With the Blackhawks having claimed their second Stanley Cup in three years – fifth in franchise history – engraver Louise St. Jacques will soon be dusting off her tools. The names she’ll be engraving, though, are not yet set in stone. (Or sterling silver, to be exact. )
Eight players returned from that 2010 Stanley Cup Championship club that already have their names on the Cup: Toews, Bolland, Hjalmarsson, Hossa, Kane, Keith, Seabrook, and Sharp. Some other current players were with the team, but didn’t qualify to have their names immortalized in the chalice’s silver bands:
Corey Crawford was with the Hawks, but appeared in only one regular season game.
Bryan Bickell was on the team in 2010 but only played in four regular season games and three playoff games – none in the Final. He got to spend a day with the Cup in the summer of 2010, but his name is not on the Stanley Cup. At least not yet.
Currently, the NHL requirements to have your name emblazoned on the cup are to have either played in a minimum of 41 regular season games or have suited up for one game in the Stanley Cup Finals. Of course, this being a shortened season, the guidelines are pro-rated:
Last year, we saw Kings players Davis Drewiske and Kevin Westgarth fall short of the requirements. The Kings succesfully petitioned the league to get their names included on the cup. Not so lucky were Trent Hunter, Scott Parse, and Andrei Loktionov, the latter of whom is now with the Devils.
Bickell, like many of his teammates, saw his first action in the Stanley Cup Finals. Making their championship series debuts were: Brandon Bollig, Corey Crawford, Michael Frolik, Michal Handzus, Marcus Kruger, Nick Leddy, Johnny Oduya, Michal Rozsival, Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, Ben Smith, and Viktor Stalberg. Three other players – Sheldon Brookbank, Jamal Mayers, and Ryan Stanton – were on the roster but did not see any action in the series against the Bruins.
Making the Cup
These 23 players are certain to have their names engraved on the bottom band of the Cup. In order of how they’ll appear (Players already on Cup are listed in bold): Jonathan Toews (Captain), Bryan Bickell, Dave Bolland, Brandon Bollig, Sheldon Brookbank, Corey Crawford, Ray Emery, Michael Frolik, Michal Handzus, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Marcus Kruger, Nick Leddy, Johnny Oduya, Michal Roszival, Brandon Saad, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp, Andrew Shaw, Ben Smith, Viktor Stalberg.
Blackhawks Who Barely Made it
- Michal Handzus – He played only 11 games with the Hawks in the regular season, scoring one goal and adding five assists. Of course, the 28 games he played earlier this year with the Sharks pushed him over the minimum. He also suited up for – and played in every game of – the Cup Final.
- Ben Smith – Smith doesn’t play often, but when he does, it’s in the Stanley Cup Final. He scored a goal in his one regular season appearance – a late April game that saw Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Patrick Sharp watching from the sidelines. (The Hawks had just clinched the west and opted to give their star players the night off.) He showed up just once more – unexpectedly in Game 3 of the Final, which locked him into having his name on the cup.
- Sheldon Brookbank – He squeaked in based on his regular season play. Brookbank’s 26 appearances were just enough to qualify him. He played in just one playoff game, Chicago’s Game 4 win over the Kings.
Players Who Missed the Cut
This group didn’t qualify outright. The Hawks will have to petition the league for their immortalization on the cup.
- Dan Carcillo (23 games played, 2g-1a-3pts, +1, 11PIM) – Car Bomb played in four postseason matches this year, the most recent coming in the Hawks’ Game 2 loss to Detroit.
- Jamal Mayers (19 games played, 0g-2a-2pts, +12, 16PIM) – He would’ve been a shoo-in if he dressed in Hossa’s absence for Game 2 of the Finals, but Ben Smith got the call. While he didn’t take the ice in the postseason, he did provide a spark in the locker room:
“I just spoke from the heart and I think — this is what I try to tell young guys — if you’re authentic about the team you can say whatever you want to the team, or you should say whatever you want to the team, because your heart’s in the right place and all you really want to do is win. […] At the end of the day, the guys on the ice did the job and came back, but I think, at the very least, maybe I gave them a little bit of perspective on what it’s like to be 38 and at the end of your career.”
- Jimmy Hayes (10 ganes played, 1g-3a-4pts, 0, 0PIM) – No playoff appearances.
- Jeremy Morin (3 games played, 1g-1a-2pts, +1, 0PIM) – No playoff appearances.
- Drew LeBlanc (2 games played, 0g-0a-0pts), -3, 0PIM) – No playoff appearances.
- Carter Hutton – The third-string netminder saw action just once all year in a 3-1 loss to the Blues in late April – the same post-Western-Conference-clinching game that contained Ben Smith’s season debut. Also making their only appearances of the season were Brandon Pirri, Ryan Stanton, and Shawn Lalonde – all three were held scoreless.
- Steve Montador – The defenseman hasn’t played a game with the Hawks since suffering a concussion in February of 2012. He spent the latter part of the 2013 season continuing his recovery in the AHL. Exceptions have been granted for players on long-term injury (Marc Savard was included with the 2011 Bruins), but it remains to be seen if the team would pursue such a request.
- Rostislav Olesz – Rusty was sent to the AHL just five weeks into the 2011-12 season, where he’s played ever since. Any chance of a return was dashed when he suffered a serious knee injury in April 2012. He returned to the ice in March – scoring 19 points in 14 games with the AHL’s Rockford Ice Hogs – but wasn’t recalled by the Blackhawks.
Unlike in past years, it doesn’t seem like there’ll be much controversy over the exception requests. It seems logical that both Carcillo and Mayers deserve to be included and that both will soon find their surnames forever etched in to the greatest trophy in all of professional sports.
The boys will all get to enjoy sharing the summer with Stanley. They’ll just have to set aside some time for engraver Louise St. Jacques to do her magic and engrave their names in to the Cup where they’ll live on forever.
Follow Josh on Twitter – @joshsmith29