|Detroit Red Wings
In 1995-96, the Detroit Red Wings set an NHL record for most wins in a regular season. It was thought that the team would easily capture the Stanley Cup, but a powerful and hungrier Colorado Avalanche halted their 41-year journey. In 1997, it was time for redemption and the team with the longest Cup drought in the NHL lost only four playoff games en route to a Stanley Cup title. Mike Vernon, the Detroit goaltender was fabulous and posted an incredible 1.76 goals-against average in the playoffs becoming the first goaltender to win the Conn Smythe Trophy since Patrick Roy in 1993. One week after the Detroit triumph, defensemen Vladimir Konstantinov and Slava Fetisov along with trainer Sergei Mnatsakanov were involved in a single car accident. Although Fetisov escaped with minor injuries, the other two men were hospitalized for months. Konstantinov never played hockey again and remains confined to a wheelchair.
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