The 2002 Stanley Cup Finals was the NHL championship best-of-seven series of the 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs contested by the Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings and the Eastern Conference champion Carolina Hurricanes. It was Detroit's twenty-second appearance in the Final, their previous appearance being a win in 1998. It was Carolina's first appearance in the Final in franchise history. Detroit defeated Carolina in five games to win their tenth Stanley Cup championship in franchise history. The Red Wings became the first team in NHL history to win the Cup after starting the playoffs with two losses at home. After losing the first two games in the Conference Quarterfinals to the Vancouver Canucks, the Red Wings won 16 of their next 21 games en route to win their third Cup since 1997 for coach Scotty Bowman. Bowman won his ninth Cup as a head coach (he had previously won it in that capacity with the Montreal Canadiens in 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979, with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992, and with Detroit in 1997 and 1998), surpassing the mark he held jointly with Montreal coach Toe Blake.
This was the first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals for the Hurricanes (formerly the Hartford Whalers), who made an unlikely run to the Cup. While they were seeded third as a division winner, in actuality they had the second-lowest point total (91) for a playoff team not only in the Eastern Conference, but also the whole NHL (ahead of only Montreal). In their whole NHL history, they had only won one playoff series prior to this season (as the Whalers in 1986), and had streaks of five and six seasons in which they did not make the playoffs. With the Red Wings having won the Presidents' Trophy with 116 points, the 25-point differential was the largest between two teams in a Stanley Cup Finals since 1994 (27 points between New York Rangers (112) and the Canucks (85)).
The Hurricanes stunned the Red Wings in the first game on the strength of Ron Francis's overtime goal. That would be Carolina's only win in the series as the Red Wings won four straight including a triple overtime win in game three that proved to be the turning point in the series. The Cup win would be the first for many veterans on the team including goaltender Dominik Hašek, forward Luc Robitaille, and defensemen Steve Duchesne and Fredrik Olausson. It also marked the second Cup win for Chris Chelios, sixteen years after he first won the Cup as a member of the Montreal Canadiens in 1986.
Mark Leach (Scout), Joe McDonnell (Scout), Glenn Merkosky (Scout).
Included on the team picture, but left off the Stanley Cup
#32 Maxim Kuznetsov played in 39 games (2 less than the minimum), but was not dressed in the playoffs. He spent whole season with Detroit, but Detroit did not request his name be included on the Stanley Cup. Detroit wanted to include 30 non players, while still leaving many more non players off. Each NHL team is to dress 20 out a 23 team roster for each games. In 2002 only 22 players names were added to the Stanley Cup.
Tim Abbott† (Asst. Equipment Manager), Sergei Tchekmarev† (Masseur), John Remejes† (Dressing Room Asst.),
#4 Uwe Krupp†(D - missed 60 games injured, played 8 regular season games, and 2 playoff games),
#42 Sean Avery† (C - 36 games in minors, 36 games for Detroit),
#3 Jesse Wallin†(D - 5 games in minors, 15 games for Detroit, missed most of the season injured),
#15 Ladislav Kohn†(RW- 4 games played, 40 games played in Europe)
#37 Jason Elliot† was called up from the minors to serve as a practice goalie for Detroit, during the playoffs. Jason Elliot never played in the NHL. He retired after 2006-07 season while playing in Germany. - All 9 members were awarded the Stanley Cup Rings.
&-played both center and wing due to injuries on the team.
&&-Sergei Fedorov played a few games at defense during the regular season due several players injured at that position. Fedorov played Center and Right Wing regularly during the season.
Stanley Cup engraving
Manny Legace's name was misspelled MANNY LEGECE with an "E" instead of an "A". An "A" was stamped over the second "E" twice to correct this mistake.
Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan became the second and third players to win the Olympic Gold Medal in hockey (with team Canada) and the Stanley Cup (with Detroit) in the Same Year (See 1980 Ken Morrow)
Chris Chelios and Brett Hull became the first players to win an Olympic Silver medal (with team United States) and the Stanley Cup (with Detroit) in the same year.
10 Players (Steve Yzerman, Igor Larionov, Sergei Fedorov, Brendan Shanahan, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty, Tomas Holmstrom, Nicklas Lidstrom, & Mathieu Dandenault) won their third Stanley Cup with Detroit.
^Robinson, Alan (June 5, 2002). "Carolina canes Detroit, forcing fans to stow brooms". Associated Press. Carolina finished 25 points behind Detroit in the regular season, the largest gap in the Finals since the Rangers' 27-point edge over Vancouver in 1994.