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First of all, have to give full credit to our friends at Blueshirt Banter for the concept. The best ten trades of the team in a decade. So let’s apply it to the Penguins!

Over the last ten years, the Penguins have made a ton of trades. Between two general managers in Ray Shero and Jim Rutherford, Pittsburgh has had some bold GM’s willing to move all kinds of pieces around to upgrade the team and contend for Stanley Cup championships. It worked since the team made the playoffs each and every year from 2010-19.

Here’s the qualifications, taken straight from BSB with the appropriate Pens’ related notes shoehorned in. By attempting the rankings of the best trades, I considered a few areas of evaluation. They are:
Immediate Face Value Appraisal

Sometimes, you know it’s a win, right from the time you see the Bob McKenzie tweet announcing the trade. (Think of the Kessel from Toronto deal — with salary retained!). Hindsight is always a factor when looking back on these trades, but sometimes right from Jump St. you can just tell that the Pens made a good move. If so, it’s probably appearing in this article and not the next one about the ten WORST trades of the decade.
Hindsight Analysis

But, knowing what we know now matters too. Carolina trading Pittsburgh in the eight overall pick in the 2012 draft seemed great at the time, but didn’t really mean very much now at the end of 2019. Dallas throwing in a seemingly random 2013 third round pick ended up being a very big deal right now. That’s hindsight and unknowable at the time of the trade, but ends up at this point being a big, big factor!
Impact on Team’s Success

Shedding a bad player for a serviceable player (like, say, Daley for Scuderi) means a lot more right now than trading a second round pick for a rental that didn’t add up to much. That kind of makes sense at face value, so let’s stay there.
Butterfly Effect… To a Degree

The Guentzel trade comes into play here. Who would have known at the time? No one, but that was a good move. On the other end, the Pens traded the draft pick that was Ryan Dzingel to Ottawa for Alex Kovalev. That one is probably going to show up in the other article for worst trades of the decade. In a big sense, this is part luck but any trade involving picks and prospects can end up meandering to a way different path eventually then what it looks like at the time of the trade, for better or worse.
#10: Feburary 1, 2019: Pittsburgh trades Riley Sheahan, Derick Brassard, a 2019 second round pick, and two 2019 fourth round picks to Florida in exchange for Jared McCann and Nick Bjugstad

Jim Rutherford made this trade as a part of his patented “correcting a mistake” type of deal, adding a 22-year old former first round pick in McCann in exchange for a disappointment in Brassard and a second round pick. The Pens got a third line center in Bjugstad who may pay off more later on with his size and skill, but the major prize was undoubtedly McCann.

McCann has scored 21 goals and 38 points in his first 66 games with Pittsburgh, living up to his pedigree as a talented young player. And he’s done that on a $1.25 million salary cap hit, a huge boost to a team like Pittsburgh that really needs a boost of youth, fresh legs, energy and at a bargain rate against the cap. This trade isn’t even that old, but it’s already paid off to add what the Pens thought they were going to get from Brassard but actually ended up needing to flip into McCann to make it happen.
9 – December 3, 2018: Pittsburgh trades Daniel Sprong to Anaheim for Marcus Pettersson

Sprong was a polarizing prospect but never found a way to find his way into the good graces with the Pens. Rutherford was boxed into a corner here and found a way to trade this unestablished player to get a needed defenseman. Pettersson was a 13-14 minute a night player in Anaheim just trying to find his way, when he got to the Pens he has become a 18-19 minute important defender for the Pens that has blossomed into a good NHL level player. And that wasn’t something they were going to get out of Sprong.
8- June 22, 2012: Pittsburgh trades Jordan Staal to Carolina for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and the No. 8 overall pick in 2012 (used to select Derrick Pouliot)

This is a bittersweet trade, to be sure. It could have been much higher, had the Pens drafted a player like Filip Forsberg or Teuvo Teravainen who were both very much in the range of this pick. But, they didn’t.

Still, former GM Ray Shero was also boxed in a bit back in 2012. Staal rejected a long-term contract with Pittsburgh and would have been entering a “walk year” of his contract with the Pens. So they flipped him and got a replacement (if lesser) NHL center in Brandon Sutter and that high pick.

