June 14, 2022
* Veterans Andrew Cogliano and Jack Johnson look to join a rare list of players to win their first Stanley Cup after appearing in 1,000 career games, which is topped by former Avalanche defenseman Ray Bourque and former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk.
* Cogliano and Johnson are two of several current Colorado players acquired via trades or in free agency, while much of Tampa Bay’s roster entering the Final was developed in the NHL Draft.
* The 2022 Stanley Cup Final Media Day takes place at Ball Arena on Tuesday, with general managers Joe Sakic and Julien BriseBois, head coaches Jared Bednar and Jon Cooper as well as Avalanche and Lightning players scheduled to speak before squaring off in Game 1 tomorrow night.
* The 2022 Stanley Cup Final Information Guide – featuring notes on the Avalanche-Lightning matchup as well as comprehensive statistics, records and trends from both the Final and entire postseason – is now available to download for registered users via the League’s Media site.
2022 FINAL FEATURES NO SHORTAGE OF VETERANS VYING FOR FIRST STANLEY CUP
Colorado teammates Andrew Cogliano (1,140 GP) and Jack Johnson (1,024 GP) can become the 18th and 19th players in NHL history to win their first Stanley Cup after appearing in 1,000 career games. The list is topped by Ray Bourque and Dave Andreychuk, who won the championship with the 2001 Avalanche and 2004 Lightning, respectively.
* Erik Johnson (857 GP) has the third-most career games played among current Avalanche players behind Cogliano and Johnson, while fellow top-two NHL Draft pick Gabriel Landeskog (738 GP) is the longest-tenured member of the franchise. Only nine No. 1 or No. 2 picks won their first Cup after appearing in at least 700 career games, with the most recent to do so being Steven Stamkos (803 GP) and Victor Hedman (762 GP) with the 2020 Lightning as well as Alex Ovechkin (1,003 GP) with the 2018 Capitals (also Chris Pronger, Brian Bellows, Rob Ramage, Kirk Muller, Brendan Shanahan & Mike Modano).
* The Lightning player with the most career games played without a championship is Riley Nash (627 GP). He is one of five current Tampa Bay players who did not win the Cup with the club in 2020 or 2021 (also Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Brian Elliott, Brandon Hagel & Nicholas Paul).
KEY TRADES/SIGNINGS, NHL DRAFT LED TO FINAL BERTHS FOR AVALANCHE, BOLTS
Several core contributors for Colorado during the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs were acquired via trades and in free agency, while much of the roster for Tampa Bay was developed in the NHL Draft.
* Joe Sakic announced his retirement from the NHL on July 9, 2009, and served in senior advisor and executive VP of hockey operations roles before being named general manager of the Avalanche on Sept. 19, 2014. Since then, Sakic has quickly developed a reputation for pulling off impactful trades and savvy signings as Colorado reached the playoffs in five straight years after failing to qualify in each of his first three seasons at the helm.
* A total of seven Avalanche players have reached a double-digit point total this postseason, including three acquired via trade: Nazem Kadri (July 1, 2019), Devon Toews (Oct. 12, 2020) and Artturi Lehkonen (March 21, 2022). Pavel Francouz and Darcy Kuemper have combined for Colorado’s 12 wins – Francouz was signed by the Avalanche as an undrafted free agent on May 2, 2018, while Kuemper was acquired by the club via trade on July 28, 2021.
* The only current Colorado players who were acquired before Sakic became general manager are Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, who were selected first and second overall in the 2013 and 2011 NHL Draft, respectively, by then-GM Greg Sherman. Sakic was serving as the Avalanche’s executive VP of hockey operations when they drafted MacKinnon and as the club’s senior advisor when they chose Landeskog.
* Julien BriseBois was hired as assistant general manager of the Lightning on July 16, 2010, shortly after Steve Yzerman concluded his first NHL Draft since being named the club’s general manager. As either assistant general manager (July 16, 2010–Sept. 11, 2018) or general manager (Sept. 11, 2018–Present), BriseBois had a hand in acquiring nearly all players who have dressed in at least one game for Tampa Bay this postseason, with the only exceptions being Alex Killorn (drafted June 2007), Steven Stamkos (drafted June 2008) and Victor Hedman (drafted June 2009).
* Five of the six Lightning players with the most points this postseason were taken by Tampa Bay in the NHL Draft and went on to re-sign with the team at least once (Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Stamkos, Hedman & Ross Colton). Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has accounted for all 46 playoff victories by the Lightning since 2020, was chosen by BriseBois and Yzerman with the 19th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.
* The AHL has also played a vital role in developing the Lightning’s current roster, with 11 of their players this postseason having appeared in at least one game with the Norfolk Admirals from 2007-08 to 2011-12 or Syracuse Crunch from 2012-13 onward. Pat Maroon also played for both the Crunch (2010-11–2011-12) and Admirals (2012-13), though they were not affiliated with Tampa Bay at the time.
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE CELEBRATES LNH.com/NHL.com WRITER GUILLAUME LEPAGE
The NHL is celebrating Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ hockey community throughout June, including LNH.com/NHL.com writer Guillaume Lepage who recently wrote about his experience on coming out after 10 years of working in the world of hockey and the importance of representation in sports. Click here to read more about his story.
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* Nikita Kucherov continues to elevate play at most important time for Lightning
* Avalanche excited for challenge against Lightning in Stanley Cup Final
* Stanley Cup Final predictions between Avalanche, Lightning
* P-X-P to interpret Commissioner Gary Bettman’s remarks for Deaf and Hard of Hearing fans