Jimmy Devellano, recently announced as a winner of the Lester Patrick Trophy for dedication toward hockey, was the first man hired by Mike Ilitch when the latter purchased the sad sack Detroit Red Wings in 1982. One of the reasons was Jimmy D’s uncanny ability to sniff out NHL talent from the woodwork of small North American towns, and from other NHL teams. It wasn’t a smooth ride at the beginning. Three years after his hire, Devellano presided over a brutal 17-57-6 season, his attempts at a quick fix via free agency—college and pro—having failed miserably. But three years after that, the Red Wings were on the right path, seemingly. Two consecutive visits to the Conference Finals, plus another Norris Division title in 1988-89, gave cause to believe that Devellano wa ...
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Article written by Greg Eno