And, with hindsight, Brian Dumoulin ended up being the most important piece of this trade for the Pens. Dumoulin wasn’t at the time of the trade, and as we saw with several high defenseman draft picks of that era (Pouliot, Joe Morrow, Scott Harrington, Simon Despres), sometimes via development or injury a prospect doesn’t always pan out. Dumoulin did though, exceeding all reasonable expectations to turn into a rock-steady top pair NHL dman.
8 – February 22, 2016: Pittsburgh trades a third round pick to Edmonton for Justin Schultz

Before Justin Schultz came to Pittsburgh he was a punchline. A perceived terrible defenseman who could defend and had very little appreciable value to an NHL team. This was mostly due to a bad Edmonton team that threw Schultz into deep waters and tough assignments that didn’t fit him. And, to be fair, he performed very poorly there.

But in Pittsburgh, first as a 6/7 type of defender in the 2016 Stanley Cup run, he was insulated and put in favorable situations. Schultz’s confidence grew and by 2016-17 he was a 51 point player (12G+39A) and a key player for the 2017 Stanley Cup run.

It took a little faith, patience and projection but the Pens found a talented player in a bad situation and helped build him up into a vital piece of the puzzle that continues through the end of the decade.
6- July 28, 2015: Pittsburgh trades Brandon Sutter and a third round pick (used to select William Lockwood) to Vancouver for Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening and a second round pick (used to select Filip Gustavsson)

After Sutter stuttered in his role with the Pens, Rutherford used him to flip for Nick Bonino who was cheaper against the salary cap and ended up being an instrumental piece of the 2016 Stanley Cup run in the H-B-K line that gave Pittsburgh a huge advantage in the playoffs against teams like Washington, Tampa and San Jose. Bonino also was a key player in the 2017 Stanley Cup run up until an injury.

The Pens also got a boost in the draft swap that ended up netting them a premier goalie prospect who was used in a future trade. But that trade won’t show up here. This one was all about the boost that Bonino provided compared to Sutter.
5- July 26, 2019: Pittsburgh trades a conditional sixth round pick in 2021 to Edmonton for John Marino

A master stroke in scouting and situational awareness, the Pens plucked Marino out of Edmonton. Marino was not going to sign with the Oilers, so they were willing to deal him for a conditional pick. If the Pens didn’t sign Marino, they wouldn’t have to give up the pick making this a total “no risk, all reward” type of trade. But they did convince him to forego his senior year in Harvard and he’s instantly become a 19 minute-a-game player at the NHL level with excellent instincts, calmness. And he adds a right handed shot on an entry level contract that will pay off into the early years of the next decade.
4- December 14, 2015: Pittsburgh trades Rob Scuderi (retaining $1.1 million of salary) to Chicago for Trevor Daley

Another situationally smart trade, the Pens used Chicago’s salary cap crunch against them in order to steal a serviceable player in Daley for a used up Scuderi by buying the Blackhawks a little over $1 million on the cap for 1.5 seasons. It turned out great for Pittsburgh, since Daley somehow didn’t fit with the scheme/coaching of Chicago, but ended up being a viable second pair player in the 2016 Stanley Cup run, a big upgrade from the slow-footed and bad hands of Scuderi who wasn’t going to be able to fit in with the new Mike Sullivan era.
3- March 24, 2013: Pittsburgh trades Joseph Morrow and a fifth round pick in 2013 (used to select Matej Paulovic) to Dallas for Brendan Morrow and a third round pick in 2013 (used to select Jake Guentzel)

This uses hindsight, but that still counts in the long-run. Dallas dealt their captain in Morrow to the Pens for their 2013 ill-fated playoff run. Morrow gets a bad rap for his time in Pittsburgh, mostly by people who forget he dislocated his kneecap and still played through it.

