Former Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat will now pull on the loathed “winged wheel” of the Detroit Red Wings this coming season, but he’s just the latest in a quick succession of former Hawks to go to the team’s long-time rival.
DeBrincat was acquired by the Red Wings in a trade with the Ottawa Senators on Sunday, with a package including a first round pick heading north of the border.
In a quick move, DeBrincat then signed a four-year extension with the Red Wings, carrying a salary cap hit of $7.875 million.
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The Farmington Hills, Michigan-native will now get to play for his hometown team after scoring 27 goals and 39 assists in his lone season with the Senators.
Of course, he’s far from the only former Blackhawk to call the Motor City home over the years. Defenseman Olli Maatta, who played in 65 games for the Blackhawks during the 2019-20 season, had four goals and 13 assists, then added three goals and three assists in nine games during the “COVD bubble” tournament.
Forward Pius Suter also signed with the Wings after the Blackhawks declined to give him a qualifying offer following the 2020-21 season. He played in 161 games with the Wings the last two seasons, with 29 goals and 31 assists, and is currently an unrestricted free agent.
Dominik Kubalik, who scored 62 goals in three seasons with the Blackhawks, inked a contract with the Red Wings prior to the 2022-23 season, scoring 20 goals and dishing out 25 assists.
He was part of the trade package that went to Ottawa in the Alex DeBrincat deal.
History is also littered with players who appeared on both sides of the rivalry. Famously, defenseman Chris Chelios was traded to the Red Wings in 1999, and ended up winning two Stanley Cups in Detroit.
Stu Grimson and Bob Probert, two of the toughest players in NHL history, wore both Original Six jerseys during their careers, as did Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa, who won three Stanley Cups in Chicago and had his No. 81 jersey retired by the team last season.
For those curious, the Blackhawks will open the 2023 preseason with two games against the Red Wings on Oct. 1 and 3, then will visit Detroit on Nov. 30 and welcome the Wings to Chicago on Feb. 25.