We Want The Cup
Much like the lead-up to the 2002 run, I’m going to lump a few key trades together that were instrumental in the Hurricanes record season and Stanley Cup Championship. The groundwork was laid in the offseason with the signings of veteran wingers Cory Stillman and Ray Whitney, both of whom played big roles in the Hurricanes’ regular-season and playoff success.
But we’re not here for free agents, we’re here for the trades and there were two whoppers:
In Doug Weight, the Hurricanes got an offensively talented veteran who was looking for his first Stanley Cup at age 35. Weight put up 16 points in the playoffs before suffering a shoulder injury in Game 5 of the Finals. While he was unable to play in games 6 and 7, he got his moment with the cup:
Neither Jesse Boulerice nor Mike Zigomanis had an impact with the Blues, combining for zero points in 14 total games. Out of the picks and prospects that changed hands, only defenseman Matthew Corrente (the 2006 1st rounder) and goaltender Reto Berra (2006 4th rounder) ever saw NHL ice and neither made much of an impact.
Five days after Erik Cole suffered his neck fracture, Rutherford pulled off a move that brought another veteran forward to the squad:
Mark Recchi was having a good year, putting up 57 points in 63 games on an absolutely atrocious Penguins team. While he only added 7 points in 20 regular-season games with the Hurricanes, Recchi put up 17 points in the postseason. The depth that Weight and Recchi brought to Raleigh was instrumental in the team bringing the Cup home and marked the only time that the Hurricanes went with rental players for a postseason run.
Krys Kolanos never played a game for the Penguins (nor the Hurricanes), moving through Edmonton, Minnesota, and Calgary and finishing his career in the AHL. Niklas Nordgren played 15 games with Pittsburgh before continuing his career in Switzerland.
Kevin Marshall, taken with the draft pick, played in 10 games for the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2011-12 season.
Despite the fact that both Weight and Recchi were gone following the Cup win, there’s no question that the Hurricanes came out on top in both of these deals. More than that, these moves showed that Rutherford and owner Peter Karmanos believed that these moves would make the Hurricanes contenders.
They were right.