But this trade ended up having long-term ramifications in the seemingly meaningless swap of draft picks. Ray Shero managed to upgrade a fifth for a third. No big deal on the surface. However that third rounder ended up being Jake Guentzel and has had a monumental impact on the Pens’ future from there on out.
2- Feb 12, 2011: Pittsburgh trades Alex Goligoski to Dallas for James Neal and Matt Niskanen

With an excess of defensemen (including the emerging Kris Letang) the Pens could afford to ship out Goligoski, who was a very good player in his own right. But Pittsburgh got incredible value in that trade by landing a future 40-goal scorer in Neal and a throw-in of Niskanen who ended up being a top-four defender for as long as Goligoski has. If this trade was one-for-one in either direction, it might have been a fair one (or a modest Pittsburgh win). But that Shero pulled two key players out of this one meant a huge win for the Pens.
1- July 1, 2015: Pittsburgh trades Nick Spaling, Scott Harrington, Kasperi Kapanen, 2016 first round pick (eventually used to select Sam Steel) and a 2016 third round pick to Toronto for Phil Kessel ($1.25m retained), Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon and a 2016 second round pick (used to select Kasper Bjorkqvist)

Simply put, this was the trade that re-started the Pens’ dynasty. After things had grown stale in the middle of the decade, Rutherford swung for the fences and hit an absolute home run by acquiring Phil Kessel. And he got Toronto to retain salary AND take a player in Spaling that was filler to help balance the salaries. AND the Pens were able to make the deal without sending then top youngsters in Derick Pouliot and Olli Maatta to Toronto.

Kapanen and the first round pick were decent pieces to surrender, but paled in comparison to the immediate impact that Kessel made as one of the top players in the league for the 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup runs and then scored 174 points in the 2018 and 2019 seasons that followed.

The 2010’s were such a crazy time for trades for the Pens. There wasn’t a lot of time for inactivity. Trades were the most major way for the team to re-shape itself and eventually become the only team in the salary cap era to win back-to-back Stanley Cups.

Of course, with good trades also comes bad trades. But we’ll save that for not Christmas to look into

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Devils’ decision to trade 2018 MVP Taylor Hall to Arizona has put pressure on other players to step up and lead the team.

In their first game since Monday’s trade, Hall’s former linemates Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri answered the call.

Hischier and Palmeiri scored second-period goals and the Devils beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Wednesday night, giving them consecutive wins for only the fourth time this disappointing season.

“I think it’s for the young guys coming up, it’s those close games and finding ways to win or finding ways to close them out,” Palmieri said. “Tonight, finding a way to come from behind and find a lead going into the third and come out there and keep playing on our toes. They had a couple looks but we held the fort.”

Sami Vatanen also scored and Mackenzie Blackwood made 26 saves as the Devils gave interim coach Alain Nasreddine his second straight win.

Adam Henrique scored against his former team for the Ducks, who squandered an early 1-0 lead in losing to New Jersey for the first time in four games. Ryan Miller had 17 saves as Anaheim lost its second straight on a four-game East Coast trip.

“Obviously you get a good start and get a lead and go from there,” Henrique saud. “We have to find a way to get that next one. That’s the key right now. We are having a hard time to get two and three and put out foot on the throat of the other team. That’s an area that has to improve.”

Anaheim defenseman Michael Del Zotto had a hand in the Devils’ goals. He had a giveaway on Hischier’s goal early in the second period and was in the penalty box for interference when Palmieri gave New Jersey a 2-1 lead at 11:29 of the second.

The journeyman defenseman lost a battle with No. 1 overall draft pick Jack Hughes in the corner early in the third period, leading to Vatenen’s goal and a 3-1 lead.

Henrique gave Anaheim the lead, capping a 2-on-none with Ondrej Kase 3:33 after the opening faceoff.

The tide changed early in the second period when Del Zotto misplayed a puck sent around the boards. It deflected toward the net, where Jesper Bratt got the puck and found Hischier for a shot low in the right circle at 1:28.

Bratt is Hall’s replacement at left wing on the line center by Hischier. Palmieri is on the right side.

“I feel comfortable playing with (Bratt),” Hischier said. “I came in with him in this league and have played a lot of games already with him. He’s a great playmaker who can score, so it’s a lot of fun to play with him.”

Palmieri got his 13th of the season in the closing seconds of the penalty against Del Zotto. He made a toe-drag move on defenseman Cam Fowler and beat the screened goaltender from the right circle.

Vatanen extended the margin to two goals with a tally against his former team, and Blackwood made the lead standing up, making 11 saves in the final 20 minutes in giving New Jersey its first home win since Nov. 23 against Detroit.

