Kentucky Derby horse Nyquist

If you watched hockey in the 1990s, then you know all about how heated the rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche could get. It was fascinating to watch as two of the top franchises in the West routinely did battle with a good helping of fisticuffs. That rivalry may no longer be what it once was and the two are now separated by conference affiliations with Detroit now in the East, but the memories of the rivalry will live on in other ways, like horse racing.

Erik Johnson of the Colorado Avalanche owns a horse farm, but his business partner, Paul Reddam, is a big Detroit Red Wings fan. To have some fun with his co-farm owner, Reddam has named a handful of horses on the farm after Red Wings players.

“It’s a hockey team that I’ve followed basically my whole life,” said Reddam. “We are partners with the hockey player Erik Johnson, who plays for the Colorado Avalanche. And so just to bug Erik I thought, well, we’ll name a couple of our horses after Red Wings.”

Among the horses named after Red Wings is Nyquist, who will be participating in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Nyquist is named after Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist, and while the Red Wings player is not up on his horse racing, he is rooting for the horse sharing his name.

The Red Wings were bounced from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Maybe the horse can do better on the track.

Unfortunately for Johnson, he doesn’t have a stake in Nyquist, the horse.

“It’s sort of a random thing that Nyquist was named Nyquist,” said Reddam. “Unfortunately for Erik, he does not have a stake in Nyquist. After (Nyquist) won the first time, he said, ‘Can I have a stake in Nyquist?’ I said, ‘Bud, it’s too late.'”

Nyquist is the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, and was given 3:1 odds to win when odds were released on Friday.

Now, let’s relive that hockey rivalry…

[Click On Detroit]

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to NBCSports.com's College Football Talk, Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Host of the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and iHeart Radio. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.