2003–04 Detroit Red Wings season

2003–04 Detroit Red Wings season

Team=Detroit Red Wings
GeneralManager=Ken Holland
Coach=Dave Lewis
Captain=Steve Yzerman
AltCaptain=Nicklas Lidstrom
Brendan Shanahan
Arena=Joe Louis Arena
Attendance=20,066 (100%)
GoalsLeader=Pavel Datsyuk (30)
AssistsLeader=Brett Hull (43)
PointsLeader=Pavel Datsyuk (68)
PIMLeader=Brendan Shanahan (108)
WinsLeader=Manny Legace (23)
GAALeader=Marc Lamothe (1.45)

The 2003–04 Detroit Red Wings season was the 78th National Hockey League season in Detroit, Michigan. Despite multiple injuries to key players, the Wings found themselves once again winning the Presidents' Trophy for having the best regular season record in the NHL, scoring 109 points. In the postseason, they advanced to the Western Conference Semi-Finals, where they were eliminated by the Calgary Flames in six games.

Two Red Wings were named to the roster for the 2004 All Star Game: defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom and center Pavel Datsyuk. Lidstrom was voted into his eighth appearance at the All-Star game by fans, and Datsyuk was selected to the roster for his first appearance. [ [http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=192050&hubname= Perreault, Selanne among all-stars] , tsn.ca, September 6, 2007]

The Red Wings sold out all 41 home games in 2003–04 as 20,066 fans packed Joe Louis Arena for every regular season and playoff game played in Detroit.

Goaltending Controversy

Detroit's early exit from the 2002-03 Stanley Cup playoffs left Curtis Joseph to be heavily scrutinized by the media as to whether or not he was up to task to start for Detroit. During the subsequent offseason, Dominik Hasek shocked the hockey world when he announced he was coming out of retirement and fulfilling his contractual obligation to the Red Wings. Given their previous success with Hasek, the Red Wings welcomed him back to the team.

With the Wings appearing to favor Hasek as their starting goaltender, Joseph opted to have surgery to repair his ankle prior to the start of the season; resulting with the Red Wings using Hasek and Manny Legace as their goaltending tandem. When Joseph returned from injury and subsequent conditioning assignment in the minors, anger quickly grew on and off the ice between Hasek and Joseph. Detroit's General Manager Ken Holland tried to move Joseph to alleviate the situation, but Holland wasn't able to find a trade or give Joseph up via the waiver wire because of his contract (the contract had two years remaining with an annual salary of $8 Million USD and included a no-trade clause, allowing Joseph to control who was was traded to.) Unable to continue holding three goaltenders on roster, Detroit elected to send Joseph to Detroit's minor league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, on a permanent basis following a poor performance against the Washington Capitals.

While Hasek assumed the starting role, he didn't do so with ease. Hasek was not conditioned properly to handle the competition at the NHL level and was wrought with inconsistent play and injuries. By December 2003, both Hasek and Legace went down with injuries and Joseph was recalled from the minors along with Joey MacDonald. While MacDonald was returned to the minors when Legace returned from injury, Hasek opted to remain on the injured reserve and did not return for the remainder of the season.

Joseph and Legace would find themselves in a platoon until Joseph injured his ankle in a contest against the San Jose Sharks. The Red Wings recalled Marc Lamothe from the Griffins to support Legace. Lamothe would appear in two games during his time with Detroit, making him the fifth goaltender to dress for Detroit and the fourth to play for them that season (MacDonald did not play in any games while on roster.) Lamothe was returned to the minors once Joseph returned from injury.

Despite being viewed by many as Detroit's "third" goaltender, Manny Legace ended up the de facto starting goaltender for the season, leading the other goaltenders on the team in Games Played, Wins, and Shutouts (at the time, those were also career records for Legace.) Legace also had a better Save Percentage and Goals Against Average than either Hasek or Joseph. Based on his regular season play, Legace was named the starting goaltender going into the playoffs. During the opening round against the Nashville Predators, Legace won the first two games, but was pulled after the fourth game following consecutive 3-goal losses.

