|2002–03 NHL season|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||October 9, 2002 – June 9, 2003|
|Number of games||82|
|Number of teams||30|
|TV partner(s)||CBC, TSN, RDS (Canada)|
ESPN, ABC (United States
|Top draft pick||Rick Nash|
|Picked by||Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Presidents' Trophy||Ottawa Senators|
|Season MVP||Peter Forsberg (Avalanche)|
|Top scorer||Peter Forsberg (Avalanche)|
|Playoffs MVP||Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Mighty Ducks)|
|Champions||New Jersey Devils|
|Runners-up||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim|
The 2002–03 NHL season was the 86th regular season of the National Hockey League. The Stanley Cup winners were the New Jersey Devils, who won the best of seven series 4–3 against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
The regular season saw several surprises. The San Jose Sharks, who many felt would be one of the elite teams in the West, stumbled early and badly disassembled much of the team. The two-year-old Minnesota Wild, on the other hand, got out to an early start and held onto their first-ever playoff berth throughout the season, winning coach Jacques Lemaire the Jack Adams Award.
The elite teams of previous years such as the Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils, were joined by two younger Canadian teams, the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks. The Dallas Stars, which had missed the playoffs the year before, returned as a major power, backed by the record-setting goaltending of Marty Turco.
The most surprising team was probably the Tampa Bay Lightning, which many had predicted to finish last, winning their first Southeast Division title and making the playoffs for the first time in seven years. The most disappointing teams, other than the Sharks, were the New York Rangers, who finished out of the playoffs again despite bearing the league's leading payroll, and the Carolina Hurricanes, who finished last overall after a surprise run to the Stanley Cup Finals the year before. On January 8, 2003, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Michael Leighton gained a shutout in his NHL debut in a 0–0 tie versus the Phoenix Coyotes. Coyotes goaltender Zac Bierk earned his first career shutout, although it was not his NHL debut. It was the first—and with the abolition of ties two years later, the only—time that two goalies in the same game both earned their first career shutouts.
At the midpoint of the season, the Canucks led the Western Conference and Ottawa led the East. Vancouver stumbled somewhat over the stretch and lost the Northwest Division title to Colorado and the Western Conference to Dallas. Ottawa continued to dominate, having the best season in franchise history and winning both the Eastern Conference and the Presidents' Trophy.
The season was also marred by financial difficulties. Despite their success, the Ottawa Senators were in bankruptcy protection for almost all of 2003, and at one point could not pay the players. Owner Rod Bryden tried a variety of innovative financing strategies, but these all failed and the team was purchased after the season by billionaire Eugene Melnyk. The Buffalo Sabres also entered bankruptcy protection before being bought by New York businessman Tom Golisano. The financial struggles of the Pittsburgh Penguins continued as the team continued to unload its most expensive players.
Worries over the decline in scoring and the neutral zone trap continued. The season began with an attempted crack down on obstruction and interference, but by the midpoint of the season this effort had petered out.
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points
|1||2||New Jersey Devils||82||46||20||10||6||216||166||108|
|3||8||New York Islanders||82||35||34||11||2||224||231||83|
|4||9||New York Rangers||82||32||36||10||4||210||231||78|
|2||5||Toronto Maple Leafs||82||44||28||7||3||236||208||98|
|1||3||Tampa Bay Lightning||82||36||25||16||5||219||210||93|
|1||P- Ottawa Senators||NE||82||52||21||8||1||263||182||113|
|2||Y- New Jersey Devils||AT||82||46||20||10||6||216||166||108|
|3||Y- Tampa Bay Lightning||SE||82||36||25||16||5||219||210||93|
|4||X- Philadelphia Flyers||AT||82||45||20||13||4||211||166||107|
|5||X- Toronto Maple Leafs||NE||82||44||28||7||3||236||208||98|
|6||X- Washington Capitals||SE||82||39||29||8||6||224||220||92|
|7||X- Boston Bruins||NE||82||36||31||11||4||245||237||87|
|8||X- New York Islanders||AT||82||35||34||11||2||224||231||83|
|9||New York Rangers||AT||82||32||36||10||4||210||231||78|
Divisions: AT – Atlantic, NE – Northeast, SE – Southeast
P – Clinched Presidents Trophy; Y – Clinched Division; X – Clinched Playoff spot
|1||2||Detroit Red Wings||82||48||20||10||4||269||203||110|
|2||5||St. Louis Blues||82||41||24||11||6||253||222||99|
|5||15||Columbus Blue Jackets||82||29||42||8||3||213||263||69|
|2||7||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||82||40||27||9||6||203||193||95|
|3||10||Los Angeles Kings||82||33||37||6||6||203||221||78|
|5||14||San Jose Sharks||82||28||37||9||8||214||239||73|
Note: CR = Conference rank; GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; OTL = Overtime loss; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; Pts = Points
Bolded teams qualified for the playoffs.
