The Veterans' Missing Link.

Rod Brind’amour, Glen Wesley, Bret Hedican, Doug Weight, Ray Whitney all have been solid to great NHL’ers for many years. While they have all had personal success it is the ultimate team success they yearn for, the glory and awe that is the Stanley Cup.

Something can be said for wanting what you’ve never had and the fact that you will do anything to get it. Ask Cory Stillman who went through this very same process with Dave Andreychuk and the Tampa Bay Lightning 2 years ago. Stillman along with the rest of the Hurricanes have the opportunity to add some much deserved NHL veteran’s names to Lord Stanley’s mug with only 4 more victories against the Edmonton Oilers.

No one knows more about Stanley Cup disappointment than Rod Brind’amour, who was part of a Philadelphia Flyer team that was swept in the Final against the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and a member of the Hurricanes who were picked apart once again at the hands of the Red Wings in 2002. Needless to say Brind’amour is probably not too fond of the Detroit Red Wings. This season Brind’amour has the opportunity to remove that God awful taste from his mouth once and for all. Brind’amour has got to be hoping third time is a charm for that ring.

For Glen Wesley it has been 18 years and counting, much like his former counter part Ray Borque of the Boston Bruins’ days, the Stanley Cup has eluded him through out his entire career. Of course we all know how that story ended one night in Colorado for Ray Borque, I’m sure Wesley is hoping for the same outcome this year. Wesley, unluckily, was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2002-2003 season trade deadline and unfortunately missed out on an opportunity to get to the finals with Brind’amour and the Canes that season. Ironically the Hurricanes defeated the Leafs in 6 games of that very conference final that propelled the Canes to the Finals.

For Bret Hedican, he is also a 2 time loser, his first attempt at the cup was a game 7 loss to Mark Messier and the New York Rangers in 1994 as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. His second offense was in 02 with the Canes and their loss to Detroit. Hedican is hoping for more success and euphoria this year.

For Ray Whitney this will be his first attempt at Lord Stanley’s mug. A noble soldier for many years in the NHL, starting in San Jose for 6 seasons, a season in Edmonton, some hard time in Florida and Columbus all the way to a cup of coffee that was spilt on his lap by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Whitney finally gets the opportunity with the Canes. Whitney has been a journeyman NHL’er for 15 years and finally gets the opportunity to sip from the mug.

To Doug Weight this will be a special Stanley Cup Final, it will be his first appearance and it comes against his long time and former club the Edmonton Oilers. Weight, a 9 year Oiler, was essentially traded to the St. Louis Blues due to contract disputes with management. The disputes stemmed mainly from the team not being able to pay him fair market value at the time. Weight never wanted to leave but had to if he wanted his proper compensation.

Weight admits he still has many friends on the Oilers that he keeps in contact with and is looking forward to this opportunity. Weight is trying to end a 15 year drought with a Stanley Cup hoist, and probably would love nothing more than to do it on Edmonton ice. After all the chance does now, more than ever, exist that Weight could return to St. Louis or the Mighty Edmonton Oilers, wouldn’t a cup ring look nice on his finger in a possible return?

For all these players, years of frustration and disappointment can come to an end one night in June with the stars aligning nicely and the Gods smiling down on them for the first time in their long careers. To bad it may have to come at the expense of a team that is representing Canada in the Edmonton Oilers for it to happen. But that’s a story for another time.

18 Responses to The Veterans' Missing Link.

  1. wingerxxx says:

    I’m happy for both finalists. No matter who wins this series, there are going to be a very deserving group of players with their names engraved on the Cup, who have been playing a long time to get it. If the Oilers win, Chris Pronger’s career will have a whole new meaning. He would be not only a Norris and Hart Trophy winner, but a Stanley Cup champion. Jason Smith and Ryan Smyth are warriors. Michael Peca as well. And of course, all of the Canes players who have their shot. It’ll be a great story for whoever wins.

