On Banners in the Joe Louis Arena Rafters


Over at Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski brought up the topic of teams raising banners for regular season accomplishments earlier today. I’ve discussed the banners at Joe Louis Arena a bit before so this was particularly interesting to me.

My thought on the matter is that no award is given out for a regular season division championship or conference championship. As such, no banner should be raised. The champion of the NHL’s regular season is recognized by an award so it is the only regular season accomplishment that should be honored in the rafters.

If I had my way, the rafters at Joe Louis Arena would look like this:

Proposed JLA Rafter Diagram

Click for full-sized image

That would be eleven Stanley Cup banners, eighteen total regular season championships, six Campbell Bowls as Western Conference playoff champions, and seven retired numbers. Yes, as long as I’m picking my own banners I put Larry Aurie’s #6 up where it belongs.

Stanley Cup banners remain at the end over the zamboni tunnel. They get that space to themselves, as is befitting for that accomplishment.

Retired numbers are no longer crammed up next to the Cup banners, instead getting the space above the opposite goal. Plenty of room for expansion of both sets of banners.

The remaining 24 banners are split in four groups of six, one on each side of both blue lines, just as the current banners are situated. I’d update the old “League Champions” banners to match the current style while we’re at all of this.

For those who say that all of the red banners hanging from the JLA rafters serve as intimidation for the opposition, I think it would be more intimidating to remove the “unimportant” banners and still have that many up there.

I’m all for celebrating the Red Wings’ history but I’m of the belief that this is a team that has better accomplishments to recognize than divisional championships.


Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development, as well as that of DH.N's sibling site, FantasyHockeySim.com.

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