Joseph took over the starting duties and responded admirably, posting a .3 GAA, .977 Save Percentage, and one shutout for the remainder of the series. While Joseph had a strong performance against Calgary (1.83 GAA and .928 Save Percentage), Detroit suffered an offensive drought and, with the series tied at two games a piece, were shut out the final two games of the series, eliminating Detroit from the playoffs.

Joseph never appeared for the Wings again because the last year of his contract was nullified by the 2004-05 NHL Lockout. Instead, Joseph signed with the Phoenix Coyotes once the lockout was resolved. Legace went on to assume the starting role for Detroit, but was released after the season following another disappointing playoff exit. Hasek appeared with the Ottawa Senators during the 2005-06 season, but returned to Detroit for what would be his last two seasons as a professional goaltender.

Regular season

Season standings


Record: 9–3–2–1; Home: 7–0–1–0; Road: 2–3–1–1


Record: 10–3–2–0; Home: 6–1–1–0; Road: 4–2–1–0

Western Conference Semifinals: vs. (6) Calgary Flames

Calgary wins series 4–2

Awards and records

Trophies and awards

*Presidents' Trophy: Detroit Red Wings
*Frank J. Selke Trophy: Kris Draper




The Red Wings were involved in the following transactions during the 2003–04 season. [ [http://proicehockey.about.com/cs/2002freeagents/a/team_by_team_3.htm 2003 Who's In, Who's Out: NHL Roster Changes In The Summer of 2003] , proicehockey.about.com, accessed September 4, 2007]


Draft picks

Detroit's picks at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft in Nashville, Tennessee. The Red Wings were slated to pick 27th overall but traded their first pick to the Los Angeles Kings.

Farm teams

Grand Rapids Griffins

The Griffins were Detroit's top affiliate in the American Hockey League in 2003–04.

Toledo Storm

The Storm were the Red Wings' ECHL affiliate for the 2003–04 season.

See also

* 2003–04 NHL season


* Player stats: [http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/teams/stats?team=det Detroit Red Wings player stats] on espn.com
* Game log: [http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/teams/schedule?team=det Detroit Red Wings game log] on espn.com, [http://redwings.nhl.com/team/app?service=page&page=TeamSchedule&season=20032004 game log] on detroitredwings.com & [http://www.databasehockey.com/teams/teamscores.htm?tm=DET&yr=2003 game log] on databasehockey.com
* Team standings: [http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/standings NHL standings] on espn.com


hockey team player|no=31|name=Josephhockey team player|no=34|name=Legacehockey team player|no=35|name=Lamothe


hockey team player|no=2|name=Hatcherhockey team player|no=3|name=Liljahockey team player|no=4|name=Rivershockey team player|no=5|name=Lidstromhockey team player|no=8|name=Fischerhockey team player|no=15|name=Woolleyhockey team player|no=22|name=Myrvoldhockey team player|no=23|name=Schneiderhockey team player|no=24|name=Chelios


hockey team player|no=11|name=Dandenaulthockey team player|no=13|name=Datsyukhockey team player|no=14|name=Shanahanhockey team player|no=17|name=Hullhockey team player|no=18|name=Maltbyhockey team player|no=19|name=Yzermanhockey team player|no=20|name=Langhockey team player|no=21|name=Devereauxhockey team player|no=25|name=McCartyhockey team player|no=26|name=Hudlerhockey team player|no=27|name=Bootlandhockey team player|no=28|name=Millerhockey team player|no=29|name=Williamshockey team player|no=32|name=Thomashockey team player|no=33|name=Draperhockey team player|no=38|name=Robinsonhockey team player|no=40|name=Zetterberghockey team player|no=41|name=Whitneyhockey team player|no=44|name=Mowershockey team player|no=52|name=Barnes

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