With most of the Washington Capitals‘ Stanley Cup championship roster returning for a shot at a repeat, NoVa Caps takes a look at the most recent NHL rosters that won the Stanley Cup, the turnover those rosters faced after hoisting the Cup and the results that followed.
**Key players acquired mean the players that the team acquired between the previous season and the end of the next season; key players lost mean the players that the team lost between the previous season and the end of the next season.
2013 Chicago Blackhawks
Key Players Acquired: David Rundblad, Michael Kostka, Antti Raanta
Key Players Lost: Dave Bolland, Daniel Carcillo, Michael Frolik, Michael Handzus, Jamal Mayers, Ben Smith, Viktor Stalberg, Sheldon Brookbank, Ray Emery
2013-14 Regular Season Results: After leading the league with a 36-7-5 record in the lockout season and going 16-7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to hoist the Cup, the Blackhawks fell off a little bit and finished third in the Central Division with a 46-21-15 record and 107 points.
2014 Playoff Results: The Blackhawks went 11-8 in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs and just came short of making it back to the Final, falling to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 in overtime in the Western Conference Final. The Blackhawks got to the West Final after defeating the St. Louis Blues in six games after dropping the first two games of the series in overtime and beating the Minnesota Wild in six games in the second round. The Blackhawks dropped three straight games of the West Final to the Kings but bounced back with consecutive victories to force Game 7 in Chicago. The Blackhawks jumped out to 2-0, 3-2, and 4-3 leads over the Kings but Los Angeles came back from all of those deficits and won Game 7 in overtime by a 5-4 final.
2014 Los Angeles Kings
Key Players Acquired: Brayden McNabb, Jamie McBain, Nick Shore, Andrej Sekera
Key Players Lost: Carcillo, Willie Mitchell, Matt Frattin, Colin Fraser
2014-15 Regular Season Results: The Kings got off to an 8-5-4 start and had a rough stretch in January and February, going 3-7-4, but got hot after that slump and rattled off eight straight wins. The Kings lost five of their final eight games and finished three points short of the Winnipeg Jets for the final wild card in the West. Los Angeles was 40-27-5 with 85 points in the regular season.
2015 Playoff Results: N/A – The Kings became the first team since the 2006-07 Carolina Hurricanes to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs after winning the Cup the year prior.
2015 Chicago Blackhawks
Key Players Acquired: Artem Anisimov, Tomas Fleischmann, Marko Dano, Ryan Garbutt, Artemi Panarin, Richard Panik, Dale Weise, Trevor Daley, Christian Ehrhoff
Key Players Lost: Carcillo, Brad Richards, Antoine Vermette, Teuvo Teravainen, Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, Kimmo Timonen, Joakim Nordstrom, Kris Versteeg, Adam Clendening, Kyle Cumiskey, Klas Dahlbeck, Raanta, Ben Smith
2015-16 Regular Season Results: The Blackhawks finished third in the Central Division for the third consecutive season with a record of 47-26-9 and 103 points. The Blackhawks were inconsistent to begin the season and went 20-13-4 in their first 37 games, just winning three consecutive games once in that span. Chicago then went on a roll and won 12 straight games, pushing them to first in the Central Division.
2016 Playoff Results: The Blackhawks fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the rival St. Louis Blues but won the next two games to force a Game 7 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The Blues jumped out to 2-0 lead in the first period. The Blackhawks were able to come back and tie the game but former-Blackhawk Troy Brouwer put the nail in the coffin on his former team and gave the Blues a 3-2 win in Game 7.
2016 Pittsburgh Penguins
Key Players Acquired: Mark Streit, Ron Hainsey, Carter Rowney
Key Players Lost: Clendening, Beau Bennett, Pascal Dupuis, Eric Fehr, Ben Lovejoy
2016-17 Regular Season Results: The Penguins finished second in the NHL with a 50-21-11 record and 111 points behind the Capitals (118 points). The Penguins posted an impressive 31-6-4 home record and led the NHL with 282 goals scored, 16 more than the Wild, who finished second.
2017 Playoff Results: The Penguins finished 16-9 in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs and became the first team to repeat in the salary cap era. Pittsburgh rolled through the Columbus Blue Jackets – who also won 50 games during the regular season – in five games, beat the Capitals in seven games, defeated the Ottawa Senators in seven games in the Eastern Conference Final, and the finished it off by beating the Nashville Predators in six games in the Stanley Cup Final.
2017 Pittsburgh Penguins
Key Players Acquired: Matt Hunwick, Derick Brassard, Jamie Oleksiak, Casey DeSmith, Tristan Jarry, Antti Niemi
Key Players Lost: Marc-Andre Fleury, Trevor Daley, Nick Bonino, Chris Kunitz, Matt Cullen, Ian Cole
2017-18 Regular Season Results: The Penguins got off to a 20-19-3 start the first half of the season but went 16-3-1 in their next 20 games to propel them back into the playoff race. The Penguins finished the season with a 47-26-9 record and 100 points. Pittsburgh led the NHL with a 26.2% power play efficiency and tied the Vegas Golden Knights for fourth in the NHL in goals (272).
2018 Playoff Results: The Penguins steamrolled over the Philadelphia Flyers 7-0 and 5-0 in Games 1 and 4 of the First Round series and led 3-1 in the series after those four games. Philadelphia took Game 5 by a blowout score of 5-1 but Pittsburgh answered back in a thrilling 8-5 win in Game 6. The team then lost their first playoff series since 2015 to the Capitals in six games in Round 2.
The Capitals have been able to keep their team together better than the previous five Stanley Cup Champions have. The team re-signed key pieces of their Stanley Cup-winning roster such as John Carlson, Michal Kempny, Tom Wilson, Brooks Orpik, and Devante Smith-Pelly. The Capitals just lost their fourth-line center, Jay Beagle (signed four-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks) and backup goaltender, Philipp Grubauer (traded to Colorado Avalanche on June 23), from their championship team. The team didn’t make any major additions but did add center Nic Dowd in free agency. Caps fans should be very excited about the team’s chances to repeat because it’s very hard to keep a championship team intact as you read earlier and the Capitals may have done the best job of doing so out of these six teams.
By Harrison Brown