NHL Playoffs: Memorable Stanley Cup Raising Moments
When the Stanley Cup is presented to the winning team's captain at the conclusion of the 2012 NHL playoffs, the man wearing the "C" on his sweater will surely celebrate by lifting the piece of hardware over his head and skating around the ice before handing the trophy over to a selected teammate.
That ritual is something we have come to expect, and it would be a shock if it didn't happen.
Interestingly, this ritual does not date all that far back in the history of the NHL. The first player to ever lift the Cup overhead was the Detroit Red Wings' Ted Lindsay, who did so after the Wings captured the 1950 Cup.
What follows are some of the most memorable Cup raising moments.
Lanny McDonald, 1989
How many players in any sport can claim that the last game they ever played was a game in which they captured a championship?
The Calgary Flames' Lanny McDonald is one of those players.
McDonald began his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1974 and in 1989 he would retire as the captain of the Calgary Flames, but before he would retire he would raise the Cup after the Flames defeated the Montreal Canadians in six games.
Making the Cup victory even more memorable, McDonald would also score a goal during the game.
Ray Bourque, 2001
Much like Lanny McDonald, Ray Bourque was nearing the end of his NHL career when he and the rest of his Colorado Avalanche teammates found themselves in Game 7 of the 2001 Stanley Cup finals.
After 60 minutes of hockey, the Avalanche wrestled the Cup from the defending champion New Jersey Devils.
When NHL commissioner Gary Bettman handed the Cup to team captain Joe Sakic, Sakic did not lift the Cup over his head; instead, he handed it directly to Bourque, allowing him to be the first player from the Avalanche to lift the Cup and skate it around the rink.
Bourque would retire that summer.
Wayne Gretzky, 1984
In 1984, the Cup presentation did not have the pomp and circumstance that it does today, but this one is memorable, as it was the birth of a dynasty. The Edmonton Oilers would win five Stanley Cups between 1984 and 1990.
Since then, only two other teams would even repeat as Stanley Cup champions—the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992 and the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.
Denis Potvin, 1980
Before the Edmonton Oilers became a dynasty they had to end the reign of the NY Islanders, a team that had won the Stanley Cup in four consecutive seasons, their first victory coming in a six-game series with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1980.
Scotty Bowman, 2002
2002 would mark the ninth time that Scotty Bowman had coached a team to a Stanley Cup victory. It would be the third time that he stood behind the bench when the Detroit Red Wings raised the Cup.
The 2002 Cup would break Bowman's tie with Toe Blake for number of Cups won as an NHL head coach. When it came time to lift the Cup, team captain Steve Yzerman allowed Bowman to have the honors.
Mark Messier, 1994
If you were a fan of a team that played the NY Rangers before 1994, the chant of "1940" was a familiar refrain during the Stanley Cup playoffs. You see, prior to 1994, that was the last year the NY Rangers had won the Stanley Cup.
In 1994, the Mark Messier-led Rangers ended that chant forever when they defeated the Vancouver Canucks in seven games to capture the Cup in front of their home crowd at Madison Square Garden.
Vladimir Konstantinov, 1998
The Detroit Red Wings captured the 1997 Stanley Cup by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in four games. The Cup clinching game occurred on June 7.
What should have been a summer full of enjoyment for the Wings turned into a nightmare when a limousine accident left defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov severely injured.
When the Wings won the Cup the following year, Konstantinov was brought onto the ice and given the honor of being the first person other than captain Steve Yzerman to touch the Cup.