It’s been a quarter of a century since the Detroit Red Wings last missed the playoffs. And currently, the Red Wings sit 15th in the Eastern Conference. Barring an unbelievable home stretch, one of the most impressive streaks in hockey history may be coming to an end this season. So, we decided to look back at what was going on in the hockey world and otherwise in 1991.
Red Wings get Osgood in draft
All was not lost for the Red Wings after not making the playoffs. They selected Martin Lapointe with their first-round pick and Chris Osgood in the third round. Osgood would go on to win three Stanley Cups total with the Red Wings, two as a starter.
Soviet Union crumbles
A few years after the Berlin wall fell, Russia is starting to feel the after effects of change. Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president, the Soviet Union dissipates, and many Baltic states gain their independence.
Russians defect to the NHL
With the fall of the Soviet Union, Russians were finally able to move to North America to showcase their talents. The likes of Pavel Bure, Vladimir Konstantinov, Igor Kravchuk, Valeri Kamensky, and Slava Kozlov all made their debuts in the NHL.
San Jose gets a hockey team
The Minnesota North Stars saw sales for their beloved team plummet and owners requested the NHL allow them to relocate to the Bay Area in California. Since Minnesota is such a hockey-crazed state, the NHL denied it, but did allow the owners the opportunity to run an expansion team that would be named the San Jose Sharks. An expansion draft was held on May 30, 1991.
The internet craze was not a huge phenomenon in 1991, but the grass roots effort was starting to take shape. The amount of internet users reaches 1 million and Microsoft comes out with their now outdated MS DOS 5.0.
Nirvana releases Nevermind
Now I was never a big Nirvana/grunge fan, but nobody can deny the impact they had on music in the early-to-mid 1990s. With their release of Nevermind, Nirvana would take the music industry by storm, firmly placing grunge music in the forefront.
Canada bests USA in 1991 Canada Cup
With one of the most dominant Canadian teams ever assembled, Canada breezed through the Canada Cup with consecutive wins in the finals against the United States. Canada’s squad boasted a lineup that included Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Al MacInnis, Paul Coffey, and Eric Lindros.
Freddie Mercury breaks news about AIDS
Arguably the greatest front man of all-time, Freddie Mercury, had been battling AIDS for a few years. And in 1991, he gave a public statement telling the world he contracted the auto-immune disease. One day following his statement, Mercury passed away.