ESPN’s ‘Unrivaled,’ on Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry, will debut Sunday

The highly anticipated E60 documentary, Unrivaled, about the bitter, bloody rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche more than two decades ago, airs Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN.

The network announced today that the on-demand special will premiere on the day of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals between Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning. Colorado leads the series 2-0 and starts Game 3 at the Amalie Arena tonight.

Viewers will hear from many who were at the heart of the rivalry, including Detroit’s Darren McCarty and Kris Draper, and Colorado’s Claude Lemieux and Patrick Roy.

The rivalry began during Game 6 of the 1996 Western Conference Finals at Denver’s McNichols Arena when Lemieux checked Draper from behind against the dasher board, resulting in numerous facial injuries in the Red Wings’ grind line center.

It culminated during the unforgettable March 26, 1997 brawl at Joe Louis Arena.

ESPN said respondents include:

red wings: Players McCarty, Draper, Mike Knuble, Vladimir Konstantinov (and his daughter Anastasia), Brendan Shanahan, Mike Vernon and Steve Yzerman; former coach Scotty Bowman and former coach John Wharton.

avalanche: Players Lemieux, Roy, Adam Foote, Peter Forsberg, Mike Ricci, Joe Sakic; Coach Pat Karns and former coach Marc Crawford.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is interviewed, as well as longtime Red Wings broadcaster Ken Daniels, former Red Wings player and current broadcaster Mickey Redmond, former NHL player and current Avalanche broadcaster Peter McNab, former ESPN-NHL broadcaster Gary Thorne, former NHL manager Brian Burke and former NHL umpire Paul Devorski.

The program will be moderated by Jeremy Schaap.

“Great rivalries uplift the sport,” said Andy Tennant, E60 Executive Producer said in a statement. “They increase appreciation for the games we love. They bring out the best in the rivals themselves. Or is it? Is it sometimes more complicated than that? Besides all the great things about rivalries, they can also go too far. The competition leads to something uglier.”

Red Wings are hosting a pre-watch party

Red Wings invited fans to an exclusive Unrivaled watch party at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday. Admission is at 5:00 p.m. The show begins at 6:00 p.m. and will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Red Wings alumni.

The event is free, but limited seats are available for the clock party, which takes place on the video board suspended in the center.

Fans must register in advance and can do so by clicking here.


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