Being related and playing in the NHL together is certainly a remarkable accomplishment. Today, several NHLers can enjoy that feat, as the likes of the Staals, Sedins and Suters all enjoy some great family heritage in the league. Weird those names all start with the letter “S.” Coincidence? Yes, probably.
Having a sibling in the league is really special, but imagine winning a cup with them. Well, the Niedermayer brothers can say they’ve done so, by winning the cup during the 2006-07 season.
The following article will instead take a look at some of the lesser know players you had no idea were related. Connections in this article stem from all over the place; brothers-in-law, second cousins, uncles and nephews and even grandfather and grandchild. This article really has it all.
We begin the list with a pair of current NHL cousins. One is entering the prime of his career as the greatest goalie in the league while the other seems to have a couple of seasons left dawning his team's “C.” If you guessed Price and Doan, you're one smart cookie! Enjoy the list and let us know which relation shocked you the most!
15 Carey Price & Shane Doan
These two Western Canadian boys are second cousins, believe it or not. Looking at their playing styles, the two couldn’t be further apart however. Carey Price plays in goal for the Habs and has the demeanor of a dude that’s chilling in his backyard when he's on the ice. Seriously, nothing can faze the guy and the World Cup of Hockey was yet another example.
The veteran Shane Doan couldn’t be any different. The guy is still a wrecking ball full of energy, while leading the way for his team as a leader in the locker room. Believe it or not, Doan is still performing at an outstanding clip, finishing with 28 goals last year. Not bad for a 40 year old who many thought was going to retire.
14 Shayne Corson & Darcy Tucker
It's crazy to think that these two ended up becoming brothers-in-law when you look into their past with each other. While teammates with the Leafs for three years, Darcy Tucker was apparently extremely influential with helping Shayne Corson deal with severe panic attacks. It looks like the universe rewarded Tucker, as he later met and married Corson’s sister, Shannon Corson. They have two sons by the names of Cole and Cain. You can bet they've got lots of hockey in their future, with Tucker being their father and Corson serving as their cool uncle.
We can picture it now: Tucker and Corson enjoying a nice game of hockey with the boys that will eventually turn violent, causing a couple of teeth to jar loose on both sides.
13 Marcel Pronovost & Anthony Mantha
The Red Wings fanbase was surprised this season when it was announced that power forward Anthony Mantha would be spending yet another year down in the AHL. If you follow the Wings, you know this is a formula Detroit’s organization loves to use, as they love to give their young stars plenty of practice in the minors. The former 50 goal QMJHL forward is currently enjoying a brilliant start to the season with Grand Rapids and you have to believe it’s only a matter of time before he gets called up.
What makes his connection to the Wings so unique is the fact that his grandfather Marcel Pronovost had a legendary run with the same team back in the 50s and 60s. He had a tremendous Hall of Fame career and won four Cups with the Wings.
Sadly, Mantha’s grandfather recently passed away on April 26th, 2015.
12 Jonathan Quick & Matt Moulson
This relation is quite interesting between these two NHLers. The 263rd pick overall in 2003, Matt Moulson got married in July of 2010 to Alicia Backman. Ironically, her sister, Jaclyn Backman got married to NHL All-Star goalie Jonathan Quick, who was taken 72nd in 2005. It really is a small world, isn’t it?
They're not related by blood, but they most certainly share a unique connection spending time together at their spouses’ family events. Thankfully, the two play in different conferences, so the trash talk is probably kept to a minimum. Not to mention that they both seem like quiet guys, though Quick does tend to lose his temper one too many times on the ice.
Quick’s currently nursing a long-term injury while Moulson is trying to revive his career with the Sabres after a poor season.
11 Josef Vasicek & Thomas Vanek
Let’s take a moment to acknowledge Thomas Vanek and his start to the NHL season. There weren't many hockey fans that were anticipating such a start, but Vanek has caught fire on Detroit’s third trio and seems like a dream net front presence on the Wings' first power play unit. Yes, it’s early, but his involvement has already surpassed the expectations he was given going into the season. His plays been great, but his stick handling remains pretty awful.
Vanek had connections to the late Josef Vasicek as Vanek’s brother married Josef’s sister. The late Vasicek tragically passed away a couple of years ago during the unfortunate Lokomotiv team plane crash. Everyone on the main roster passed away. His better years in the NHL took place with the Carolina Hurricanes, when he scored 57 goals.
10 Tony Amonte & Charlie Coyle
Drafted 28th overall by the San Jose Sharks in 2010, Charlie Coyle would go on to blossom as a member of the Minnesota Wild. Coyle is now starting to really develop at the age of 24. Last season, the youngster broke out for his team scoring a career high 21 goals along with 21 assists.
His cousin Tony Amonte knows a thing or two about scoring goals in the NHL as well. Amonte had an epic career, enjoying his prime as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. Amonte enjoyed brilliant campaigns which saw him put up back-to-back 40 goal seasons during the 1998-99 and 1999-00 campaigns. His contributions were certainly memorable and one that his little cousin hopes to duplicate during his NHL run with the Wild.
9 Sid Abel & Brent Johnson
At first glance, this one seems like a pretty big head scratcher given the difference in age, but it all makes sense when you realize that Sid Abel is actually the grandfather of Brent Johnson.
Johnson certainly didn’t enjoy the same success as his grandfather, who won three Stanley Cups as a member of the Detroit Red Wings back in the 40s and 50s. Abel’s career highlight came in 1949 when he won the prestigious Hart Memorial Trophy.
