Most memorable Stanley Cup champions in recent memory

11 Most Memorable Stanley Cup Champions From The Past 30 Years

It is the dream of every young hockey player to hoist the Cup at least once.

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The Stanley Cup Finals is one of the most celebrated championships in all of sports. Winning the Stanley Cup is the dream of every hockey player. For the past 30 years, NHL fans have seen many memorable hockey teams. These Stanley Cup champions are the most significant and memorable in recent memory.

1. 2018 Washington Capitals

The Capitals won their first Stanley Cup last season in their 45-year history. Last season was also the first Stanley Cup for star player Alex Ovechkin. In the past decade, the Capitals have been known to lose big playoff series. At last, in 2018, Washington got over the hump and the Caps were able to hoist Lord Stanley.

2. 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins 2017 Stanley Cup title marked the fifth in franchise history. It was also the third of future Hockey Hall of Famer Sidney Crosby's career. The 2017 Penguins also won their second straight Cup, making them the first team to do so in nearly 2 decades. The team has been established as one of the dominant NHL franchises.

3. 2015 Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks won their sixth Stanley Cup in 2015, which was also the Hawks' third title in six years. Chicago's modern dynasty is one of the most memorable in NHL history. Their dominance in the early 2010s was defined by great coaching and several future Hall of Famers.

4. 2011 Boston Bruins

2011 was the first Stanley Cup championship for Boston since 1972. The Bruins had a talented roster that responded well to adversity. Their seven-game series against Vancouver was one of the most exciting series in NHL history. Bruins fans can rejoice in the fact that their team helped make Boston the dominant sports city of the 21st century.

5. 2001 Colorado Avalanche

The 2001 Colorado Avalanche were one of the most memorable teams in history. The Avalanche had several stars including Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, and Peter Forsberg. But, the biggest name on the team was Ray Bourque. After 21 NHL seasons, Bourque had yet to win a Stanley Cup. A championship was the only thing missing from his illustrious career. He finally won the Cup with the Avalanche in 2001. Captain Joe Sakic handed the Cup to Bourque, so he could be the first teammate to hoist the Cup.

6. 1998 Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings were arguably the most dominant hockey team during the 90s and 2000s. The height of the Wings' dominance was in 1998 when Detroit won their second straight Cup. Between 1997 and 2008, the Red Wings captured four Stanley Cups.

7. 1994 New York Rangers

1994 was the first Stanley Cup for the Rangers since 1940. Rangers fans had waited long enough for their team to win it all again. During that 54-year gap, the rival Islanders won four straight Cups from 1980-1983. A popular chant for Islander fans was "1940! 1940!" as a reminder of how long Rangers fans had suffered. Finally, in 1994, New York won the Stanley Cup, a truly memorable feat for Ranger fans.

8. 1993 Montreal Canadiens

1993 was the 24th Stanley Cup title for the Montreal Canadiens — the most in history. It was also the most recent for the storied organization. It was also the second in eight years for the team. Patrick Roy won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP for the second time of his career.

9. 1992 Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins won their second straight Cup in 1992. It was the second title for Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux. The Penguins were one of the strongest teams in the late 80s and early 90s. Lemieux cemented his legacy as one of the best players in NHL history during the Stanley Cup runs of the early 90s.

10. 1990 Edmonton Oilers

After Wayne Gretzky led the Oilers to four Stanley Cups in the 1980s, Edmonton fans were stunned when he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. In 1990, the Oilers would win their fifth Stanley Cup but first without Gretzky. They proved they could win a championship without the best players in history. Not many sports teams can say the same throughout sports history.

11. 1989 Calgary Flames

The Flames won their first and only Stanley Cup in 1989. For many years, Calgary fell short in winning it all, often losing to rival Edmonton. 1989 was a special year as the Flames finally overcame adversity and won the Cup. It has been 30 years since, but Flames fans still remember that special season.

Hoisting the Stanley Cup is the pinnacle of any NHL player's career. It is one of the hardest hills to climb in all of sports. But, winning Lord Stanley is the greatest prize of them all. This season, two teams will stand at the gates of hockey history in the Stanley Cup Finals. Only one team will have their names engraved on the Cup forever. Which team will it be?

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A Thank You Letter To The Best Teammate I've Ever Had

There's no "I" in team.
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We all have those amazing memories when it comes to sports. Sometimes it is from winning tough games, but most of the amazing memories that we have come from the teammates that we shared those wins with. Teammates are the people who you spend so much time with that you eventually become a family. Teammates do more than help just win a game; they can be there through everything. There's always that one teammate that stands out from the rest, and this letter is for you.

Thank you for being selfless.

Looking back, I remember a lot of teammates. Some were great and some were not that great. I've had teammates who have only cared about their playing time. I've had teammates that have only cared about if they score more goals or more points than anyone else. You did not care about that. If the coach told you to play a position that you did not want to play, you still played it without a complaint. If I was tired at a certain position and wanted to switch you, you did it. You never complained about where you were playing or how many goals you had; you just wanted the team to win.

Thank you for having my back.

