The idea of a rental player has sparked occasional controversy in the NHL. Is it really the same to win the Stanley Cup with a team after being in the locker room for only a few months? Do you deserve to have your named etched on the glorious Stanley Cup? Some players, like Mats Sundin, say that the experience of winning a Stanley Cup as a rental player would have been a hollow experience compared to winning one at home, with the team you had grown with.
Other players obviously disagree. The point being that the most important part of any season is the playoff run, and if you’re part of that magical moment, you’re as part of the team as anybody. Also, being around a culture of losing for so long can take a serious effect on a player. Just how much futility can one person take? It's a fine balance between wanting to stay loyal to your team, or if the pursuit of Lord Stanley is just too tempting to pass up.
With 30 teams competing for the Stanley Cup every year and only one winner, rental players have become more popular in recent years. It’s a great way to improve your team right before the deadline heading into the playoffs. However, they remain a risk because they often come at a hefty price, and very often the team doesn’t win the cup and are stuck with a commodity. On top of that, you may lose them that offseason and it's seen as a complete waste if you're not playing hockey in June.
This article will highlight the happy endings, the rental players that were lucky enough to hoist the Stanley Cup, where just a few months ago they were looking at missing the playoffs. This list will include players who joined these winning teams on an expiring contract. Some chose to re-sign in the offseason, while some left in July, forever remaining rentals.
15 Cory Stillman
14 George Parros
13 Kimmo Timonen
12 Tomas Kaberle
11 Claude Lemieux
10 Marian Gaborik
Marian Gaborik is a well-known name in the NHL. The Slovakian star did his rounds in the NHL, impressing everyone with his skill and raw scoring ability. He’s played for four different NHL teams, find success with all of them, but never getting close enough to feel Lord Stanley’s cold, smooth touch.
But then March 4, 2014 came. That would be the day history changed for Gaborik. Acquired by the Los Angeles Kings to add a little punch to their offense as the playoffs were looming, Gaborik would be a game-changer. His 14 goals led everyone in the playoffs, and the Kings would end up cruising past Gaborik’s old team, the Rangers, for their second Stanley Cup in three years. Gaborik decided to not be just a rental anymore and chose to stay in Los Angeles following the championship.
9 Brad Stuart
8 Butch Goring
Although some of you may not be familiar with Butch Goring, in th 1970’s he was one of the most complete players in the league. He would play the first almost decade of his career with the Los Angeles Kings, before being traded at the deadline to the New York Islanders. This was huge at the time, especially for the Islanders. Bringing in Goring was supposed to be the last piece of the puzzle for the Stnaley Cup.
7 Larry Murphy
6 Craig Mactavish
Craig Mactavish is widely known today as the coach and General Manager that couldn’t get the Oilers out of the league basement. But during his playing career, Mactavish did the rounds, was a good player and a great leader that won his fair share of Stanley Cups. Most of his career was spent with the Oilers, but with just a few games remaining in 1994 he was traded to the New York Rangers.
5 Antoine Vermette
Vermette is a perfect example of a rental player. He won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks the year after being traded at the deadline. He would manage only three assists for the remainder of the season, promting many to say that this move end up being a flop for the Blackhawks. But then the playoffs came around.
4 Bill Guerin
3 Doug Weight
2 Rob Blake
Rob Blake had a long and illustrious career in the NHL as one of the league’s top defenseman. However, he would win only one Stanley Cup – with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. After 11 years with the L.A. Kings, Blake would make an immediate impact with the Cup-hungry avalanche, scoring 10 points in the final 13 games of the season, and 19 points in 23 playoff games to secure the Cup. Because of his performance in the playoffs, Blake would play more seasons with the Avalanche before going back to Los Angeles.
1 Mark Recchi
This man needs no introduction, as he is one of the most respected and talented players to ever bless the NHL. Mark Recchi is as classy as they get, being one of the few players to ever win three Stanley Cups with three different teams. The positive influence on his teammates is undeniable, which is why coaches wanted Recchi in their dressing room.
In 2006, Recchi played with the Penguins, who were consequently out of a playoff position. He would therefore wave his no trade clause and go to the Carolina Hurricanes, who would consequently win the Cup that year, with the help of Recchi’s 16 points. He would then be traded back to the Penguins the following year.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!