of the Joe.

Perhaps more interesting is that divisional champion banners were not added for 1935-36 and 1936-37, two years in which the Red Wings were also League Champions.

It appears that the Wings are now honoring the highest achievement in a given season from the Norris era while recognizing all accomplishments in a season from the Ilitch era.

It’s a small change for sure but one I was surprised to see.


Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996 with no idea what it would lead to. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development.

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