The best kinds of teammates are the ones that support you no matter what you do. I got a red card? That referee is stupid. I got into a fist fight during a game? You were the first one next to me swinging. Some girl makes fun of me on social media for messing up in a game? You were roasting her in her mentions. Even if I was right or wrong, you always supported me no matter what I did.

Thank you for seeing me at my worst and building me back up.

There are always times in an athlete's life where we run to the point to where we need to throw up. There are times where we go through games and miss too many shots. There are times where we get a little too mad at our coaches and feel as if we cannot deal with it anymore. You were the one that got me through it. When I was in the middle of a run and my lungs were burning, you stayed right next to me and reminded me that there wasn't much longer to go, even if there was. You always reminded me how capable I was by yelling at me and telling me to go score. You've seen me tired, sweaty, crying, screaming and throwing up. After all that, you still went out of your way to build me back up and I cannot thank you enough for that.

Thank you for making me love the game.

Without people like you, I would have had a very rough ride through my sports career. I have had teammates that have made me go home crying because they were so mean and rude. I have had teammates who have only cared about themselves. Without you, I would've forgotten what a good teammate is. Looking back, all I remember is the celebrations, the screaming random songs in cars and us hating each other's exes automatically... Then talking about all these things at practice. Thanks for being a leader with me. Without you and the rest of the team, I would not have loved the sport that I played.

Cover Image Credit: Cheap Seats Photography

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The First Time My Mistakes No Longer Controlled My Life

Mistakes suck, and though I've conquered a few, I'm still learning.

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The whistle blows as the team cheers on.

My heart pounds as if it will burst out of my chest at any given moment and I taste the salty sweat trickling down my face. I must serve over the net, I must get it in, I must ace my opponent or I will fail. Fear.

In his first inaugural speech, President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously stated, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Such a statement proves powerful to the matured minds of society; however, in the minds of some adolescents, this declaration appears somewhat foolish, as numerous "threats" ignite fear, thus causing teens to grow anxious.

A major cause for fear in the rising generation takes form in failure. In the eyes of these people, making a simple mistake paves the way towards absolute failure; therefore, perfectionists constantly walk on eggshells attempting to do the impossible: avoid human error. This mentality gives way to constant stress and overall disappointment, as perfection does not apply to human beings. If one can come to the realization that not one person can attain perfection, they can choose to live life in ease, for they no longer have to apply constant pressure upon themselves to master excellence. The fear of failure will no longer encumber their existence, and they can overcome situations that initially brought great anxiety. I too once put great pressure on myself to maintain perfection, and as a result, felt constantly burdened by my mistakes. However, when I realized the inevitability of those mistakes, it opened the door for great opportunities. The first time I recognized that failure serves as a tool for growth allowed me to no longer fear my mistakes, and instead utilize them for my own personal growth.

The whistle blows as the team cheers on. My heart pounds as if it will burst out of my chest at any given moment, and I taste the salty sweat trickling down my face. I must serve over the net, I must get it in, I must ace my opponent. As hard as I try, I fail; as the ball flies straight into the net and thuds obnoxiously onto the gym floor, so does my confidence. I feel utter defeat, as I know my fate. My eyes water as my coach immediately pulls me from the game, sits me on the bench, and tells me to "get my head into the game" instead of dwindling on past errors. From then on I rarely step foot on the court, and instead, ride the bench for the remainder of the season. I feel defeated. However, life does not end, and much to my surprise, this mistake does not cause failure in every aspect of my life. Over time, I gradually realize that life does not end just because of failure. Instead, mistakes and failure pave the way toward emotional development and allows one to build character. In recognizing that simple slip-ups do not lead to utter failure, I gain perspective: one's single mistake does not cause their final downfall. Thus, this epiphany allowed for my mental growth and led me to overcome once challenging obstacles.

Instead of viewing mistakes as burdens, one should utilize them as motivation for future endeavors. The lesson proves simple: all can learn from their mistakes. However, it is a matter of choosing to learn from these mistakes that decide one's future growth. Instead of pushing faults away, I now acknowledge them in order to progress. Before coming to such a realization, I constantly "played it safe" in sports, fearing that giving my best effort would lead to greater error. I did not try, and as a result, I rarely failed.

Although such a mentality brought forth limited loss in terms of overall team success, it also brought forth limited, individual success. Today, fear of failure no longer controls life on the court. I use my mistakes as motivation to get better; instead of dwindling on an error made five minutes prior, I focus on the form needed to correct it. As a result, skills will constantly improve, instead of regress. Thus, errors serve as blessings, as it is through these errors in which one can possess the motivation to better themselves.

For some, fear acts as an ever-present force that controls every aspect of life. In particular, the fear of failure encumbers perfectionists, as the mere thought of failing causes great anxieties. In the past, I have fell victim to the fear of committing a mistake, and as a result, could not go through life without feeling an overwhelming sense of defeat. However, in a moment of what appeared to be a great failure, I finally recognized that life does not end due to one mistake, let alone one million. Instead, mistakes pave the way toward personal development and provide essential motivation to succeed in everyday life. Without mistakes, it proves difficult to grow in character. One must first learn to accept their faults before they can appreciate their best qualities. Thus, the fear of failure inhibits the growth of an individual; therefore, all must come to the realization that essentialness of mistakes, as they allow for the further development of overall character.

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