Who Would Have Won the 2005 Stanley Cup?

Ten years ago was a sad time for NHL fans. The 2004-05 season was lost and the Stanley Cup was not awarded to any team. With the ten-year anniversary upon us, let’s take a look and decide who would have won the 2005 Stanley Cup.

 Photo: www.greatesthockeylegends.com

Photo: www.greatesthockeylegends.com

First, we must set some ground guidelines for our hypothetical season as these will impact NHL rules and rosters:

1.   Just like 1995 and 2013, we will say the lockout ended in the winter and a 48 game regular season schedule was used.

2.   Post-lockout rules are used, the game is more wide open and more penalties are called.

3.   Implementing a salary cap is established during this lockout, but it will not be put into place until the 2005-06 season.

Okay got it? Let’s go.

The Eastern Conference

8th Place, Carolina Hurricanes- They won the cup in 2006, but a lot of those pieces are not here yet. Eric Staal enjoys a breakout season as the Hurricanes edge out the Canadiens for the final playoff spot.

7th Place, Boston Bruins- A team on the decline, however Joe Thornton has not been traded yet and he carries Boston into the playoffs.

6th Place, Buffalo Sabres- Danny Briere and Maxim Afinogenov bust onto the scene with their skating abilities and provide the offense for the Sabres in the new NHL. This team has a solid defense and Chris Drury, JP Dumont, Jochen Hecht, and Tim Connolly provide veteran leadership offensively. Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy, Jason Pominville, and Ryan Miller are groomed in the minors. This team is on the verge of greatness.

5th Place, Philadelphia Flyers- Peter Forsberg ends up staying in Colorado for one more year before the salary cap is put into place, however Jeremy Roenick, John LeClair, Mark Recchi, and Tony Amonte are able to stay with Flyers and give it one more shot after coming so close to the cup in 2004.

4th Place, Toronto Maple Leafs- Led by Mats Sundin, Joe Nieuwendyk, Owen Nolan, a strong defense, and Ed Belfour the Leafs build off of a strong 2003-04 showing and enjoy one more season of cap-free hockey.

3rd Place, Tampa Bay Lightning- With the salary cap not being in place until the summer of 2005, the Lightning are able to maintain critical parts of their 2004 roster and win the weak Southeast Division.

2nd Place, New Jersey Devils- Martin Brodeur is in his prime, Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens, and Brian Rafalski are on the backend-- upfront Patrik Elias and Scott Gomez have entered their prime, with Brian Gionta and Jamie Langenbrunner also up and coming. This team is strong.

1st Place, Ottawa Senators- The Marian Hossa for Dany Heatley trade still happens prior to this season and Ottawa is great. This team is stacked. For real! Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, Martin Havlat (when he was actually good), Peter Bondra, Bryan Smolinski, Mike Fisher and Antoine Vermette are their core forwards. While Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden, Chris Phillips, Brian Pothier, Anton Volchenkov and Dominik Hasek in net provide great defense. They are the beast of the east in 2005.

The Western Conference

8th Place, The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim- Teemu Selanne comes back to Anaheim and has a nice supporting cast with Andy McDonald, Sergei Fedorov and rookies Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. J.S. Giguere leads this team to the playoffs as they are a team on the rise.

7th Place, Nashville Predators- With good defense and goaltending, Barry Trotz continues to build up Smashville in 2005.

6th Place, Vancouver Canucks- This team follows up a 2004 division championship with another playoff spot as the young Sedin twins and Marcus Naslund lead the way.

5th Place, San Jose Sharks- Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo and Evgeni Nabokov continue to come into their own as San Jose continues to build as on of the most consistent teams of the decade.

4th Place, Calgary Flames- The Flames follow up their 2004 playoff magic with a solid regular season. Miika Kiprusoff wins the Vezina.

3rd Place, Dallas Stars- This veteran group does well in the short season. Mike Modano, Brendan Morrow, Sergei Zubov, and Marty Turco lead the Stars to a division championship.

2nd Place, Colorado Avalanche- Peter Forsberg sticks around Colorado one more year as him and Joe Sakic lead a strong Avalanche team. Their defense is strong with Adam Foote and Rob Blake while Milan Hejduk and Alex Tanguay also hit their prime offensively. A very talented roster.

1st Place, Detroit Red Wings- The perfect blend of veterans and youth. Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan, Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, Tomas Holmstrom and co. provide veteran leadership as Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg grow into star players in their second pro seasons. Manny Legace minds the net for the Red Wings as they win the President’s Trophy.

Playoffs: Round One

Eastern Conference

Ottawa Senators (1) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (8)

Sens take the series in five as they are a much better team.

New Jersey Devils (2) vs. Boston Bruins (7)

The Devils keep Boston in check and take the series in six games.

Tampa Bay Lightning (3) vs. Buffalo Sabres (6)

A highly skilled Buffalo team upsets the defending champs in six games.

Toronto Maple Leafs (4) vs Philadelphia Flyers (5)

The Flyers win this grudge match in seven games.

Western Conference

Detroit Red Wings (1) vs. Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (8)

Detroit takes down the Mighty Ducks in five as this rivalry continues to grow.

Colorado Avalanche (2) vs. Nashville Predators (7)

Colorado sweeps the Preds in four games.

Dallas Stars (3) vs. Vancouver Canucks (6)

The Stars outlast Vancouver in a seven game series.

Calgary Flames (4) vs. San Jose Sharks (5)

A rematch of the 2004 Western Conference Finals and San Jose gets their revenge in seven.

Playoffs: Round Two

Eastern Conference

Ottawa Senators (1) vs. Buffalo Sabres (6)

Ottawa plows through Buffalo in four games.

New Jersey Devils (2) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (5)

The Devils and Flyers go seven games, and New Jersey comes out on top.

Western Conference

Detroit Red Wings (1) vs. San Jose Sharks (5)

Red Wings tackle the Sharks in five games.

Colorado Avalanche (2) vs. Dallas Stars (3)

Stars sneak this series out in seven games. The Avs miss Patrick Roy as David Aebischer is shaky in this series while Marty Turco is a wall.

Conference Finals

Ottawa Senators (1) vs. New Jersey Devils (2)

The Senators are convinced this is their year, however they are disappointed when they fall to the Devils in game seven on home ice.

Detroit Red Wings (1) vs. Dallas Stars (3)

Detroit continues to steamroll through the west as they take down the Stars in five games.

Stanley Cup Final

Detroit Red Wings vs New Jersey Devils

This is a finals matchup of two of the best organizations in the 90s/2000s, and one fans would have loved to see. In the end the Red Wings prevail in six games and hoist the Stanley Cup.

 Steve Yzerman hoisting the Stanley Cup. Photo: David Klutho Sports Illustrated

Steve Yzerman hoisting the Stanley Cup. Photo: David Klutho Sports Illustrated

What are your thoughts? Comment below with your opinion of who would have won the 2005 Stanley Cup.