3 Reasons a Hurricanes vs. Oilers Cup Final Is Best For Hockey

There are many storylines to follow with the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The terrible officiating and seeing if the Presidents’ Trophy curse will apply to the Boston Bruins are two of the more interesting ones. As an Edmontonian, I personally would love to see the Edmonton Oilers take on the Carolina Hurricanes for the Stanley Cup.

Ryan Smyth Edmonton Oilers Rod Brind'Amour Carolina Hurricanes
Ryan Smyth of the Edmonton Oilers skates after the puck as Rod Brind’Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes falls onto an Oilers player during Game 2 of the 2006 NHL Stanley Cup Final (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

We are 17 years removed from that 2006 series, and it’s time for a rematch. I’d love to see both Jesse Puljujarvi and Warren Foegele battle their old squads. I also can’t think of anything more electrifying than the two best players in the league taking on the Hurricanes. We need the hockey gods to conspire and make this happen.

Jesse Puljujarvi vs Warren Foegele

There is something special about a player beating his old team. Two players who were traded in the last two years would be facing their former squad. Puljujarvi was a fan favorite during his Oilers tenure. Fans loved his upbeat attitude, coupled with his infectious enthusiasm whenever he would score a goal. They didn’t want him to get traded away, so they would welcome seeing him in a historic matchup like this.

Related: Edmonton Oilers’ 2006 Stanley Cup Run – A Look Back

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Foegele was acquired as a depth option for the Oilers. He was a big contributor to the 2019 Playoff run for the Hurricanes. With four goals in their first-round series against the Washington Capitals, Foegele stepped up to help the Hurricanes make it to the next round. For Puljujarvi and Foegele, it would be an incredible series. Each player lining up against their former team, wanting to show up against their old teammates.

Hurricanes Overcome Injuries While McDavid Reaches Final

The Hurricanes have a significant connection to both the Oilers and the Stanley Cup Finals. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour played for the 2006 iteration of the Hurricanes that won the cup that year. The satisfaction he would have as a result of defeating the Oilers again as a coach is probably a great motivator. Notwithstanding, the act of reaching the Stanley Cup Final alone would be an amazing accomplishment in light of the injuries to two of their star players.

Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

I can’t think of anything better than the best player in the NHL finally reaching the Stanley Cup Final. Connor McDavid could once-and-for-all prove to the haters that he doesn’t just get points, he wins championships. Gary Bettman believes that McDavid is this generation’s poster child. It would be fulfilling to watch the best player in hockey get a chance to win the coveted trophy. And if the Oilers manage to win it, he would cement his legacy as one of the greatest to ever play the game.

2006 Stanley Cup Finals Rematch…17 Years Later

As exciting as it would be to watch McDavid fly around the ice in the Stanley Cup Final, the real icing on the cake would be the opponents. In 2006 the Oilers went on a Cinderella-story-esque run. They squeaked into the playoffs as the eighth seed and battled their way to meet the Hurricanes in the Final. The Brind’Amour-led Hurricanes finished second in the Eastern Conference.

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Hurricanes fans may be less than thrilled for their team to face off against the generational talent of McDavid. But that challenge would lead to some entertaining hockey. Oilers fans are chomping at the bit for revenge. With McDavid and Draisaitl, they just might get it.