“We were OK in the first,”Miller said. “We were getting the puck deep and I felt that’s how we should play the game. In the second period we didn’t do any of that and fed into what they wanted to be doing. We didn’t have a whole lot of energy until that last little push.”

Blackwood negated the effort.

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ANAHEIM — Josh Manson hammered the puck into the right-hand corner from his station just inside the blue line on Monday morning at Honda Center. He skated purposefully from one end of the ice to the other. He followed along with his Ducks teammates as they went through a number of drills.

When it came time for special teams work that called for more physical contact with his teammates, Manson took a seat on the bench. Manson, a veteran defenseman, wasn’t ready for that level of competition, although his first full-speed, full-contact practice could come later this week.

It’s been nearly six weeks since Manson sprained his knee during the Ducks’ loss to the Stars on Oct. 24 at Dallas. Barring a setback, he’s likely to return to their lineup sooner than later. Certainly, he’s right in the window of their original layoff estimate of between five and 10 weeks.

Manson’s return to the lineup can’t come soon enough, as far as the Ducks are concerned. They were mired in seventh place in the Pacific Division with an 11-12-4 record going into Monday night’s game against the eighth-place Kings (11-14-2).

“We’re getting there because I saw him skating around out there with us,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said of anticipating Manson’s return to full-time duty. “When you see those steps that means all that stuff, medically, physically, fitness-wise are progressing well.

“So, him popping out there is a good step. Our fingers are crossed, but there are no guarantees.”

The Ducks have practices scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for Friday’s game against the Washington Capitals. The Capitals won a Nov. 18 game marred by a spitting incident that resulted in a three-game NHL-imposed suspension to Garnet Hathaway of Washington.

Manson’s return would give the Ducks a physical element that’s been lacking since he was injured while attempting to throw a check against the Stars’ Jason Dickinson. Manson’s injury was met with relief by the Ducks, who feared he had torn a ligament. It turned out to be just a sprain.

“All you have to do is look at our goals-against with him in the lineup and without,” Eakins said, referring to the Ducks’ 2.18 goals-against average before Manson was sidelined and their 3.63 goals-against average while he’s been out. “I think that tells a story right away.”

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Over the past few seasons, the Anaheim Ducks have had horrible luck when it comes to the health of their roster. Most years, the injury bug strikes quite early. However, aside from Josh Manson‘s lengthy stint on the sidelines and a few other short-lived injuries, the roster has remained relatively healthy. That is, until recently.

In the span of just a few games, the Ducks have lost four players to injury, three of them predicted to spend the next 4-10 weeks on the sidelines. The first domino to fall was Nick Ritchie. A hip check from Washington Capitals defenseman Radko Gudas would force Ritchie out of the game with an MCL sprain. His predicted timetable for return is 6-10 weeks.

Troy Terry, Derek Grant, and Jacob Larsson were the next three to fall victim to the second wave of the injury bug during the game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Terry has been placed on injured reserve and is predicted to miss the next 10 weeks with a broken bone below his knee cap. Derek Grant has suffered an AC sprain to his shoulder, the time table for his return is 4-6 weeks. Lastly, Jacob Larsson, who is listed as day to day, suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Larsson and Terry’s absence, while unfortunate, will not necessarily hurt the team as much as Grant and Ritchie’s absence. It seems as though Larsson has taken steps back in his development this season, struggling significantly to grasp the offensive aspects, as well as other areas, of the game. It earned him a ticket to San Diego a few weeks ago, and the decision to call him back up and send Josh Mahura back down the 5 was a puzzling decision.

Troy Terry has struggled to produce as expected this season as well. While some of that may be in part to the hype that has surrounded the 22-year-old 2015 5th round draft pick, he seems like he’s still on the path to finding himself as an NHL player, which, at his age, is still perfectly acceptable. After a broken bone ended his season last year, this injury will prove to be just another setback in his development as an NHL player.

Derek Grant has surprisingly been one of the Anaheim Ducks top 5 goal scorers this season, with 9 goals credited to his name. The team has struggled to produce offense, and losing one of their top goal scorers for the next 4-6 weeks is going to hurt, most likely leaving the Ducks floundering near the bottom of the Pacific Divison and Western Conference.