  2. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    There’s a mistake there, Glenn Wesley went to the finals in 02 with the Hurricanes, and was traded to Toronto the next year, when the Canes were in last, re-signing with the team that summer.

    I agree with Wingerxx, I don’t care who wins, they’re both very good teams, and deserve it.

  3. Marky2Fresh says:

    Does anyone else think the lay off between games is too long?

  4. Marky2Fresh says:

    I want Edmonton to win, at least their fans will care.

  5. LeafsLeafsLeafs says:

    Wrong, he was traded to the Leafs at the deadline and was put out by the Canes while playing for the Leafs. The Canes squeeked into the playoffs that year.

  6. LeafsLeafsLeafs says:

    But there is an error I frorgot about 1988 when the Bruins went to the final vs the Oilers yet again, and lost so Wesley is a 3 time disappointment.

  7. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    NO! You are wrong. The Canes went to the finals in 2002 WITH Glenn Wesley, and he was traded during the 02-03 season, when the Canes came in last.

    Tom Borasso of the Hurricanes was traded to Toronto in 02, to replace the injured Curtis Joseph in case Corey Schwab faltered.

    Notice Wesley’s games played in the 02 playoffs, would’ve had to been to the cup finals, the Canes beat the Leafs 3-2 in over time in game six of the 2002 Eastern Conference finals, WITH Glen Wesley. Look around the site, you’ll find it all.

  8. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Did Tom Barrasso really play for the Leafs??? I don’t remember that. I knew he played for the Sens.

  9. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Playoffs 2003

    Senators over Islanders

    Devils over Bruins

    Lightning over Capitals

    Flyers over Maple Leafs

    Stars over Oilers

    Mighty Ducks over Red Wings

    Wild over Avalanche

    Canucks over Blues

    Senators over Flyers

    Devils over Lightning

    Mighty Ducks over Stars

    Wild over Canucks

    Devils over Senators

    Mighty Ducks over Wild

    Devils over Mighty Ducks

    In 2002…

    Canadiens over Bruins

    Senators over Flyers

    Hurricanes over Devils

    Maple Leafs over Islanders

    Red Wings over Canucks

    Avalanche over Los Angeles

    Sharks over Coyotes

    Blues over Blackhawks

    Hurricanes over Canadiens

    Maple Leafs over Senators

    Red Wings over Blues

    Avalanche over Sharks

    Hurricanes over Maple Leafs

    Red Wings over Avalanche

    Red Wings over Hurricanes

  10. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Only a few games, then he pulled a hamstring.

    I forgot to put Tom Borasso on my hall of fame consideration list on an article I just submitted! Dammit!

    Four games as a Leaf.

  11. LeafsLeafsLeafs says:

    OK so maybe I made an error.

  12. Gretzkin says:

    Not in this case

  13. FlamingHomer says:

    This is nothing. Wait until Gary Bettman notices the time between the last NFL playoff game and Super Bowl. He will definitely be looking to build that level of hype.

  14. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Well don’t correct my correction 🙂

  15. tacitus says:

    Kinda funny how Stillman wasn’t a priority for the Lightning after they won the cup. They opted to bring back Prospal. Stillman said he was hoping to be resigned by Tampa but i’m sure he is enjoying the sweet taste now. Good move tampa, pay prospal more.

    Ray Whitney. no respect. Early on in San Jose, he was there best offensive player, so they traded him. He was Edmontons best offensive player one year, was Flordia’s best offensive player for 2 years, Columbus’s best offensive player for 2 years. Now he gets lost in the shuffle with Staal, BrindAMour, Weight, Recchi. This guy will never get credit for just how talented he is. He was so good he made people believe Pat Falloon was the second best player in his draft. Ray if u ever read this, im sorry the Red Wings put u on the third line.

    Stillman and Whitney are due for some props

  16. NiittymakiForVezina says:

    Whitney got lost in the shuffle on Detroit too.

  17. LeafsLeafsLeafs says:

    Don’t act like a prick.

Leave a Reply