|1||Z- Dallas Stars||PA||82||46||17||15||4||245||169||111|
|2||Y- Detroit Red Wings||CE||82||48||20||10||4||269||203||110|
|3||Y- Colorado Avalanche||NW||82||42||19||13||8||251||194||105|
|4||X- Vancouver Canucks||NW||82||45||23||13||1||264||208||104|
|5||X- St. Louis Blues||CE||82||41||24||11||6||253||222||99|
|6||X- Minnesota Wild||NW||82||42||29||10||1||198||178||95|
|7||X- Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||PA||82||40||27||9||6||203||193||95|
|8||X- Edmonton Oilers||NW||82||36||26||11||9||231||230||92|
|10||Los Angeles Kings||PA||82||33||37||6||6||203||221||78|
|14||San Jose Sharks||PA||82||28||37||9||8||214||239||73|
|15||Columbus Blue Jackets||CE||82||29||42||8||3||213||263||69|
Divisions: PA – Pacific, CE – Central, NW – Northwest
Z – Clinched Conference; Y – Clinched Division; X – Clinched Playoff spot
Source: McCarthy, Dave, ed. (2009). NHL Official Guide and Record Book 2009. NHL. p. 156.
|Conference quarterfinals||Conference semifinals||Conference finals||Stanley Cup Finals|
The NHL Awards presentation took place in Toronto.
Note: GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points
|Pavol Demitra||St. Louis||78||36||57||93|
|Zigmund Palffy||Los Angeles||76||37||48||85|
Note: GP = Games played; Min = Minutes played; GA = Goals against; GAA = Goals against average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts; SV% = Save percentage
|Marty Turco||Dallas Stars||55||3203||92||1.72||31||10||10||7||.932|
|Roman Cechmanek||Philadelphia Flyers||58||3350||102||1.83||33||15||10||6||.925|
|Dwayne Roloson||Minnesota Wild||50||2945||98||2.00||23||16||8||4||.927|
|Martin Brodeur||New Jersey Devils||73||4374||147||2.02||41||23||9||9||.914|
|Patrick Lalime||Ottawa Senators||67||3943||142||2.16||39||20||7||8||.911|
|Patrick Roy||Colorado Avalanche||63||3769||137||2.18||35||15||13||5||.920|
|Manny Legace||Detroit Red Wings||25||1406||51||2.18||14||5||4||0||.925|
|Tomas Vokoun||Nashville Predators||69||3974||146||2.20||25||31||11||3||.918|
|Robert Esche||Philadelphia Flyers||30||1638||60||2.20||12||9||3||2||.907|
|Manny Fernandez||Minnesota Wild||35||1979||75||2.24||19||13||2||2||.924|
Note: GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points
|Jamie Langenbrunner||New Jersey Devils||24||11||7||18|
|Scott Niedermayer||New Jersey Devils||24||2||16||18|
|Marian Gaborik||Minnesota Wild||18||9||8||17|
|John Madden||New Jersey Devils||24||6||10||16|
|Marian Hossa||Ottawa Senators||18||5||11||16|
|Mike Modano||Dallas Stars||12||5||10||15|
|Jeff Friesen||New Jersey Devils||24||10||4||14|
|Markus Naslund||Vancouver Canucks||14||5||9||14|
|Sergei Zubov||Dallas Stars||12||4||10||14|
|Andrew Brunette||Minnesota Wild||18||7||6||13|
|Wes Walz||Minnesota Wild||18||7||6||13|
- Atlanta Thrashers: Curt Fraser, Don Waddell and Bob Hartley
- Boston Bruins: Robbie Ftorek and Mike O'Connell
- Buffalo Sabres: Lindy Ruff
- Carolina Hurricanes: Paul Maurice
- Florida Panthers: Mike Keenan
- Montreal Canadiens: Michel Therrien and Claude Julien
- New Jersey Devils: Pat Burns
- New York Islanders: Peter Laviolette
- New York Rangers: Bryan Trottier and Glen Sather
- Ottawa Senators: Jacques Martin
- Philadelphia Flyers: Ken Hitchcock
- Pittsburgh Penguins: Rick Kehoe
- Tampa Bay Lightning: John Tortorella
- Toronto Maple Leafs: Pat Quinn
- Washington Capitals: Bruce Cassidy
- Mighty Ducks of Anaheim: Mike Babcock
- Calgary Flames: Greg Gilbert, Al MacNeil and Darryl Sutter
- Chicago Blackhawks: Brian Sutter
- Colorado Avalanche: Bob Hartley and Tony Granato
- Columbus Blue Jackets: Dave King and Doug MacLean
- Dallas Stars: Dave Tippett
- Detroit Red Wings: Dave Lewis
- Edmonton Oilers: Craig MacTavish
- Los Angeles Kings: Andy Murray
- Minnesota Wild: Jacques Lemaire
- Nashville Predators: Barry Trotz
- Phoenix Coyotes: Bobby Francis
- San Jose Sharks: Darryl Sutter, Cap Raeder and Ron Wilson
- St. Louis Blues: Joel Quenneville
- Vancouver Canucks: Marc Crawford
