Each season, there are always a few older veterans on teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs searching for their first championship. Entering the Conference Finals, there are a handful of great veterans to highlight on all of the four teams.
So many players play their entire career without winning the Stanley Cup, for some, winning the trophy comes right at the tail end of their career. This season, there are going to be plenty of first time winners on any team that wins, so let’s talk about some of those veterans.
The key veterans still in the Stanley Cup playoffs looking for their first cup
For this article, I am only highlighting the older players on the four conference final teams. They have to be 33 or older and have not won a championship before. Obviously every team has a ton of stars who have never won a championship before like Jason Robertson in Dallas or Matthew Tkachuk in Florida, but both of those players still have a long career ahead of them. So, let’s jump in with the veterans, starting with the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes have a ton of veterans searching for their first championship. Brent Burns, Paul Stastny and Frederik Andersen all are looking for their first cup.
Antti Raanta is another name to think about looking for their first cup. While he was with the Chicago Blackhawks when they won in 2015, he was their third goaltender in the playoffs behind Corey Crawford and Scott Darling.
Derek Stepan is another name to think about, although he is only 32 right now. He turns 33 in June so I am putting him on the list. Stepan has played in 119 playoff games so far in his career, including long playoff runs with the New York Rangers dating back to their Stanley Cup Final run in 2014.
I really would like to see Brent Burns get his first championship. Burns has played in 105 playoff games so far dating back to the 2006-07 season with the Minnesota Wild. The furthest he made it was the 2015-16 Stanley Cup Final where the San Jose Sharks lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins. This season Burns has been stellar for the Hurricanes as their top defenseman. He is third on the team in pionts behind just Sebastian Aho and Jordan Martinhook.