The Washington Capitals celebrated the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 44 years Thursday night, a feat made possible thanks to a variety of contributions from NCAA alumni.
Eight former college players skated with the Cup Thursday in Vegas, while general manager Brian MacLellan, an All-American at Bowling Green, and team president Dick Patrick, who played at Dartmouth, lead a large group of NCAA alumni in the Capitals’ front office.
Five of the players are in line to get their names on the Cup, four of them for the first time:
- Jay Beagle: Joins Mike Peluso (1995) as just the second Alaska Anchorage alum to win the Cup … the first player ever to win the Stanley Cup, Calder Cup (AHL) and Kelly Cup (ECHL) … led the team in faceoffs (60.1%) and added eight points in the playoffs.
- Alex Chiasson: The ninth Boston University alum to win the Cup (11 times total) … played 16 of 24 playoff games.
- Matt Niskanen: The seventh Minnesota Duluth alum to win the Cup (11 times total) and the first to do so since Brett Hull in 2002 … ranked second on the team in playoff ice time (25:23 per game) and second among defensemen with nine playoff points.
- Brooks Orpik: Won the Cup for the second time, and the record-tying 19th time a Boston College alum has won it (tied with Wisconsin) … he is just the 11th player all-time to have won an NCAA title (2001) and multiple Stanley Cup championships (2009, 2018) … he led the team in playoff plus/minus at +17 and scored the game-winning goal in Game 2.
- T.J. Oshie: Six of the last seven Stanley Cup champions have featured a North Dakota alum, as Oshie becomes the 12th UND alum to win the Cup (17 times) … his 21 points in 24 playoff games ranked fourth on the team, while he shared the team lead with six power-play goals.
In addition to those five, Travis Boyd (Minnesota), Shane Gersich (North Dakota) and Pheonix Copley (Michigan Tech) skated with the Cup Thursday night.
With MacLellan, eight of the last 12 Stanley Cup-winning general managers have been NCAA graduates. NCAA alumni in the Capitals front office:
President Dick Patrick – Dartmouth (1965-68)
Sr. VP, General Manager Brian MacLellan – Bowling Green (1978-82)
Assistant Coach Todd Reirden – Bowling Green (1990-94)
Director, Hockey Operations Kris Wagner – Bowling Green (1993-97)
Director, Goaltending Mitch Korn – Kent State; Miami (Goaltending Coach)
Video Coach Brett Leonhardt – Oswego State, Neumann (2003-07)
Goaltending Coach Scott Murray – Lake Superior State (1999-2002)
Director, Player Personnel Chris Patrick – Princeton (1995-98)
Director, Player Development Steve Richmond – Michigan (1978-82)
Scout A.J. Toews – Northeastern (1996-98)
Asst., Hockey Operations H.T. Lenz – Vermont (2010-14)
AHL Assistant Coach Reid Cashman – Quinnipiac (2003-07)
AHL Assistant Coach Ryan Murphy – Boston College (2001-05)