Finally, Nick Ritchie’s injury is going to cause more struggles than anyone realizes. While a lot of fans detest him and his constant penalties, he has been an important factor for the Ducks this season. He hasn’t shown up on the score sheet as often as we’d like to see, but he drives play and adds a physical flare to the lineup the Ducks don’t necessarily have in spades.

Injuries are never good news. However, if there are any positives we can take from this situation it would be this: having four injured players on the sidelines gives our AHL prospects valuable time in the NHL without the added stress of being playoff contenders. With the position the Anaheim Ducks currently hold in the standings, the playoffs at this point are highly unlikely. Isac Lundestrom, Max Jones, Sam Carrick, and others, now have the opportunity to hone their skills at the next level without being make or break players in the lineup.

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Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique scored his 11th goal of the season in Saturday’s 6-5 shootout victory over the Islanders, while adding an assist in the contest. Henrique positioned himself nicely in front of the net and got his stick on a deflection for the even-strength goal in the second period, while setting up teammate Jakob Silfverberg with a diving pass to even the game at four goals apiece. Max Comtois, Sam Carrick, Jakob Silfverberg and Cam Fowler each added a goal in the high scoring contest. Henrique has accumulated points in three of the past four contests — and has 11 goals, eight assists and 19 points through 36 games — but the 29-year-old should only be monitored in deep formats at the moment.

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When the Washington Capitals first met the Anaheim Ducks this season on November 18, the game went off the rails. During an especially spirited second period, Garnet Hathaway spit on Erik Gudbranson after the Ducks defenseman landed a sucker punch as the two were separated by an official. An angry Gudbranson, afterward, said the spitting “was something you just don’t do in a game – and he did it.” Hathaway, who was ejected, expressed regret. The Capitals forward was later suspended three games by the NHL.

Coming into Friday’s rematch, both teams said all the right things and downplayed what happened in November. They were more interested in the “big two points on the line.” But the Ducks later revealed that was bologna after the game was over.

According to a story by The Athletic’s Eric Stephens, Hathaway was approached by Ducks enforcer Nicolas Deslauriers during a first-period faceoff and was asked to fight and pick his poison.

“I just asked him if he was going to respond,” Deslauriers said to Stephens. “He had the option to choose me or [Gudbranson], and he said he was going to choose [Gudbranson].”

Deslauriers later fought Radko Gudas after the Capitals defenseman injured Nick Ritchie with a borderline late hip check.

Deslauriers landed 12 straight punches to Gudas’s head as the Czech d-man crumpled to the ice.

Eventually, Gudbranson and Hathaway had an angry confrontation four minutes and 56 seconds into the second period. Both players dropped their gloves but were separated by two officials. The two combatants each got 10-minute misconducts. Gudbranson got an extra minor for unsportsmanlike conduct which was served by Devin Shore.

In the third period, the two players finally fought after Gudbrandson landed a big hit into Hathaway’s chest. The two players only exchanged a handful of punches before Hathaway fell to the ice. 70 percent of commenters declared Gudbranson the victor.

After the game, Ryan Getzlaf, the Ducks’ captain, called Hathaway “cowardly” for taking so long to respond.

“Hathaway could have done a lot better job at sticking up for himself,” Getzlaf said. “Answering the bell when he should have. I thought it was a cowardly thing to do to sit around and wait and wait and wait and act like he gets to make the decision when he spit on someone.”

Getzlaf added “[t]here used to be a pride and a code in our game that you answer the bell when you do things like that.”

Gudbranson expressed disappointment too but at least appeared to move on.

“Not ideal from my standpoint,” Gudbranson said. “I thought it was a pretty simple thing to deal with but he handled it the way he wanted to handle it, which is certainly not the way I would have, but at the end of the day, it happened and I’m happy it’s over with and I can put it to bed.”

The Capitals and Ducks will not play again this season unless they play each other in the Stanley Cup Final. The Capitals won both games by a combined score of 8-4.

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With his third-period goal on Friday, his 16th of the season, Alex Ovechkin tied Teemu Selanne on the all-time power play goals list for 3rd place, with 255.

