Unusual, for sure, but, perhaps, trends in the making, the Red Wings plan to celebrate with a ticker-tape parade down Woodward Avenue if they do not make the 2013 NHL playoffs.
With 21 straight appearances, the Red Wings have made the playoffs every season since 1990, the longest postseason streak in North American sports. Some people associated with the team would rather catch up on sleep than battle through another long playoff run.
Locked in a battle for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot with Columbus and Minnesota during the last week of the season, the Wings seem resolved to their eventual fate.
“Hockeytown, Shmockeytown,” goalie Jimmy Howard told the NHL Network. “For once, I’d love to be one of the 4 or 5 teams in the NHL that don’t make the playoffs. We’re pooped.”
“Besides, I just signed a $32 million contract, so why should I care about playing in May, June and maybe July?”
However, not everyone associated with the Wings wants to miss the postseason.
“Of course I want to make the playoffs,” coach Mike Babcock said. “Hell. My job’s on the line. You think I want to be coaching in Edmonton or Winnipeg next winter?”
With the economy in Detroit continuing to flounder, game attendance is down along with team revenue.
“We want to give back to the city of Detroit, but we need to keep costs for the parade to a minimum,” team owner Mike Ilich said. “So we invited the Pistons and Lions to join with us in sharing the parade costs and to celebrate our mutual playoff failures.”