Patch among Wings’ special touches for final season at The Joe

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
This is the patch the Wings will wear on their sweaters next season.

Detroit -- The Red Wings will move into their new home in time for the 2017-18 season, but they intend to make their final season at Joe Louis Arena a memorable one.

The organization Thursday released a list of “Farewell Season at The Joe” events and plans for next season.

One highlight unveiled Thursday was the patch the Wings will wear on their sweaters all next season.

The commemorative logo – four stars beneath the “Farewell Season” phrase noting the four Stanley Cups won during the JLA years – will be used for various events and merchandising.

“We know our fans have cherished memories of nearly four decades here at The Joe, and we’re excited to celebrate and relive those moments one last time as we continue preparation for the future at the Detroit Events Center,” said Tom Wilson, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment.

The Red Wings won Stanley Cups in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008 during their 38-year stay at JLA – after playing their first game at the arena Dec. 27, 1979 against St. Louis.

The Red Wings have a .639 winning percentage at Joe Louis Arena and won their 800th game at JLA Dec. 20 against Calgary.

“This place is great,” said coach Jeff Blashill. “The history here is amazing and to be a little part of that is a pretty cool thing.”

For Red Wings players, the JLA provides a strong home-ice advantage because fans are right on top of the ice and make the building one of the noisiest in the league.

“It’s huge,” said forward Riley Sheahan of the home-ice advantage. “The fans here are amazing, it’s fun playing here, and I know all the guys are excited when they come to the rink and we can go out there and play in front of our fans.”

A preliminary list of events – specific details will be released later – currently being planned for the “Farewell Season” include:

* Celebrations honoring the four Stanley Cup championship teams.

* Alumni celebrations and special entertainment performances.

* Special designs on all home Red Wings tickets.

* Giveaways for fans at games at The Joe.

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