The only players in front of him now are Brett Hull, with 265, and Dave Andreychuk, with 274.

To me, this has always been an odd NHL record, considering that Andreychuk – who is now no. 15 on the all-time goals list – is the all-time power play goal scorer. Andreychuk had 640 career goals, while Wayne Gretzky, the all-time power play points leader with an unbeatable 890, is 17th place on the power play goals list.

Ovi will be the all-time power play goal leader in a couple of seasons, but we don’t want that to be his legacy, as it is with Andreychuk in terms of leading the NHL in something. Ovi’s goal ought to be 895, and he’s well on his way.

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Stu Grimson’s new autobiography is aptly called The Grim Reaper, but the book’s subtitle — The life and career of a reluctant warrior — rounds out the picture of the infamous NHL enforcer.

Grimson was a handful, a heavyweight who knew exactly how to flatten a foe in as few punches as necessary. But he’s now conflicted about that role — and much more proud of his leadership in the locker room and on the bench.

The fact that Grimson liked using his brain more than his knuckles became obvious once he received his law degree and started negotiating in NHL labour disputes.

Anastasia Bucsis, host of CBC Sports’ Player’s Own Voice podcast, gets the NHL veteran talking about the main preoccupations of a heavyweight during the height of the enforcer years.

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Since the inaugural 1993 season, we’ve seen the Anaheim Ducks score thousands of goals. Today, we’re going to relive five of the greatest goals in franchise history. These aren’t necessarily the greatest shots ever, but rather some of the most important and more memorable in the Duck’s 25-year history.

5. The Game That Would Not End — Petr Sykora

During the 2003 Stanley Cup run, the Mighty Ducks faced the Dallas Stars in the second round of the playoffs. In the very first game of the series, the Mighty Ducks and Stars battled to a 3-3 tie which forced overtime. Overtime would last a whole game and a half. Finally, 47 seconds into the 5th OT period Petr Sykora would pick up a feed from the corner and score the game-winning goal for the Mighty Ducks and end the longest game in Anaheim Ducks history.

4. Ducks Sweep the Wings — Steve Rucchin

“Here’s Rucchin, Steve Rucchin a little room. Rucchin a shot. Save made Joseph, rebound not centered. In front, Rucchin. SCORE! SCORES! The Mighty Ducks have knocked off the defending Stanley Cup Champions!” That was a call by the illustrious voice of Gary Thorne.

This goal, from Steve Rucchin, was the series-sweeping goal that knocked out the Red Wings in the first round and gave the Ducks a huge shot of momentum as they would go on their seemingly magical run all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals vs the New Jersey Devils. This moment doesn’t quite receive the love and admiration it truly deserves, but that’s because it’s overshadowed by one particular goal that happened that same postseason.

3. Off the Floor, On the Board — Paul Kariya

You knew it was coming. In the second period of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Paul Kariya took a massive hit from New Jersey Devils captain Scott Stevens. Many of us thought he was done for the series. With less than 3 minutes to go in the period, Paul would make his return to the game.

Kariya would turn on the jets and unleash a powerful slapshot that blew right by Martin Brodeur. Recently during an interview, we learned that the hit made Kariya blackout and he has gone on record saying he has no recollection of anything beyond the hit. He doesn’t remember the goal or Game 7. Now I know what you’re gonna say, “why is this not number one?” We’ve still got two more, so hear me out.

2. Game 7 Curse Breaker — Nick Ritchie

Now I don’t want to remind you all of the past Game 7 failures and I won’t. However, I will say, this goal was big on so many levels. At this point, the Anaheim Ducks had a bad habit of losing home Game 7’s. Admittedly and with good reason I was really nervous for this Game 7 but this one felt different I just couldn’t put my finger on why though.

Edmonton scored first, and as they do I’m thinking, “here we go again.” Then, Andrew Cogliano, of all people, tied the game shortly after. It’s 1-1, and like all of you, I’m on the edge of my seat. I’m nervous. Then it happened. Nick Ritchie broke the tie. Everybody who knows me knows that I’m not a fan of Nick Ritchie but on this night he came up huge and broke the Game 7 curse.