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 2002–03 (listed with their first team):
- Patrick Sharp, Philadelphia Flyers
- Martin Gerber, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
- Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
- Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
- Jordan Leopold, Calgary Flames
- Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets
- Steve Ott, Dallas Stars
- Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
- Ales Hemsky, Edmonton Oilers
- Jarret Stoll, Edmonton Oilers
- Jay Bouwmeester, Florida Panthers
- Alexander Frolov, Los Angeles Kings
- Cristobal Huet, Los Angeles Kings
- Joe Corvo, Los Angeles Kings
- Mike Cammalleri, Los Angeles Kings
- Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Minnesota Wild
- Francois Beauchemin, Montreal Canadiens
- Anton Volchenkov, Ottawa Senators
- Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators
- Ray Emery, Ottawa Senators
- Dennis Seidenberg, Philadelphia Flyers
- Jonathan Cheechoo, San Jose Sharks
- Matt Stajan, Toronto Maple Leafs
The following is a list of players of note who played their last NHL game in 2002–03, listed with their team:
|Tom Barrasso||St. Louis Blues||2-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Olympic silver medalist, 3-time NHL All-Star, Calder Memorial Trophy winner, Vezina Trophy winner, William M. Jennings Trophy winner.|
|Craig Berube||Calgary Flames||Over 1000 games played.|
|Pavel Bure||New York Rangers||Olympic silver and bronze medalist, 7-time NHL All-Star, 2-time Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner, Calder Memorial Trophy winner.|
|Sylvain Cote||Washington Capitals||Over 1100 games played.|
|Ken Daneyko||New Jersey Devils||3-time Stanley Cup champion with the Devils, Bill Masterton Trophy winner, over 1200 games played.|
|Adam Deadmarsh||Los Angeles Kings||1-time Stanley Cup champion with the Colorado Avalanche, Olympic silver medalist.|
|Kevin Dineen||Columbus Blue Jackets||Over 1100 games played.|
|Theoren Fleury||Chicago Blackhawks||1-time Stanley Cup champion with the Calgary Flames, Olympic gold medalist, 7-time NHL All-Star, over 1000 games played.|
|Doug Gilmour||Toronto Maple Leafs||1-time Stanley Cup champion with the Calgary Flames, 2-time NHL All-Star, Frank J. Selke Trophy winner, over 1400 games played.|
|Adam Graves||San Jose Sharks||2-time Stanley Cup champion with the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers, Bill Masterton Trophy winner, King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner, over 1100 games played.|
|Phil Housley||Toronto Maple Leafs||Olympic silver medalist, 7-time NHL All-Star, over 1400 games played.|
|Uwe Krupp||Atlanta Thrashers||2-time Stanley Cup champion with the Colorado Avanlanche and Detroit Red Wings, 2-time NHL All-Star.|
|Kirk Muller||Dallas Stars||1-time Stanley Cup champion with the Montreal Canadiens, over 1300 games played.|
|Shjon Podein||St. Louis Blues||1-time Stanley Cup champion with the Colorado Avalanche, King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner.|
|Paul Ranheim||Phoenix Coyotes||Over 1000 games played.|
|Mike Richter||New York Rangers||1-time Stanley Cup champion with the Rangers, 2-time Olympic silver medalist, 2-time NHL All-Star.|
|Patrick Roy||Colorado Avalanche||4-time Stanley Cup champion with the Montreal Canadiens and Avalanche, 11-time NHL All-Star, 5-time William M. Jennings Trophy winner, 3-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner, 3-time Vezina Trophy winner, over 1000 games played.|
|Richard Smehlik||New Jersey Devils||1-time Stanley Cup champion with the Devils, Olympic gold and bronze medalist.|
2003 trade deadline
Trading deadline: March 11, 2003. Here is a list of major trades for the 2002–03 NHL trade deadline:
- March 11, 2003: Anaheim traded D Mike Commodore and G Jean-Francois Damphousse to Calgary for C Rob Niedermayer.
