TAMPA, Fla. ( Associated Press) – NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly presented the Stanley Cup to Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog Friday night because Commissioner Gary Bateman was sidelined by the coronavirus.
Bateman recently tested positive and was unable to produce a negative result long enough to return to the series in time. This left Daly to give a speech at the end of the traditional session and shake Landeskog’s hand before presenting the trophy.
This is the first time that someone other than Bateman has handed over the cup since Bateman took office in 1993. A league spokesman said Bateman was resting at home and feeling better.
old people take a cup
After Landeskog’s adoption, the cup quickly went to some of Colorado’s oldest players and first-time champions, including Eric Johnson, Jack Johnson. and Andrew Cogliano.
“Older guys who are probably nearing the end and they get to lift the cup for the first time, you can just see the excitement,” said general manager Joe Sakic.
The Avalanche’s longest-serving player, Eric Johnson, was considered retired last year after arriving in a trade from St. Louis in 2011. After thinking better about it, he received the first cup and remarked that “Thank you overwhelmingly, you think.”
“It was like I was watching a video game or something like that,” Johnson said. “It was wonderful. Gabe has been telling me for the past few years, ‘When we win this, you’re getting it first.’ If that doesn’t inspire you to do it, nothing else does. Just a very humbling, gratifying feeling, it’s wonderful. ,
Jack Johnson and Cogliano were recently paired, but the sentiment was the same. Cogliano got the chance to hoist the cup for the first time at the age of 35.
“It’s been a long journey, but, that’s really why you put in the work,” Cogliano said. “That’s why you stick with it. That’s why you keep playing and grinding — for this specific moment.”
Cogliano, one of Sakic’s trade deadline pickups who helped top Colorado, had doubted throughout his career that he would never reach the point. The business of Anaheim did it all.
“You don’t know,” said Cogliano. “At the deadline there, I was lucky to be in a position where they needed someone to try and play the role and I came in and I did that. I fit in with the boys right away. I had a friendship (Nathan McKinnon. ) ) and with friends already on the team, and to be honest, it was a seamless fit, and it worked out perfectly. ,
Some Avalanche players, such as Nazem Qadri, had no trouble lifting the Stanley Cup despite being injured by various playoff injuries and hand injuries.
Qadri was playing with multiple broken bones in his right thumb when he was pushed to the board by Edmonton’s Evander Kane during the final round of a game, leading to a one-game suspension.
Andre Burakowski, one of only two Colorado players to have won the TE Cup earlier along with veteran Darren Helm, missed Game 6 after taking a puck in his right hand earlier in the series.
Injuries sidelined each team’s key players during the Finals, but Tampa Bay winger Pat Maroon suggested people would be surprised at how much toll they took on the Lightning during the 23-game season that followed.
Coach John Cooper said he was not sure the team would ever make it public, although he acknowledged it would be a comprehensive report.
“If it was the regular season, we would have half a minor league team,” Cooper said.
Forward Brayden missed 14 of his 16 points in Tampa Bay’s last 16 games when his right leg was injured during Game 7 of the Lightning’s first-round win over Toronto. Forwards Nikita Kucherov and Anthony Cirelli and defenseman Eric Cernak all returned from injuries, which ruled them out of games during the series.
Perry makes history
Lightning winger Corey Perry became the first player since 1970 to lose three years in a Stanley Cup final. He is the first in NHL history to do so with three different teams, first with the Dallas Stars and then the Montreal Canadiens, after losing to Tampa Bay in each of the previous two seasons.
“Corey Perry, it’s no coincidence that he goes to the finals,” Cooper said. “The kid is a winner.”
Associated Press Sports Writer Fred Goodall contributed.
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