Photo Credit: Paint It Blackhawks
Today's NHL world of salary caps, hidden bonuses, and strict roster regulations make it impossible to not understand why even the best players are often relegated to the free agent market.
But when teams dump stars just weeks after they helped the franchise win the NHL's biggest prize, the Stanley Cup, it's clear that a loyalty's broken. However, this has been done by more than a few of just the past 13 Cup Champions (1997-2010), and the most recent titlist, the Chicago Blackhawks, have truly re-opened the wound.
Following several major trades with the Atlanta Thrashers and one very notable arbitration hearing, a number of major contributors in the Hawks' Cup run are now unwelcome in Chicago, whether it was their choice or not.
Since 1997, though, six more major players have gone through similar situations as many of Chicago's players did this summer, and four more Cup-winning coaches have also seen ties cut with their team just two years after their triumph.
Was the release of these components a valid decision? In some cases, perhaps. But no matter the complexities, the verdicts handed to these eight players (listed by "date dumped") after they won a Stanley Cup were clearly baffling, to the least.