The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup on Monday, bringing to a close one of the most remarkable postseasons we have ever seen. While most of the attention afterward was focused on Conn Smythe winner Victor Hedman, captain Steven Stamkos, goalie Andre Vasilevskiy and head coach Jon Cooper, Potomac, Md. native Jeff Halpern was on the ice as well, celebrating the win with his team. Halpern's playing career came to an end in 2014, but he will now get his name engraved on the Cup as an assistant coach with the LIghtning.
Halpern played in 976 NHL games, the bulk of which he spent with the Capitals. He even served as team captain for one season in 2005-06. Playoff success in Washington was hard to come by, however, and the Caps' time came after Halpern's.
Following his career as a player, Halpern was hired as a development coach with the Syracuse Crunch, the AHL affiliate of Tampa Bay, in 2015. From there, Halpern worked his way up to an assistant coach with Syracuse for two seasons and was brought up to the NHL with the Lightning in 2018.
Now after two seasons behind the bench with Tampa Bay, the former Capitals player and captain can finally call himself a Stanley Cup champion. Let's hope he brings it back to Maryland for his day with the Cup.