- March 11, 2003: Chicago traded D Phil Housley to Toronto for Calgary's fourth-round pick in the 2003 Entry Draft (if acquired) or Toronto's ninth-round pick in 2003 and fourth-round pick in 2004.
- March 11, 2003 – Chicago Blackhawks trade Steve Thomas to Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for 2003 fifth round draft pick (Alexei Ivanov).
- March 11, 2003: Edmonton traded RW Anson Carter and D Ales Pisa to NY Rangers for RW Radek Dvorak and D Cory Cross.
- March 11, 2003: Edmonton traded D Janne Niinimaa and a conditional second-round pick in the 2003 Entry Draft to NY Islanders for LW Brad Isbister and LW Raffi Torres.
- March 11, 2003: Florida traded RW Valeri Bure and a conditional pick in the 2004 Entry Draft to St. Louis for D Mike Van Ryn.
- March 11, 2003: Los Angeles traded D Mathieu Schneider to Detroit for C Sean Avery, D Maxim Kuznetsov, Detroit's first-round pick in the 2003 Entry Draft and second-round pick in 2004.
- March 11, 2003: Los Angeles traded C Bryan Smolinski to Ottawa for the rights to D Tim Gleason and future considerations.
- March 11, 2003: Montreal traded C Doug Gilmour to Toronto for Toronto's sixth-round pick in the 2003 Entry Draft.
- March 11, 2003: NY Islanders traded G Chris Osgood and the Islanders' third-round pick in the 2003 Entry Draft to St. Louis for C Justin Papineau and St. Louis' second-round pick in the 2003 Entry Draft.
This was the first season of the league's Canadian national broadcast rights deals with CBC and TSN. CBC continued to air Saturday night Hockey Night in Canada regular season games, while TSN's coverage included Wednesday Night Hockey and other selected weeknights. Stanley Cup playoff coverage on cable expanded beyond the first round, with TSN allowed to televise all-U.S. games up to the Conference Finals. CBC still aired all playoff games involving Canadian teams, as well as exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals.
This was the fourth year of the league's five-year U.S. national broadcast rights deal with ESPN and ABC. ESPN and ESPN2 aired weeknight games throughout the regular season. ABC's coverage included the All-Star Game and five weeks worth of regional games on Saturday afternoons between January and March. During the first two rounds of the playoffs, ESPN and ESPN2 aired selected games, while ABC had Saturday regional telecasts. Each U.S. team's regional broadcaster produced local coverage of first and second round games (except for those games on ABC). ABC's weekend telecasts continued into the Conference Finals, while ESPN had the rest of the third round games. ESPN then aired the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals before the rest of the series shifted to ABC.
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs
- 2002 NHL Entry Draft
- 2002–03 NHL transactions
- 53rd National Hockey League All-Star Game
- NHL All-Star Game
- NHL All-Rookie Team
- 2002 in sports
- 2003 in sports
- Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto, ON: Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5.
- Hockey's Book of Firsts, p.19, James Duplacey, JG Press, ISBN 978-1-57215-037-9
- "2002–2003 Standings by Conference". National Hockey League. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2009). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book/2010. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 163.
- Dinger 2011, p. 156.
- Goaltender Tom Barrasso retired after playing 19 NHL...
- "Craig Berube Named Flyers Head Coach".
- Don Cherry says Bure retired early because 'he took chances'
- 1992-93 Washington Capitals Sylvain Cote Jersey
- HOCKEY; After 3 Stanley Cups, Devils' Daneyko Retires
- Adam Deadmarsh retires from NHL due to concussions
- "Kevin Dineen confirms retirement | CBC Sports". CBC News. November 6, 2002. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020.
- Johnson, George (September 28, 2009), "Fleury says he 'knew it was over'", Calgary Herald, archived from the original on October 3, 2009, retrieved 2009-10-10
- "Doug Gilmour announces retirement | CBC Sports". CBC News. May 12, 2001. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020.
- Rangers retire Adam Graves' No. 9 jersey
- HERE'S WHY IT TOOK SO LONG FOR HOUSLEY TO MAKE HHOF GRADE
- Uwe Krupp
- "Muller returning to Habs as associate coach | CBC Sports". CBC News. June 3, 2016. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020.
- Where are they now: Shjon Podein
- Paul S. Ranheim
- HOCKEY; After 2 Concussions, Richter Is Forced to Retire
- ROY SAYS HE'S 'COMING HOME' AS NO. 33 JERSEY IS RETIRED AT BELL CENTRE
- Richard Smehlik
- NHL trade deadline: Deals since 1980 | Habs Inside/Out Archived February 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine