By Daniel Friedman
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On Tuesday night, the Rangers clinched the Presidents’ Trophy as the team with the league’s best record. That’s obviously a great accomplishment, but one that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a championship.
There have been eight teams who’ve won both the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same year (and the Rangers are actually one of them). We’ve written them down for you:
1. Edmonton Oilers (1986-87)
Gretzky and Co. picked up their third Stanley Cup in four years, knocking off Ron Hextall’s Philadelphia Flyers.
2. Calgary Flames (1988-89)
Not to be outdone by their Alberta rivals in Edmonton, Lanny McDonald, Doug Gilmour and Joe Nieuwendyk (among others) led the Flames to the top of the NHL standings for the second consecutive year. This time, they won the Cup — the only one in franchise history.
3. New York Rangers (1993-94)
They’d won the Presidents’ Trophy just two years before (1991-92), but missed the playoffs altogether the following season. In ’94, all of the puzzle pieces came together as the star-studded Blueshirts defeated Vancouver for their first Cup since 1940.
4. Dallas Stars (1998-99)
Should Brett Hull’s Cup-winning goal have counted? That’s a debate that could go on forever (and has for 16 years now). In any event, the Stars won, and they did it with a talented group. Mike Modano, Ed Belfour, Jere Lehtinen, Derian Hatcher and Sergei Zubov were among the many great players on that Dallas roster.
5. Colorado Avalanche (2000-01)
I can still hear Gary Thorne screaming, “After 22 years … RAYMOND BOURQUE!”
6. Detroit Red Wings (2001-02)
When you have Hull and Luc Robitaille on your third line, you’re probably a great team. The Red Wings were that year, and won yet another Cup.
7. Detroit Red Wings (2007-08)
Marian Hossa ended up on the wrong side of the handshake line for the first of what would be two consecutive times. Detroit taught a young Penguins squad, led by phenom Sidney Crosby, what it takes to win it all.
8. Chicago Blackhawks (2012-13)
They were dominant from start to finish, and though Boston gave them a run for their money in the Final, this team earned their second Cup in four years.