2010 Stanley Cup finals: Which players have the most to gain (and lose)
In my last post, I discussed how long it’s been since either the Flyers or Blackhawks won a Cup and that both teams shouldn’t assume they’ll be back again any time soon. To wrap up a general two-part series regarding “what’s at stake” for both teams, I thought I’d also look at individual players in the series. Who raised the Cup before? Who’s facing the greatest demons? And which players must face the reality that they might receive another chance to win one? Let’s take a look.
Players who’ve won
It’s probably not that surprising to see such a small amount of Cup victories for a young team like Chicago, but Philadelphia isn’t a team rich in Cup winners either. Here’s the winners for each squad.
Flyers Cup Winners
Chris Pronger ('07, with the Ducks)
Blackhawks Cup Winners
John Madden ('00 and ’03 with the Devils)
Andrew Ladd ('06 with the Hurricanes)
Minor leaguer Jassen Cullimore ('04 with the Lightning)
Chris Pronger and Marian Hossa
Throwing out journeyman backup Ty Conklin, I can’t think of two other players who have played for three different Cup finalists since the lockout like Pronger and Hossa.
Hossa, of course, is the constant punchline since he’s accomplished the odd mercenary task of making it to the finals for three straight seasons wearing three different jerseys. It almost seems a little bit dirty that he might win a Cup this way, but barring yet another trade, at least he’ll be a Blackhawk next year. If he loses this year, we might as well buy him a bridesmaid dress, though.
Pronger was an enormous part of the Edmonton Oilers SCF run that ended in a Game 7 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes. He then was traded to Anaheim, where he won his only career Cup on a rough-and-tumble Ducks team. Now he stands as the Flyers best asset in a series in which they should be heavy underdogs.
Who might be looking at their last chance
As I stated in that last post, it’s no guarantee that even the young players who populate both teams will make it back to the finals. Still, it’s safer to assume that 21-year-old Patrick Kane will be back rather than, say, 36-year-old Ian Laperriere.
The Flyers older players who might be looking at their last chance include: Pronger (35), Laperriere (36), Kimmo Timonen (35) and Brian Boucher (33).
The Blackhawks who might be worrying about a similar fate: Madden (37), Cristobal Huet (34), Brent Sopel (33), Jassen Cullimore - if he even plays (37) and Kim Johnsson (34).
Neither team has a true “Dave Andreychuk” but players like Madden must at least wonder if they’ll see this opportunity again. That doesn’t change the fact that Marian Hossa probably still has the most to gain from a Cup win, though.