Since the Blues started trading their stars during the Harry Ornest regime in the mid-80’s, fans of the Note have had to endure an almost annual exercise of a former Blue…many times a future Hall of Famer…hoisting the Stanley Cup for another franchise.
It started when the Blues put Calgary over the top with their trades of Joe Mullen, Doug Gilmour, Rob Ramage and Rick Wamsley to the Flames. Including those ’89 Flames, of the twenty most recent Stanley Cup Champions, only the ’90 Oilers, the ’94 Rangers, and the ’96 and ’01 Avalanche have failed to have a key former Blue either behind the bench or on the ice.
Whether it was Jacques Demers coaching the 1993 Canadiens, Scott Stevens captaining three Stanley Cup champs in New Jersey, guys like Steve Duchesne and Cory Stillman stepping up…it happened almost every year.
There was the distasteful scene of Brendan Shanahan winning it all in Detroit, Brett Hull in Dallas…and then Shanny AND Hull lifting the Cup together with the hated Red Wings. Stillman with the Lightning AND the Hurricanes. Rod Brind’Amour, Bret Hedican and Doug Weight joined Stillman in Carolina. Chris Pronger with the Ducks. Chris Osgood and Dallas Drake returning to the Wings to win, and Bill Guerin with Pittsburgh last year.
It’s happened a lot. And it doesn’t appear to be stopping. In the Western Conference finals, former Blues coach Joel Quenneville
appears ready to break through with the Chicago Blackhawks, who played brilliantly in knocking out Vancouver. Chicago will face a San Jose team with no Blues influence at all.
In the east, as noted in a previous blog, Chris Pronger is closing in on the conference finals…again…with a game seven vs. Boston. The Bruins have serviceable former Blue Dennis Wideman, who was traded for Brad Boyes.
The Boston-Philly winner will take on Montreal. The Canadiens’ coach? The guy who replaced Demers with the Blues, Jacques Martin.
As much as I hate to bear the Blues not winning a Cup, I’d hate to see these guys miss their chance, too. So…even as a Blues fan…I’m rooting for the former Blues coaches in this one…Quenneville and Martin, to meet for the Stanley Cup. What the heck, we’re on a roll. Maybe that karma will finally wear off on us.