After exploring the men behind the mask and pads during the 2006 Stanley Cup winning roster, we move forward with the guardians of the blue line. Bret Hedican is up first.
The Carolina Hurricanes lifted all 35 Lbs of silver that make up Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2006. That roster of players made a magical run in the playoffs that will never be forgotten. Today we take another look at one of the best defensemen from that championship team, Bret Hedican, and where he is today.
Since the NHL’s inception for the 1917-1918 season, only 352 players have reached the 1,000 games played threshold with only 35 of them playing that number for one team. Bret Hedican has found himself in that exclusive club, ranking 270th all time with 1,039 games played at the professional level.
Drafted 198th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 1988 NHL draft while he was still attending St. Cloud State University, Hedican made his NHL debut in the ’91-’92 season. After unable to find the back of the net for two consecutive seasons, he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks where he remained until being traded to the Florida Panthers during the 1999 Draft.
On January 16th, 2002, Hedican was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes where he assisted the Canes in making the Stanley Cup Finals where they ultimately fell to the Red Wings. Bret would go on to play five more years in Raleigh, helping the Hurricanes again in the 2005-2006 playoffs where he was finally able to hold his first and last Stanley Cup.
After signing a one year deal with Anaheim in 2008, Hedican finally called it quits in the NHL. With 18 years of experience playing at the top tier level, he took his knowledge to San Jose where he provided pre-game and post-game analysis. In 2014, he was promoted to give color commentary on the San Jose radio network as well as NBCSN analytics to this day.
Don’t forget to read up on the two amazing goaltenders that paved the way for that Stanley Cup winning team. The infamous Darth Gerber who started the season as the starter and got them into the playoffs and his successor, Cameron Ward, who lead the team to the cup and took on the starting role from the next season up until last season.
Question for CC Readers: Was Hedican’s performance in the Cup Finals a memorable one for you?