There aren’t too many Vancouver-oriented storylines for this year’s Stanley Cup Final.
Sure, there’s Langley native Danton Heinen, who’s helping the Bruins in their quest for a second Cup this decade.
And, of course, there are the memories and angst that naturally come shooting out of this city with Boston competing in the final.
But there’s also Michael Del Zotto. The former Vancouver Canuck who was traded rather unceremoniously in January after becoming a regular healthy scratch. The deal brought fan favourite Luke Schenn and a seventh-round pick to Vancouver from Anaheim.
A little over a month later, the Ducks would ship Del Zotto out to St. Louis for a sixth-rounder. And while he hasn’t been much of a factor for the Blues—he’s played only seven regular season games, and none in the playoffs—winning a Cup is on the table for the veteran defenceman, even if it will be in name only.
It’s something of a miraculous turnaround for the rearguard, who was basically banished out of Vancouver this year.
And it creates some interesting questions about how Del Zotto will be honoured if the Blues end up winning the Cup (the playoffs resume Monday, in case you’ve forgotten about the NHL in the midst of the Toronto Raptors’ run).
The rules from the NHL are pretty clear: players must play 41 games in the regular season or one contest in the Stanley Cup Final to get their name engraved on the Cup. There are, of course, extenuating circumstances (like injury) that allow players to get on there in lieu of meeting the requirements.
And there are cases like those of Daniel Carcillo and Joakim Nordstrom, who played 39 and 38 games respectively for the 2015 champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks campaigned to get those forwards’ names on the chalice.
Del Zotto obviously doesn’t meet the regular season criteria for the Blues and, unless one of the team’s blueliners sustains an injury or is handed a suspension, likely won’t play a game in the Cup Final. It’s also tough to see the team advocating that he get his name on there when he hasn’t been a big part of their success.
But the winning team also gets to give out Stanley Cup rings, and Del Zotto will almost definitely cop one of those. He’ll get a day with the Cup as well in the event the Blues take it home.
Not bad for a player who many considered to be on his way out of the league for good. After all, the fact he couldn’t hold down a spot on the Canucks’ makeshift blueline wasn’t exactly a good look. It’ll be fascinating to see if there’s any interest in the defenceman in the offseason, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
No word on if the Blues are allowed to play Fortnite.
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