With the newly acquired David Legwand in their lineup, the Detroit Red Wings can now boast something special.
They have five Michigan-born players on the roster.
That glut of local talent has been a long time coming for this Original Six franchise, but Detroit is now reaping the rewards of over two decades of franchise success.
The Red Wings have qualified for the playoffs in 22 straight seasons, and that kind of excellence has a trickledown effect in the market. When the local hockey heroes are winning, kids from the area have something to aspire to.
Legwand himself said he owned a Steve Yzerman jersey growing up. “I think every kid growing up here is a Red Wings fan, as they should be,” Legwand told DetroitRedWings.com. “Any kid that gets to this level and gets a chance to play at this level wants to play in front of their friends, family and in their hometown.”
Legwand waived his no-movement clause to go to Detroit from the Nashville Predators at the trade deadline. The former second overall selection from the 1998 draft was the first Predator pick in franchise history and played in Nashville for 16 years.
Now, he’s come home.
Detroit paid a hefty price to get Legwand, surrendering a roster player in Patrick Eaves, a promising youngster in Calle Jarnkrok and a third-round pick in the deal. The 33-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but if anyone has a chance of convincing him to take a hometown discount, it’s Wings general manager Ken Holland.
With three points in his first two games in Hockeytown, Legwand might just agree there’s no place like home.