The Pittsburgh Penguins are Stanley Cup champions. (That isn't breaking news, but it sure is fun to say, and I encourage you to do it as much as possible). And now that the champagne is flowing out of the Cup, the natural question turns to which players will get their names etched in the Cup.
The NHL rules state that a player is automatically eligible if they play either 41 regular season games or 1 Stanley Cup final game.
Each year, every team gets the honor of putting 52 names on the Cup. Last time in 2009, the Penguins used 27 spots on owners/coaches/staff members and 25 for players. Here were the 2009 names on the Cup:
Mario Lemieux, Ron Burkle, Bill Kassling, Tom Grealish, Tony Liberati, Ken Sawyer, David Morehouse, Ray Shero, Chuck Fletcher, Ed Johnston, Jason Botterill, Dan Bylsma, Mike Yeo, Tom Fitzgerald, Gilles Meloche, Mike Kadar, Travis Ramsay, Chris Stewart, Scott Adams, Mark Mortland, Dana Heinze, Paul DeFazio, Danny Kroll, Frank Buonomo, Tom McMillan, Dan MacKinnon, Jay Heinbuck
Some of those guys have moved on and won't be on the Cup this time, but it does give us an idea of how many spots for players will be on the Cup.
Thanks to the 41/1 rule, we know the following 22 players will definitely be on the Cup:
This leaves 3 empty spaces for the Pens to add players, assuming they put 27 hockey operations members on it again. Players traded mid-season (David Perron, Rob Scuderi, Sergei Plotnikov, etc) are ineligible so the Pens will have to chose from:
Pascal Dupuis (stone cold lock)
Dupuis is on there for sure, and since Zatkoff actually won a playoff game this spring, he's well-deserving to be on the Cup. Bennett played 33 regular season games (and 1 playoff) so if they go by total contribution he would be the next best candidate. That would leave Pouliot (22 reg season + 2 playoff) and Sundqvist (18 + 2) for off the Cup, but there's always the chance the team elects for fewer front office names and more playerss.
We'll have to wait and see what the official engraving looks like, but since it's of interest to many about who is actually getting their names on the Cup, figured we would break it down.