Unrivaled: ESPN E60 Relives, Examines Fierce Avalanche-Red Wings Rivalry Born 25 Years Ago

ESPN+ will have an expanded version with exclusive on-demand content after it first airs

One of the most intense rivalries in sports history is relived unrivalleda new two-hour ESPN E60 Program debuts Sunday, June 26 at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN. The program will be moderated by Jeremy Schaap.

The Colorado Avalanche, currently playing in the Stanley Cup Finals, and the Detroit Red Wings became heated rivals 25 years ago. Since then, the landscape of the National Hockey League has changed through a series of events that would forever affect the players and their cities.

After the first broadcast on Sunday afternoon, an extended version of unrivalled featuring exclusive content will be available for on-demand streaming on ESPN+. The TV version will re-air in prime time on Monday, June 27 at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 and Thursday, June 30 at 9 p.m. on ESPN and Sunday, June 26 at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.

“Great rivalries uplift the sport,” said Andy Tennant, E60 Executive producer. “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.”

As early as the spring of 1997, Avalanche and Red Wings players were asked in a series of interviews to define the word “rivalry.” Avalanche striker Claude Lemieux said it “starts on the ice, but if it stays there, there’s not much to it.”

It began as two teams adorned with highly qualified future Hall of Famers relentlessly chasing the holy grail of their sport. It turned into a savage battle fueled by an unparalleled hatred not often seen in major sports. This was more than a mere rivalry; it was a blood feud. Its incandescent intensity would lead to games and moments that are both suspenseful and terrifying, indelible victories and premeditated acts of revenge. The story of the rivalry is one of lifelong bonds, life-changing moments, a remarkable brotherhood, and an unprecedented public reckoning of revenge and retribution. Two and a half decades later, those involved are still grappling with how the brutal rivalry went as far as it did.

in the unrivalled, viewers will hear from many involved with the two teams at the time, including Lemieux, who was at the center of the beginning of the rivalry, which exploded in a massive brawl on March 25, 1997 at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings’ Kris Draper, who was badly injured in a Lemieux playoff game the year before, and Darren McCarty, who wanted revenge on Lemieux in the big brawl, also talk about the rivalry on the show.

Interviewed among others:

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

red wings – players Mike Knuble, Vladamir Konstantinov (and his daughter Anastasia), Brendan Shanahan, Mike Vernon and Steve Yzerman; former coach Scotty Bowman and former coach John Wharton.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is also interviewed, as well as former NHL player and current Avalanche broadcaster Peter McNab, former ESPN NHL broadcaster Gary Thorne, longtime Red Wings broadcaster Ken Daniels, former Red Wings player and current broadcaster Mickey Redmond, Former NHL Manager Brian Burke, Former NHL Umpire Paul Devorski, Colorado Hockey Now Author Adrian Dater and former Red Wings team photographer Mark Hicks.

In the days leading up to the premiere, ESPN will broadcast sport Center, Outside the Lines and The point contains excerpts and discussions about it unrivalled. Former Avalanche player Adam Foote is said to be joining the ranks OTL segment in the noon ET edition of sport Center on Friday June 24th. The ESPN Daily Podcast is scheduled to have an Unrivaled-related guest on Monday, June 27, leading up to prime time airing that evening on ESPN2.

ESPN.com will be featuring an in-depth investigation into the Avs-Red Wings rivalry, authored by Dave Fleming, on Friday, June 24th.

unrivalled is produced by Mike Farrell and John Minton.

The Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning play in the Stanley Cup Finals, with all games being broadcast on ABC, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes and the ESPN App.


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