Catching up with former Red Wings star Doug Brown

Doug Brown celebrates a goal with Kris Draper at the Alumni Showdown. (Photo by Jen Hefner/MiHockey)


By Nick Barnowski – 

Former Detroit Red Wings forward Doug Brown said that he doesn’t skate much anymore, but on New Year’s Eve, you could hardly tell.

Brown, who played seven seasons in Detroit from 1994-2001, was the first player to score in the second Alumni Showdown game at Comerica Park and was just happy to put the Wings up 1-0 early on.

“That was fun,” Brown, 49, said. “It was fun to get out there and get going. The pace had just started to pick up, it was good to get a good clean shot off.”

The goal – and the eventual Detroit alumni victory – was the peak of a month that saw Brown get the chance to reunite with the teammates he won two Stanley Cups with in 1997 and 1998.

Led by Kris Draper, the alumni in the metro Detroit area had practiced together on the ice at Joe Louis Arena in the weeks leading up to the outdoor showdowns. The time on and off the ice allowed for old memories to be rekindled.

“For the last month, we’ve started to hang out together,” Brown, who totaled 374 points in 854 NHL games, said. “Then the last few weeks the Russians have been able to fly in, some of the guys that live elsewhere.

“We’ve been smiling; we’ve been having a blast being together. It brings back so many memories, we had so many trials and tribulations, ups and downs, great victories, huge losses, and so when you get together with guys you’ve been in the battles on the ice with, it’s special.”

Brown talks with Sergei Fedorov during the Alumni Showdown. (Photo by Jen Hefner/MiHockey)

When the “Russian 5,” consisting of Igor Larionov, Slava Fetisov, Slava Kozlov, Sergei Fedorov, and Vladimir Konstantinov was announced as the starting lineup for Detroit, Konstantinov took to the ice for a special moment, but Brown, who often played with members of the famous line, started at right wing.

“Vladdy’s so dear to all of us,” Brown said. “We all were crushed and hurt, 15 years ago now, and he’s still in our thoughts and prayers all the time. I’m so glad he was able to be there with us.”

Today, Brown, who graduated from Boston College, lives in Bloomfield Hills and makes a living doing merchant banking. Brown said that his interest in merchant banking came during college when he held a real estate license and worked on Wall Street in New York City during a summer. Recently, he again worked on Wall Street for a couple of years for Merit Capital.

“I enjoy trying to make a deal, trying to make money, and trying to make everybody happy on both sides of the equation,” he said. “The thrill of victory is like sports.”

Brown and his wife, Maureen, raise five kids: Anna, Kaitlin, Christopher, Lily, and Patrick. Hockey still runs in the family, though, as Patrick is a senior captain at Boston College, and Christopher is a captain at Cranbrook.

While the elder Brown doesn’t skate much anymore, for one day, the experience was hard to beat.

“[It was] too much fun. Great guys on both sides, it was good to see everybody. We just smiled the whole time. Great day.”