DETROIT – They are two of the proud “Original 6” members of the National Hockey League, and that’s not the only bond they share at the moment.

That’s because the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings are past a proud era of their franchise that brought success and championships to devoted fanbases. Players departed, others aged, and the succession plans didn’t line up to keep the good times going.

Translation: Both the Blackhawks and Red Wings are rebuilding, and they met on Wednesday night at Little Caesars Arena well out of the race for the playoffs.

The Blackhawks are just underway with their rebuild that has stripped the NHL team of all but one of the members of their 2010s dynasty that captured three Stanley Cup titles. Patrick Kane’s trade to the Rangers continues the building of a completely new on-ice product from the minors to the top team, where a premium has been put on draft picks.

It’s left the current Blackhawks team second-to-last in the standings, and that’s a good thing, for it gives them strong odds for the first overall pick in the NHL Draft (AKA Connor Bedard). That could accelerate things, but fans in Chicago are in for at least a few years of hockey that will yield more losses than wins.

Detroit’s rebuild began when team legend Steve Yzerman returned to the team as general manager in April 2019 after the Red Wings missed the playoffs three-straight seasons. They’ve made incremental improvements over the last three seasons, but still are not quite ready to compete for a playoff spot.

When the teams met on Wednesday, it was a former member of the Blackhawks that put the Red Wings over the top in this match-up of rebuilding teams. Dominik Kubalik’s goal with 4:07 left put Detroit over the top in a 4-3 win in which the visitors initially took a two-score in the first period.

Taylor Raddysh, one of the young players of that rebuild, got the first two goals of the game. The assist on the first came from Lukas Reichel, a player many have high hopes for as he just know sees time on the ice.

Detroit fans know the feeling of rooting for the progress of youth even in defeat. They’ve been there, and are still there with the Blackhawks.