from Bill Dow at the Detroit Free Press,
It’s hard to believe that a half century has passed since one of the Detroit Red Wings' beloved figures arrived in the Motor City.
Mired at the bottom of the Eastern Division at the beginning of what became known as the “Dead Wings Era,” the Red Wings rocked the hockey world on Jan. 13, 1971. Newly anointed general manager Ned Harkness dealt high-scoring left winger Frank Mahovlich to Montreal for promising right winger Mickey Redmond and centers Billy Collins and Guy Charron.
With the trade, Harkness split up one of the most potent lines in NHL history: Hall of Famers Mahovlich, Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio. Mahovlich, scored 87 goals the previous two seasons.
Redmond was informed of the trade by Montreal coach Al MacNeil at an airport bookstore.
“I was disappointed and upset with the deal at the time, but all things happen for a reason,” said Redmond, preparing for his 35th consecutive season as a TV color commentator for the Red Wings. “The deal worked out for Montreal because they won the cup with Frank, but here I am fifty years later with the Wings on a ride that has been incredibly great. And as a player, the trade helped me spread my wings, no pun intended.”