Scoring that one goal can really change your life forever.
Every kid who plays hockey dreams of scoring the game-winning goal for their team in Game 7 of the playoffs. It doesn't matter how much they've practiced, how many shots they've taken, how many minutes they've played and it doesn't matter how many goals they've scored. You just want that one big goal.
Well, a number of NHL players, superstar or not, took advantage of the opportunity given to them. They scored that one iconic goal that won the series for their time and ensured their place in hockey history. Of course, some of these NHL overtime heroes only scored that one big goal, but didn't really have successful careers. Other legends? Yeah, they scored over 1,000 points and won championships -- but it's only the one goal that keeps them in infamy.
We thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the greatest overtime heroes in NHL playoff history...and see what's kept them busy since.
15 Nikolai Borschevsky: Coaching in KHL
Nikolai Borschevsky had a very brief NHL career in the '90s, playing in just 162 games. But he had a great season in 1992-93 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring 34 goals and 74 points. However, he scored one iconic goal that has him enshrined in Maple Leafs lore.
In the opening round of the 1992-93 playoffs, Toronto faced their arch-rivals, the Detroit Red Wings. Game 7 went to overtime, and Borschevky tipped home a pass from Bob Rouse, silencing the fans at Joe Louis Arena and sending Toronto onto the second round.
Borschevky would spend his final two years of pro hockey in Russia, and has found a career in coaching since 2009. He was the head coach of Mytischi Atlant for two years before moving on to become an assistant coach for three teams. Most recently, he was an assistant coach for Ufa Salavat Yulayev, according to HockeyDB.com.
14 Todd Marchant: Ducks Director of Player Development
Todd Marchant was an average bottom-six forward throughout his NHL career, scoring 186 goals and 498 points in 1,195 NHL games. That being said, he's a hero for the Edmonton Oilers because of what he did in the opening round of the 1997 playoffs.
That year, the seventh-seeded Oilers faced the powerhouse Dallas Stars, who finished with 23 more points than Edmonton in the regular season. In one of the best first-round series in recent memory, we saw Game 7 head into overtime. With jets seemingly on the back of his skates, Marchant rushed the puck up ice through the Stars defence and beat goalie Andy Moog stick side, pulling off the incredible upset for Edmonton.
Marchant retired after the 2010-11 season and was hired by the Anaheim Ducks (whom he played for in his last five seasons), to be the team's director of Player Development.
13 Martin Gelinas: Calgary Flames Assistant Coach
Martin Gelinas (Pictured Right) didn't exactly post All-Star numbers throughout his career -- finishing with just 309 goals and 660 points in 1,273 NHL games. But his legacy in Calgary is set -- all because of what he did during the 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Flames were a surprise sixth-seed in the Western Conference and faced the Vancouver Canucks in round one. Game 7 went into overtime, and Gelinas scored on the power play to send Calgary off into round two. The Flames were supposed to see their run end, as they met the Presidents' Trophy winner Detroit Red Wings in the next round. But oh, Miikka Kiprusoff turned aside the Red Wings' high-flying offence (loaded with Hall of Famers), and Gelinas scored in overtime of Game 6, sending the Flames to the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks.
Gelinas scored the game-winner (not in overtime, though), in Game 6 to send the Flames to the Stanley Cup Final. Gelinas was robbed by officials of a potential game-winner in Game 6, and the Flames would wound up losing the series in seven games.
Gelinas was hired by the Flames as an assistant coach for the 2012-13 season, where he remains today. It'd be nice if Calgary won the Cup after he came so close to it over a decade earlier.
12 Andrew Brunette: Advisor For Minnesota Wild
Andrew Brunette (Pictured Left) was one of the more underrated scorers in his NHL career -- finishing with 268 goals and 733 points in 1,110 games. But he's not exactly one of those players you'll be telling your future grandchildren about -- unless you're a fan of the Minnesota Wild.
The Wild made the playoffs as the sixth seed back in 2003 -- in just their third season of existence. They faced the powerhouse Colorado Avalanche -- led by leading scorer Peter Forsberg and other future Hall of Famers in Rob Blake, Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy. Minnesota overcame a 3-1 deficit to force a decisive Game 7, which went into overtime.
Brunette took the puck down the slot and cut to the front of the net, scoring a beautiful backhand goal on Roy -- who would never play another second in the NHL. Brunette retired in 2012 and was hired as the Minnesota Wild's Hockey Operations Advisor in 2013, a position he holds today.
