Windsor, Saginaw Bid Farewell To The Joe

Shalapata-Header(DETROIT, MI) – On December 4, the Windsor Spitfires and the Saginaw Spirit will help to usher out an era as they take to the the ice at Joe Louis Arena in OHL action. The clubs will pay tribute to the arena and all the greats who have skated at the hallowed rink.

The meeting between the two franchises will mark the first and last Ontario Hockey League game to be played at the Joe.

“I can tell you from being around our guys that now know this game is going on, it’s a pretty special deal,” said Spirit head coach Spencer Carbery. “This building, and being its last year, the history and players, and the storied organization the Wings, these players are getting to play in a once in a lifetime opportunity to play in an NHL building. They are extremely excited.”

At a press conference to kick off the event, Red Wings assistant general manager Kris Draper spoke about the banners and Stanley Cup victories and the part the OHL has played in Detroit’s history.

“The first name that comes to mind, the great Peterborough Pete, Steve Yzerman,” Draper said. “You look up into the rafters, you’ll see The Captain, No. 19, Steve Yzerman up there. A lot of that was his experience playing in the OHL, playing for Dick Todd, and he turned out not only to be one of the greatest players of all time, but obviously one of the greatest Red Wings of all time.”

With local-area players and ownership, the Spitfires are also very much looking forward to the showdown with Saginaw. Luke Boca, Sean Day, and Jalen Chatfield are from the greater Detroit area while franchise president Bob Boughner was born in Windsor.

“It’s a very important year for us. We’re hosting the Memorial Cup this year. The opportunity to play in this historic building, how special that is for our players,” said Spitfires head coach Rocky Thompson. “I know the Windsor Spitfires, and myself personally, feel honoured to part of this event.”

Tickets are available from The Crease locations in Windsor or online.

Farewell to the Joe press conference Joe Louis Arena


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Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata