In Hockey, there's nothing like the sound of that "horn" when your team scores a goal. Most places now use a virtual sound played over their arena's loudspeakers. But some still stick with their OG air horns.

When the Red Wings made their move up the street to Little Caesar's Arena, they left behind their iconic horn, and since then, goals just haven't sounded the same. The team hasn't been the same since, either. BUT, This past week, they unveiled a bit of nostalgia, that may sound familiar to fans of the team in Joe Louis.

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When the Red Wings debuted at The Joe on Dec. 27, 1979, they lost to the St. Louis Blues. It was a rough start for what would be a long nine years of growth. In fact, it wasn't until the 1987-88 season that they would have their first winning record in Joe Louis Arena.

You might say, it just took a while for them to get used to the new place. Soon, the Red Wings would be a dominant force. A perennial playoff team with sixteen Divisional Championships, Six Presidential Trophies, Six Conference Championships, and Four Stanley Cups.

And through all of that, the horn that let the world know when the puck hit the back of the net, or when the game was over It was the iconic Joe Louis Air Horn, blaring.

Some might think that all of these air horns sound the same, but the whole world would come to know the sound of The Joe's horn, especially in the 1990s, and early 2000s, during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

For Rivals, it was a piercing, and evil sound. For Red Wings fans, there was no sweeter sound in all of sports.

Wikipedia/Joe Louis Arena
Wikipedia/Joe Louis Arena
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But when the Red Wings moved in 2017 to Little Caesar's Arena, the horn went silent, and so did the Red Wings. Since moving, they haven't had a single winning record. Maybe it's growing pains in the new place again, but some speculate, it's because all the winning "magic" still resided in The Joe.

Joe Louis Arena was fittingly demolished in 2020, and its iconic nitrogen-powered horn went into retirement. Crews said it was too dangerous to bring the ACTUAL horn to Little Caesar's, because using nitrogen wasn't a safe way to operate it.

Since then, no actual horn has been used.


Ryan Gustafson of Ilitch Sports and Entertainment said there's nothing like the sound of that goal horn, and they were excited to debut the new horn this past week at the Red Wings home opener.

"This specific model of goal horn is a distinct part of our identity as Hockeytown, harkening back to Joe Louis Arena and paying homage to legendary performances of the past."

In their home opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Red Wings legend Darren McCarty got the distinct honor to push the button, and activate the first true goal horn in the Little Caesar's Arena era.

And as if by fate, the horn seemed to awake the spirits from Joe Louis Arena, and the Red Wings won 6-2.

Nostalgia and the Spirit of The Joe seems to have returned to Red Wings Nation. Hopefully that means their winning ways will return, too. 

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