The Grand Rapids Griffins posted a press release which highlights Grand Rapids’ connections to the NHL’s four remaining teams. As it turns out, no matter which team goes on to win the Stanley Cup, a Griffins alumnus will be part of the winning team:
WHICH FORMER GRIFFIN WILL WIN THE STANLEY CUP?
Regardless of which teams claim the NHL’s conference finals, at least one former Griffin will eventually have his name engraved on the most famous trophy in sports.
The Western Conference Final features 2017 Calder Cup champions facing each other, with Vegas’ Tomas Nosek (GRG center from 2014-17) going up against his old head coach, Dallas assistant coach Todd Nelson (GRG defenseman from 1996-98, 99-00 and 01-02; assistant coach in 02-03; head coach from 15-18), and Mattias Janmark, who had a brief stint as a Griffins forward in 13-14. (The Golden Knights also have two former Griffins staffers in equipment manager Chris Davidson-Adams and senior manager of communications and content Alyssa Girardi.)
The Eastern Conference Final will pit Tampa Bay and assistant GM/director of player personnel Stacy Roest (GRG center in 02-03) against New York Islanders assistant coach John Gruden (GRG defenseman from 99-02).
Since 1996, 16 Griffins players have gone on to have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup (all as players), earning the honor in six of the last 11 years and eight of the last 14 seasons. No former Grand Rapids coach has ever gone on to celebrate with the Stanley Cup.