1. The Goal that brought the Stanley Cup to Anaheim — Travis Moen

Raise your hand if you imagined the Anaheim Ducks winning the Stanley Cup off an own-goal by the opposing team. During a routine puck pick up behind the net, Senators defenseman Chris Phillips loses control of the puck and hits Ray Emery‘s skate and slides beyond the line and into the net.

Travis Moen dumped the puck into the Senators and was the last Duck to touch the puck before it went in. The Senators would score one more goal making it 3-2 and Ducks would go on to add to their lead with goals by Francois Beauchemin, Travis Moen, and Corey Perry and the rest is history. No, this one isn’t the greatest or the flashiest one in team history but it is the one that won Anaheim and California it’s first Stanley Cup.

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The Detroit Red Wings are nearly halfway through their third season of play at the new Little Caesars Arena, but the venue isn’t complete.

Sergei Fedorov’s famous number 91 needs to be raised to the rafters.

The Red Wings seemingly adopted Fedorov when they helped him secretly defect from the Soviet Union in 1990. For the better part of a decade, Fedorov went on to become among the most dynamic, explosive, and exciting players not only to don the Winged Wheel but in the entire National Hockey League.

He won the 1994 Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player as well as the Selke Trophy in 1994 and 1996 as the NHL’s best defensive forward. During his entire Red Wings career, he scored 400 goals – many of which will forever remain on NHL highlight reels. Fedorov also received praise from figures such as Wayne Gretzky, who stated: “I have never seen a player dominate the game the way Sergei did.”

Of course, Fedorov was also an integral part of three Stanley Cup champion winning teams in 1997, 1998, and 2002.

The alleged theories as to why his number isn’t officially and permanently enshrined in team history are well known. The first instance goes back to Fedorov’s infamous signing of a heavy front-loaded offer sheet from the Carolina Hurricanes, who are run by Peter Karmanos – a bitter business adversary of the late Mike Ilitch. What better way to stick it to your rival by poaching one of his best players?

The Red Wings reluctantly matched Carolina’s offer, and were forced to pay Fedorov a total of $28 million (most of which were bonuses) for the 1997-98 season alone.

Secondly was the well-publicized ultimate divorce from the Red Wings, leaving to sign a free-agent deal with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the summer of 2003 (who had just swept Detroit from the playoffs months earlier) for less money than he was offered by Detroit. The bolt left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans, and they mercilessly booed Fedorov upon his return to Detroit with the Mighty Ducks in December of 2003.

All of this, however, occurred well over a decade ago. Fans seemed to have softened their stance on Fedorov, whom they adored and then viewed as a modern-day Benedict Arnold.

Fedorov was warmly received by the fans during the 2014 Winter Classic Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park that preceded the Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. Additionally, he was given a standing ovation when he dropped the puck for the ceremonial faceoff in November of 2015 at Joe Louis Arena shortly after his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He also admitted that while he’d feel honored to have his number retired, he’s still going to look back fondly at his memories with the team no matter what.

“I don’t want to put any pressure. It’s going to be a great honor if it happens,” Fedorov said. “If it’s not, it’s still (an honor) to be a part of it for 13 seasons here, three Cups and celebrations, rallies, victory rallies. What else can you wish for?”

The Detroit Pistons did the right thing and looked past the bitter departure of defensive star Ben Wallace to the Chicago Bulls in 2006, retiring his No. 3 permanently in 2003. There’s absolutely no reason why the Red Wings can’t do the same with Fedorov, whose accolades far outweigh what Wallace brought to Detroit.

When you think of all-time Red Wings greats, Sergei Fedorov is right there with Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Gordie Howe, and Ted Lindsay amongst others. Number 91 needs to be right next to numbers 1 (Terry Sawchuck), 5 (Lidstrom), 7 (Lindsay), 9 (Howe), 10 (Alex Delvecchio) 12 (Sid Abel), and 19 (Yzerman).

It’s time to let bygones be bygones. It’s impossible to ignore the legacy of Fedorov and the undeniable accomplishments that were as much a part of the Red Wings success as anyone’s.

Little Caesars Arena won’t be fully finished without the extra detail of another retired number taking its rightful place in the rafters.