Why Gordie Howe's name will be off the Stanley Cup next year

Surely one of the Pittsburgh Penguins veterans would get their hands on the Cup first, after Crosby.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (71), of Russian Federation, and Sidney Crosby (87) kiss the Stanley Cup after defeating the Nashville Predators 2-0 in Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Sunday, June 11, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.

Malkin led the playoffs with 28 points, while Crosby, who won his second straight Conn Smythe Trophy, was second with 27 points.

The Penguins became the first team to repeat as Cup champs since the Red Wings did so in 1997 and 1998.

Regardless, the score would still have been 1-0 Nashville and the fluky goal by Patric Hornqvist would have tied the game at 1-1. He became the first starting goalie to win two National Hockey League championships before losing his rookie status and the first since Detroit's Terry Sawchuk in 1952 to close out a final with back-to-back shutouts.

Nashville lost at home for the second time this postseason - and for the first time at home in regulation.

"It stings", said Predators defenceman PK Subban. And these guys did exactly what I hoped they would do: "They got us the Cup".

We know they just won on Sunday night, but let's look ahead and see why they're a lock to win another one in 2017-18. Sissons also had a goal negated 1:07 into the second period, when referee Keith Pollock blew the play dead with the puck laying in the crease and after it trickled through Murray's left arm.

ESPN reports Pittsburgh is 8-1 to win a third straight Cup. Uncertainty runs from the Vegas Golden Knights' expansion draft next week through the New Jersey Devils' decision with the top pick in the entry draft to a free agent market that hinges significantly on how much the salary cap goes up - if at all.

Cole is not the only Penguins player with MI ties. Daley played his heart out but was injured in the East final and didn't get to play in the championship series against the San Jose Sharks. Murray made his hometown of Thunder Bay, Ont., proud by stopping the last 64 shots he faced in the series.

But when Rutherford needed somebody to coach the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, he took a chance on Sullivan.

This made the Penguins' penalty kill even more important to winning Game 6.

Mason has been the man behind Crosby's hockey school, which is put on every summer and is also integral to the homecoming parades that have had Crosby bring the Stanley Cup to his hometown.

After his season ended in April because of neck surgery, Letang said he believed in the Penguins ability to overcome his absence primarily because of Crosby and his determination.

  • Zachary Reyes