Inside the Article:
The Stanley Cup Final officially begins this evening in Sin City, where the Vegas Golden Knights will take on the Florida Panthers. And on Florida's side, there are two former members of the Detroit Red Wings who will be aiming to get their name on the Stanley Cup for the very first time in their careers.
This is 16-year veteran Marc Staal's 2nd Cup Finals appearance
Defenseman Marc Staal, who played two seasons with the Red Wings, was not brought back for a third year by GM Steve Yzerman and decided to sign with the Panthers. He's playing with his brother Eric, and they'd become the first duo of brothers on the same team to win the Cup together since Rob and Scott Niedermayer with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.
It's his second appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, having reached the summit with the New York Rangers in 2014. They'd be defeated by the Los Angeles Kings in five games.
Staal has played in 1,101 career games with the Rangers, Red Wings, and Panthers, scoring a total of 229 points (52G, 177A).
Tough customer Givani Smith is eligible to have his name on the Cup
Another former Red Wings player with a chance at etching his name onto the Stanley Cup is Givani Smith, who was best known for dropping the gloves and protecting his teammates.
Drafted by the Red Wings in the second round (46th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, Smith appeared in a total of 85 games wearing the Winged Wheel, scoring 14 points (7G, 7A) along with 138 PIM. He was traded to the Panthers from Detroit this past December and would skate in 36 games with his new team. He's also appeared in one postseason game so far in 2023, meaning he's eligible to have his name on the Cup.
Wrapping It Up: Best of luck to the former Red Wings in their Cup quest
The Panthers have already authored an incredible story in the postseason by defeating the Boston Bruins, who set the record for most victories during a regular season (65) in NHL history. Subsequent victories over Toronto and Carolina have put them in the championship round for the first time since their Cinderella run to the Final in 1996, where they'd eventually bow out to the Colorado Avalanche.
We wish both Staal and Smith the best of luck, as the Panthers only need four more wins for their first-ever Stanley Cup win.