Need a player to root for? Pavelski, Burns, Giordano among veterans who haven't won the Stanley Cup | Hockey - Hindustan Times
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Need a player to root for? Pavelski, Burns, Giordano among veterans who haven't won the Stanley Cup

AP |
Apr 15, 2024 03:43 PM IST

Need a player to root for? Pavelski, Burns, Giordano among veterans who haven't won the Stanley Cup

Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns made the playoffs seven times together as teammates in San Jose, reaching the conference finals and getting all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016 under Peter DeBoer. Zach Parise captained New Jersey to the final in 2012.

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All those runs ended in defeat.

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Pavelski and Ryan Suter are now teammates playing for DeBoer all over again, now with Dallas, Parise, after several years alongside Suter in Minnesota, is now with rival Colorado and Burns is the No. 1 defenseman for Carolina.

They are among the oldest and most experienced veterans in the NHL playoffs this year who have never hoisted the Stanley Cup, a group that would love to join the likes of Ray Bourque and Lanny McDonald and win a championship as retirement nears. JOE PAVELSKI

Pavelski has played over 1,500 regular-season and playoff games with the Sharks and Stars since making his debut in the league in 2006. He was the postseason's leading goal-scorer eight years ago, tied for the most games played in the 2020 playoff bubble and is one of the most admired forwards of his generation.

“Joe, he’s the ultimate pro," Dallas general manager Jim Nill said. "He just does everything right. He’s done that his whole career.”

Injuries have hampered the Wisconsin native along the way, including a concussion in the first-round opener last year. He turns 40 in July, when he will again be a free agent, so this may or may not be his last shot at the Cup.

“You still want it, and you still want an opportunity,” Pavelski said. “And we have a great opportunity here, and guys are playing good. They’re guys that have that understanding this is a great chance.” RYAN SUTER

No active player has played more games in this league without a championship than Suter, a dependable defenseman in Nashville, then Minnesota and now Dallas. His 40th birthday is in January. Unlike Pavelski, he is signed through next season.

Maybe the difference for Suter, who averages about 19 minutes per game, will be DeBoer, who is looking to take a third organization to the final and win it for the first time. It doesn't hurt to have young teammates like Miro Heiskanen and Esa Lindell leading the way on the blue line to allow Suter to play his best when the situations arise. ZACH PARISE

A late entrant in this category after signing with the Avalanche in late January just before the All-Star break, Parise could have walked away after not playing more than half the season, proud of a lengthy career that includes an Olympic silver medal in 2010.

Instead, Parise joined a contender that could again ride MVP front-runner Nathan MacKinnon and Norris Trophy candidate Cale Makar to a championship, which would be the franchise's second in three years. The 39-year-old Parise understands how big a challenge that is 12 years after his trip to the final with the Devils.

“There’s a deeper appreciation for how hard it is,” said Parise, whose birthday is in July. “I always look back to my first few years in Jersey, we made it to the second round, I think, three years in a row. You’re like, ‘OK, natural progression, we’ll get to third round.’ And then all of a sudden, you get bounced a couple of times the first round. You just don’t know. It's hard." BRENT BURNS

Larger than life with his massive beard, Burns remains an imposing force at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds with a cannon of a shot. He turned 39 last month and is in his second season with the Hurricanes, who were swept by Florida in the East final last year.

This may be his best shot at the title since 2016 with San Jose, especially after Carolina acquired Jake Guentzel and Evgeny Kuznetsov at the trade deadline to fill needs up front. Burns provides the firepower from the back and averages nearly 22 minutes a game.

“He knows he doesn’t have too many more kicks at it,” said coach Rod Brind'Amour, who won the Cup in his 16th season as Hurricanes captain in 2006. “But I think our whole group knows that. We appreciate that. We have for a while." MARK GIORDANO

The Toronto Maple Leafs have nearly a full roster of players who haven't won the Cup. The oldest is Mark Giordano, who will turn 41 in October and is almost certainly in his final season.

Giordano won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman in 2018-19 near the end of his time in Calgary. He was the first and captain in Seattle's young franchise history and, like Pavelski, is a hard-nosed competitor with great respect around the league.

Sports Writers Stephen Hawkins in Frisco, Texas, Pat Graham in Denver and Aaron Beard in Raleigh, North Carolina, contributed.

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This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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