Some of you may remember the name of Vartan Kupelian, once a beat writer for the Wings. He passed away today at the age of 73. (We shared the same Armenian background and we discussed just that about 10 years ago when I introduced myself to him at a local event.)
Welcome back to Throwback Thursday, where we comb the THN archives to bring you something from our past.
This week in honor of Joe Louis Arena closing this weekend, a look back at when they said goodbye to their previous home -- the Detroit Olympia.
'Olympia provided untold thrills, memories'
Janary 4, 1980
By Vartan Kupelian
Ah, the memories of Olympia…
Tony Leswick came over the boards for his first overtime shift and seconds later at 4:29 scored the winning goal in Detroit’s 2-1 Stanley Cup clinching victory over Montreal.
“I just came on the ice,” said Touch Tony, reliving the moment. “The puck rebounded off the boards behind the goal – the boards of Olympia, they were always so lively – and out to the blueline. I just moved in and let it go from about 30 feet. That was it. Next thing you know, I’m mauled by the players.”
The date was April 16, 1954.
There are so many memories of Olympia, now the “former” home of the Red Wings. The Wings will debut in their new home, the 19,500-seat Joe Louis, on Dec. 27 against the St. Louis Blues.
“It was a thrill the first time I ever saw the building, even to see the marquis, when I first came in for training camp in 1937,” said Black Jack Stewart, the Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman who played for the Red Wings in the 1930s and 1940s.