11 Daryl Evans: Colour Commentating for Kings
Daryl Evans only played in 113 NHL games, scoring 22 goals and 52 points. But ask the most passionate Los Angeles Kings fans about him, and they'll know exactly who you are talking about.
The Kings faced the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers (led by a young 21-year-old phenom named Wayne Gretzky), in the 1982 playoffs. With the series tied 1-1, both teams headed back to Los Angeles for Game 3. Edmonton jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but the Kings pulled off something known as the "Miracle on Manchester". They erased the five-goal deficit and forced overtime. Right off a faceoff, Evans rifled a shot over Grant Fuhr into the net, pulling off the epic comeback. Los Angeles wound up taking the series in five games.
So where is Evans all these years after scoring that goal? He's now a radio analyst for the Kings and often appears on television for their games, per the team's official website.
10 Stephane Matteau: Coaching and Charity Work
Every New York Rangers fan you'll meet will always replay the infamous "MATTEAU! MATTEAU! MATTEAU!" call by radio announcer Howie Rose.
Matteau wasn't much of a scorer in his career, finishing with just 144 goals and 316 points in 848. But he scored arguably the most iconic goal in franchise history. That goal took place in overtime of Game 7 during the 1994 Eastern Conference Final against their arch-rivals, the New Jersey Devils. The Rangers would go on to defeat the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final, winning their first title in 54 years.
According to an article by Joe Brescia from The New York Times in 2013, Matteau was coaching in the CHL and is enjoying golf and poker. He has also done charity work, playing a game that raised money for the homeless in Montreal last year.
9 David Volek: Coached in Czech Republic
David Volek (Pictured Middle) has remained fairly quiet since his NHL days have ended, but the biggest goal of this man's career is still remember 24 years later.
You see, the powerhouse Pittsburgh Penguins were shooting for their third-straight Stanley Cup in 1993. Mario Lemieux took home both the Art Ross and Hart Trophy, and the Penguins also had other future Hall of Famers like Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis and Larry Murphy. Four Pens scored 100-plus points.
So when the Penguins faced the New York Islanders in the first round, it was supposed to be a cakewalk. The Pens finished with 32 more points than the Isles, and even had an NHL record 17-game win streak. The series went into seven games, and overtime was needed. Volek took a 2-on-1 pass from Ray Ferraro and fired the shot home, which wound up being one of the greatest upsets in league history.
Volek coached the Czech team, Sparta Praha for the 2009-10 season. He's been out of the spotlight since.
8 Pete Babando: Golden Years
Pete Babando was one of the first American-born NHLers, turning professional in 1945. He played 22 years of pro hockey, and he scored a goal that every hockey player in North America dreams of.
His Red Wings faced the Rangers for the 1950 Stanley Cup Final, and the series went to seven games. Regulation solved nothing and overtime was needed, setting the stage for Babando to enter hockey history. During the second overtime period, Babando cut to the slot and scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal. In Game 7. In Overtime. Could it get more dramatic?
After his career, Babando stayed out of the spotlight and is enjoying his golden years at the age of 91. We hope Detroit gave him a life-long pension for scoring the biggest goal of his life at the most opportune time.
7 Pat LaFontaine: Charity Work
Pat LaFontaine was one of the flashiest stars of the '80s and '90s, scoring 468 goals and 1,013 in just 865 games, but concussions forced the Hall of Famer to retire early. That's okay, because LaFontaine will be talked about for the next 100 years -- since he scored one of the most iconic goals in NHL history.
LaFontaine's Islanders faced the Washington Capitals in the first round of the 1987 playoffs. Game 7 needed overtime, and the contest wound up becoming known to fans as "The East Epic." That's because the game needed four overtimes, and didn't end until early on Sunday Easter morning. LaFontaine scored in overtime to end The Easter Epic that sent the Islanders on to the second round, and it remains one of the greatest playoff moments.
After retiring, LaFontaine remained involved with hockey. He was the Sabres President of Hockey Operations for about a year before resigning in 2014. LaFontaine has since been involved in charity, donating over $30,000 in CCM hockey equipment to children clubs in the New York area (according to BrooklynEagle.com.)
6 Uwe Krupp: Coaching Overseas
Uwe Krupp was a toering 6-foot-6 stay-at-home defenceman in his career. He only scored 69 goals and 281 points in 729 career games. But he's never going to have to pay for a beer again if he returns to the state of Colorado. Allow us to take you back to the 1996 Stanley Cup Final, when the relocated-from-Quebec Avalanche faced the Florida Panthers.