As we said, poor Brent Johnson couldn't hold a candle to his grandpa, but he still had some decent seasons as a backup. His NHL career came to an end after the 2011-12 campaign when he retired as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The moment was made even more special due to the fact that his father Bob Johnson built a legacy in net with the Pens as well.
8 Wendel Clark & Barry Melrose
It's interesting to hear that two of the most hard-nosed players from their playing days in Wendel Clark and Joe Kocur are cousins. To make things even greater, former NHL coach Barry Melrose is also a part of the lineage as a cousin of the two physical players.
Clark was a stud and Leaf fans still discuss his legacy today as one of the greatest leaders in the team’s history. Melrose on the other hand left a “meh” type of impression. His coaching numbers were subpar while his involvement on NHL programming was more of the same. He did have a killer mullet though and that factor alone pretty much put him on the map.
7 Scott & Rob Niedermayer & Jason Strudwick
The Niedermayer brothers got to live a dream in the 2006-07 season when they captured the Stanley Cup as members of the Anaheim Ducks. We can only imagine the thrill of capturing something so prestigious alongside your brother.
The two also have other ties in the NHL with former Oilers d-man Jason Strudwick. In terms of defensive work, both Scott and Jason couldn’t be any more different. Scott was an offensive dynamo during his prime, becoming one of the greatest long-stretch passers in NHL history. He had some fantastic campaigns which included multiple seasons of 50 plus assists. Strudwick was the opposite, as he was a low risk, stay-at-home kind of defenseman. His career high was a three goal season. Scott and Rob must have poked some fun at that statistic during family gatherings.
6 Ray Ferraro & Tony Granato
The two hockey vets are actually brothers-in-law, with Ray Ferraro marrying Tony Granato’s sister, Cammi. There’s a reason why that name probably rings a bell, as Cassie was a tremendous player for the United States National Team back in her day.
Both former NHLers enjoyed some great success during their playing days. Granato enjoyed his prime early on, cashing in on three straight 30 plus goal seasons with the Kings. Today, he is a prominent coach recently leaving the Wings as an assistant to join the University of Wisconsin as the team’s head coach.
Ferraro wasn’t too shabby either. He played the role of a super-pest that could score. After a career that spanned nearly two decades, Ray traded in his skates for a pair of fancy loafers as he signed on with TSN as a color commentator, a position he continues to fill today.
5 Jacques Lemaire & Manny Fernandez
This one is kind of insane, as Legendary player and coach Jacques Lemaire actually coached his nephew at the NHL level while coaching the Minnesota Wild.
Manny Fernandez was a decent goalie but never really an elite starter. He had some decent campaigns and would go on to finish his career as a member of the Bruins in the 2008-09 season.
His uncle wasn’t too shabby. Jacques Lemaire won an insane eight Stanley Cups during his playing days. He even scored two Stanley Cup game winning goals, making him one of only six players to accomplish such a record. He was also a solid coach, finishing with a mark of 617-458-124. That record included a Stanley Cup with the Devils during the 1994-95 campaign.
4 Chris Chelios & Nikos Tselios
The two cousins played the same position, but that’s where the similarities ended. Chris played 1,649 more times than his cousin did. Nikos was really a journeyman playing overseas. However, he did manage to squeeze in a couple of games with the Carolina Hurricanes which is something to be proud of.
His cousin Chris took the word journeyman to another level. The guy was like what Ric Flair was to the WWE, a person who just would refuse to retire, even if he was 100 something. Cheli finally decided to call it quits at the age of 48 putting an end to his remarkable career which included three Norris Trophies along with a hat-trick of Stanley Cup rings.
However, what makes this relationship interesting is that Chris Chelios' father was born as a Tselios, but decided to change the spelling of the last name, which is why many don't realize these two NHLers are related.
3 Mike Keenan & Joe Nieuwendyk
These two share a unique connection as Joe Nieuwendyk is married to Derek Keenan’s sister. Derek, is Mike’s second cousin. You still with us?
Despite their connection, the two have vastly different legacies. Mike Keenan was a controversial coach who spent time with eight different teams during his NHL run behind the bench, winning the Stanley Cup in 1994 with the Rangers.
Nieuwendyk, on the other hand, was an iconic figure in the world of ice hockey. Joe had a Hall of Fame worthy career winning three Stanley Cup Titles along with a Conn Smythe Trophy victory in the 1999 season.
2 Phil Kessel & David Moss
Phil Kessel's cousin, David Moss, recently made headlines around the NHL by announcing his retirement from the game at the age of 34. Last season, Moss signed a PTO in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals. Hoping to resurrect his career, Moss was hoping to impress NHL teams, but ultimately that dream fell short causing the former Coyote to call it a career. His better days came as a member of the Flames which saw Moss put a 20 goal season in the 2008-09 campaign.
His cousin Phil is still going strong and will continue for a long time. Kessel enjoyed a career year last season, scoring 22 points in 24 playoff games as Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup.
1 Max Pacioretty & Maxim Afinogenov
We saved the best for last with this unlikely pair of brothers. On July 11th, 2011, Max Pacioretty married Maxim Afinogenov’s sister, Katia and the couple are proud parents of two children.
They play different games but managed to do the same thing, put the puck in back of the net. Using his size and strength, Patches scores most of his goals in the dirty areas of the ice. He also uses his strong frame to snipe shots from distance as well. Afinogenov, on the other hand, was all skill and speed. The Russian dazzled with the puck and had several memorable years as a member of the Buffalo Sabres, becoming one of the most popular players on the team in recent history.
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