DETROIT – The Ducks will play their first game at Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday night when they take on the Detroit Red Wings to start a string of four straight contests on the road.
After Monday’s travel day, the team took a full morning skate to get acquainted with the $863-million facility that opened Sept. 5. The Red Wings played at now vacant Joe Louis Arena for 37 years.
Modeled in large part after Montreal’s Bell Centre, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle was left with a highly favorable first impression of LCA. He liked the “great, bright sightlines” and thinks the facility will help continue the resurgence of downtown Detroit but also found it odd not to be at “The Joe.”
“It is a little weird,” Carlyle said. “The funny part about it is I played in the Joe when it first opened. I played a couple games in the old Olympia and then moved over the Joe. It was state-of-the-art at that time. And it was a special place. It’s amazing how many years have gone by.
“This seems to be another step up obviously in what they’ve done here. It’s a beautiful building.”
Cam Fowler, who was raised in nearby Farmington Hills, Mich., also had some lament for the old arena, which was built in 1979 to replace the Detroit Olympia.
“I was lucky enough to play my first NHL game at Joe Louis in front of all my friends and family so that’s a memory that will stick out to me for a long time,” Fowler said. “Any time I come to Detroit, it’s a special place for me. Obviously it’s where I grew up and I watched the Red Wings all growing up.
“Kind of sad to see the Joe go. I really enjoyed playing there. Everything I’ve heard about this rink is all great things and I know they’ve put a lot of work and effort into it. I’ve only got a little taste of it so far. But I’m looking forward to tonight’s game.”
John Gibson (19-14-6, 2.60 GAA, .923 SV%) will get the start in goal for the Ducks (27-19-11), who are trying to move past a damaging 3-2…