The Avalanche jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the series, and the potential Cup-clinching fourth game needed triple overtime. Krupp, who hadn't scored all season long, fired a shot from the right point and saw it go in the net. Colorado clinched their first-ever Stanley Cup on a goal from the German blueliner.
Krupp has stayed involve in hockey for his native country; he's been head coach of Eisbaren Berlin in the German DEL hockey league since 2014. Life's been good to Krupp.
5 Ray Whitney: Golf Caddying
Ray Whitney had an extremely successful NHL career, scoring 385 goals and 1,064 points in 1,330 games -- winning a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. But the most memorable goal of his career did not come during the 2006 playoffs, but back with the San Jose Sharks in 1995.
The Calgary Flames were the second seed in the Western Conference and faced Whitney's Sharks in the opening round of the postseason. San Jose played a surprise competitive series, and Game 7 needed overtime. Whitney scored the series-ending goal in OT, and the Sharks pulled off one of the greatest upsets ever.
Whitney retired from the NHL in 2014 and found a very exciting gig two years later. At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, he caddied for Canadian golfer Graham DeLaet. Here's hoping we'll see him on the greens more.
4 Joel Otto: Assistant Coach in WHL
Joel Otto was one of the Top American players in the '80s and '90s, finishing with 195 goals and 508 yards in 943 games. He also played for Team USA at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, but he's forever going to be best remembered for the insanely clutch goal he scored for the Calgary Flames back in 1989.
The Flames won the Presidents' Trophy with 117 points, but the Vancouver Canucks pushed them to seven games in the opening round of the playoffs. The decisive game went into overtime, and Otto would come off the rush and shoot the puck past Kirk McLean to clinch the series for Calgary. The Flames wound up winning their first-ever Stanley Cup, thanks to Otto's heroics.
He is now an assistant coach with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, helping them win the Ed Chynoweth Cup in 2010.
3 Jason Arnott: Scouting
Jason Arnott was one of the more underrated players in the '90s and 2000s. He had 12 20-goal seasons and racked up 417 goals and 938 points in 1,244 points. But when you bring up his name to the casual NHL fan, one specific goal will come to mind, of course. Let's go back to the 2000 Stanley Cup Final between Arnott's New Jersey Devils and the defending champion, Dallas Stars.
Game 6 went to overtime, and the Devils needed just one more goal to win their second title in five years. In double overtime, Arnott took a cross-crease pass and fired it over Hall of Famer Ed Belfour, winning the championship for New Jersey.
Arnott played in the NHL until 2011-12, and retired for good in 2013. The St. Louis Blues (the final team Arnott played for), hired him to be a part-time scout, where he's remained since.
2 Brett Hull: Executive for Blues
The Golden Brett ranks fourth all-time in goals with 741. The Hockey Hall of Famer also registered 1,391 career points. Ah, there was nothing in hockey so beautiful the way Brett Hull fired those one-timers.
But yeah, like every other player on this list, Hull is best remembered for scoring one specific goal. Hull's Dallas Stars faced the Buffalo Sabres in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final, and they had the tricky task of trying to solve world class goalie, Dominik Hasek. Dallas took a 3-2 series lead into Game 6, which required triple overtime. Hull found a loose puck in the crease and put it past a sprawling Hasek, winning Dallas their first championship. This was in spite of controversy, as Hull's skate was in the crease while he was shooting -- which was forbidden.
Hull retired early in the 2005-06 season and is now the Executive Vice President of the St. Louis Blues business development.
1 Steve Yzerman: Lightning General Manager
Steve Yzerman had quite the career as captain of the Detroit Red Wings. He scored 692 goals and 1,755 points and led Detroit to Stanley Cup championships in 1997, 1998 and 2002.
His most infamous goal took place in the second round of the 1996 playoffs against the St. Louis Blues. Game 7 went into overtime, and Yzerman blasted a slapshot (from the blue line), over the shoulder of Jon Casey, sending Detroit to the Western Conference Final. It would be another year til he won his first championship in the Motor City.
He retired after the 2005-06 season a found work in the Red Wings' front office shortly thereafter.
During the 2010 playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning hauled Yzerman away from Detroit's front office and made him their new general manager. In his first year there, the Lightning reached the Eastern Conference Final.
'Stevie Y' has been one of the most successful general managers since. He signed Tyler Johnson as an undrafted free agent and drafted Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and others. He also convinced Steven Stamkos to stay in Tampa when it looked like the superstar was bound to sign elsewhere in 2016. Yzerman has turned the Lightning into one of the top dogs in the East. He's just getting started as a general manager, as far as we're concerned.
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