MADISON, Wis. – Chris Chelios. Mike Richter. Gary Suter. Brian Rafalski.
Those are a few of the names of the people who made their way through Madison on the path to becoming Stanley Cup champions. They are among the 13 Badgers who played their way to winning the Stanley Cup.
San Jose Sharks' captain Joe Pavelski and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz hope to join them as the 2016 Stanley Cup Final begins Monday in Pittsburgh.
Six times in the past, teams with Badgers have gone head-to-head for the Stanley Cup. Most recently Steve Reinprecht and the Colorado Avalanche got the better of Brian Rafalski and the New Jersey Devils in the 2001 Stanley Cup Final.
Other Cup matchups include: 1993, when Sean Hill's Montreal Canadiens won over Tony Granato, Gary Shuchuk and the Los Angeles Kings; 1992, when Paul Stanton and Pittsburgh upended Chelios' Chicago Blackhawks; 1989, when Gary Suter's Calgary Flames beat out Chelios' Montreal Canadiens; 1986, when Chelios, Dave Maley and Montreal defeated Calgary's Mike Eaves, who came out of retirement during the playoffs, as well as the injured Gary Suter and head coach Bob Johnson; and 1979, when Montreal's Brian Engblom beat out the New York Rangers, who had Wayne Thomas and Dean Talafous on the roster that season.
This year, Pavelski has been one of the keys to San Jose's run to its first-ever Stanley Cup Final, leading the NHL with 13 playoff goals and ranking second with 22 points. The team captain also leads the NHL in postseason play with four game-winning goals and shares the league lead with five power-play markers.
During the regular season, Pavelski tallied 38 goals and 78 points in 82 games. His goal total was fifth in the NHL, while his point total tied for sixth in the league.
Schultz has taken advantage of a midseason trade from the Edmonton Oilers to Pittsburgh and posted two assists in nine postseason games so far.
After playing just one game in the first round against the New York Rangers, and two games in the second round against the Washington Capitals, Schultz skated in the last six games of Pittsburgh's seven-game Eastern Conference Final series win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Schultz had one goal and eight points in 18 games with the Penguins in the regular season to total four goals and 18 points in 63 regular-season contests between Edmonton and Pittsburgh.
Wisconsin Badgers on the Stanley Cup
Steve Reinprecht, 2000–01
Gary Suter, 1988–89
Adam Burish, 2009–10
Detroit Red Wings
Chris Chelios, 2001–02, '07–08
Brian Rafalski, 2007–08
Los Angeles Kings
Davis Drewiske, 2011–12
Sean Hill, 1992–93
Chris Chelios, 1985–86
Dave Maley, 1985–86
Brian Engblom, 1976–77, '77–78, '78–79
Wayne Thomas, 1972–73
New Jersey Devils
Brian Rafalski, 1999–2000, '02–03
Bruce Driver*, 1994–95
New York Rangers
Mike Richter, 1993–94
Paul Stanton, 1990–91, '91–92
Bob Johnson, 1990–91#
Dave McNab^, 2006–07
* alternate captain; # - head coach; ^ assistant GM