The 1996 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series was contested by the Colorado Avalanche and the Florida Panthers. The Avalanche won the Cup in a four game sweep to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup, in their first season in Denver since moving from Quebec City in 1995. It was Florida's first Final series appearance, in only the team's third season in the NHL. Colorado's Joe Sakic was named playoff MVP.
Paths to the Final
- For more details on this topic, see 1996 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Colorado defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4–2, the Chicago Blackhawks 4–2 and the Detroit Red Wings 4–2 to advance to the final. Florida defeated the Boston Bruins 4–1, the Philadelphia Flyers 4–2 and the Pittsburgh Penguins 4–3.
|Tuesday, June 4||Colorado Avalanche||3 – 1||Florida Panthers||McNichols Sports Arena|
The series opened on Tuesday, June 4, at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver. Although Colorado was the heavy favorite in the series, Florida got on the board first on Tom Fitzgerald's goal at 16:51 of the first period. That would be all the Panthers would get, however, as Colorado scored three times with five minutes in the second period. Scott Young scored at 10:32, Mike Ricci scored at 12:21, and Uwe Krupp scored at 14:21. The Avalanche went on to win the game 3–1. Colorado goaltender Patrick Roy made 25 saves in the victory.
|Thursday, June 6||Colorado Avalanche||8 – 1||Florida Panthers||McNichols Sports Arena|
Peter Forsberg got the Avalanche on the board first in game two, scoring an unassisted goal at 4:11 of the first period. The Panthers tied the game on Stu Barnes' power-play goal at 7:52. Rene Corbet broke the 1–1 tie with a power-play goal at 10:43, and then Forsberg scored two power-play goals of his own at 13:46 and 15:05 to complete the hat trick. Colorado led 4–1 after just one period. The Avalanche would make it 5–1 with Corbet’s second goal of the goal at 4:37 of the second period. Valeri Kamensky followed with a goal just 31 seconds later, and Jon Klemm scored at 10:03 to give Colorado a dominating 7–1 lead after two periods. Klemm would add another goal at 17:28 of the third period. It was the Avalanche’s fourth power-play goal of the game. Colorado won the game 8–1, with three players scoring at least twice.
|Saturday, June 8||Florida Panthers||2 – 3||Colorado Avalanche||Miami Arena|
As expected, the Avalanche went to the Miami Arena in Florida with a 2–0 series lead. Claude Lemieux, back after his two-game suspension, scored the first goal of the game at 2:44 of the first period to give Colorado a 1–0 lead. Florida played determinedly, however, and tied the game on Ray Sheppard’s power-play goal at 9:14. Rob Niedermayer scored at 11:19 to give the Panthers their second lead of the series. The score was 2–1 Florida after one period. Colorado came right back to tie the game at 1:38 of the second period, on Mike Keane’s goal. Captain Joe Sakic scored the go-ahead goal just 82 seconds later, and Colorado went on to win 3–2 and take a commanding three-games-to-none lead in the series. Patrick Roy made 32 saves in the win.
|Tuesday, June 11||Florida Panthers||0 – 1||3OT||Colorado Avalanche||Miami Arena|
With their backs to the wall, the Panthers played a defensive game. Florida goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck went save for save with Colorado goaltender Patrick Roy. The two teams played a marathon game that took until the third overtime period. Uwe Krupp’s unassisted goal at 4:31 ended 44 minutes and 31 seconds of overtime and gave the Avalanche a 1–0 win and a four-games-to-none series win. Goaltender Patrick Roy stopped all 63 shots he faced. Colorado outscored Florida 15–4 in the series, and Patrick Roy stopped 147 of 151 shots, for a save percentage of .974. Joe Sakic was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, having led all skaters in goals with 18, and points with 34. For both Patrick Roy and Claude Lemieux, it was their third Stanley Cup win in eleven years.
Colorado Avalanche 1996 Stanley Cup Champions
- Charlie Lyons (chairman/chief executive efficer/owner/president/governor),
- Pierre Lacroix (vice president/general manager), Marc Crawford (head coach),
- Joel Quenneville (ass’t coaches), Jacques Cloutier (goaltending coach), Francois Giguere (ass’t general manager)
- Michel Goulet (director of player personnel), Dave Draper (chief scout), Jean Martineau (director of public relations)
- Pat Karns (athletic trainer), Matthew Sokolowski (ass’t trainer), Rob McLean (equipment manager)
- Mike Kramer, Brock Gibbins (ass’t equipment managers), Skip Allen (strength-conditioning coach),
- Paul Fixter (video coordinator), Leo Vyssokov (massage therapist).
Stanley Cup engravings
Adam Deadmarsh's name was misspelled ADAM DEADMARCH. This mistake was corrected by stamping an "S" over the "C" twice. Deadmarsh's name was the first name to be corrected on the Presentation Stanley Cup.
"Sakic held it in. Still held in. Uwe Krupp, shot.... SCOOOORE! THE COLORADOOOOOOOOO AVALANCHE HAVE WON THE STANLEY CUP!" - Gary Thorne calling Uwe Krupp's overtime goal
- Diamond, Dan (2000). Total Stanley Cup. NHL.
- Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Triumph Books. ISBN 1–55168–261.
New Jersey Devils
Stanley Cup Champions
Detroit Red Wings
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