QMJHL fans will have all the more reason to closely follow the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs as over three dozen former players and coaches are all set to begin their chase for the Cup. No less than 16 of the 18 teams in the QMJHL can count a former member of their club in this year’s playoffs, a group that already boasts 16 Stanley Cup rings.
Of the 16 teams in this year’s NHL playoffs, 14 of them include at least one QMJHL alum. Leading the way with six are the Ottawa Senators (Mike Hoffman, Derrick Brassard, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Alexandre Burrows, Chris DiDomenico and head coach Guy Boucher) and right behind them are the Montreal Canadiens with five (Philippe Danault, Alexander Radulov, Paul Byron, Nathan Beaulieu and head coach Claude Julien).
A goalie and a head coach meanwhile share the honour for the most playoff appearances in this year’s group. The Penguins’ Marc-Andre Fleury (Cape Breton 2000-04) is making his 11th playoff appearance this spring as is Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault. Vigneault, of course, played for the Hull Olympiques and the Trois-Rivieres Draveurs (1977-81) and then coached these two teams as well as the Beauport Harfangs and PEI Rocket between 1986 and 2005.
At the other end of the spectrum are six former QMJHLers who are set to make their playoff debuts, a list that includes the Sens’ DiDomenico (St. John and Drummondville 2006-10), Danault (Victoriaville and Moncton 2009-13) and Byron (Gatineau 2006-09) of the Canadiens, the Blues’ Ivan Barbashev (Moncton 2012-15), the Blue Jackets’ Lucas Sedlak (Chicoutimi 2012-15) and the Sharks’ Timo Meier (Halifax and Rouyn-Noranda 2013-16).
Embarking on his 10th NHL playoff run is two-time Stanley Cup champion Sidney Crosby (Rimouski 2003-05) of the Penguins leads active QMJHL alums in career playoff games played (124), points (137), goals (49) and game-winning goals (9). His teammate Fleury leads active former QMJHL goalies in games (116) and wins (53).
On the all-time list, Raymond Bourque (Trois-Rivières/Sorel/Verdun 1976-79) leads the way with 180 points in 214 NHL playoff games. Claude Lemieux (Trois-Rivières/ Verdun 1982-84) leads in playoff games played (234) and game-winning goals (19) while Mike Bossy (Laval 1972-77) leads in playoff goals (85).
In the crease, none other than Patrick Roy (Granby 1982-85) leads the way for career NHL playoff games played (247) and wins (151).
Among former QMJHL head coaches, Pat Burns (Hull 1984-87) leads the way for NHL playoff games coached (149) and wins (78). Meanwhile Canadiens’ head coach Claude Julien (Hull 1996-97) is the only coach in this group to have won both the Memorial Cup (Hull in 1997) and the Stanley Cup (Boston in 2011).
As for QMJHL teams with the most players in this year’s NHL playoffs, that honour goes to the Moncton Wildcats with eight players (Danault, Barbashev, Dmitry Jaskin in St. Louis, Brad Marchand in Boston, David Savard in Columbus, Corey Crawford and Johnny Oduya in Chicago and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau in Nashville), while the Olympiques and Sea Dogs boast six apiece.
Here is the complete list of QMJHL alumni in the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs:
Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers
MTL – Philippe Danault (VIC/MON 2009-13); Alexander Radulov (QUE 2004-06); Paul Byron (GAT 2006-09); Nathan Beaulieu (SNB 2008-12); Claude Julien (Hull)
NYR – Alain Vigneault (Trois-Rivières, Hull, Beauport, I.P.-É.)
Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators
BOS – Patrice Bergeron (BAT 2001-03); David Krejci (GAT 2004-06); Brad Marchand (MON/VDO/HAL 2004-08)
OTT – Mike Hoffman (GAT/DRU/SNB 2007-10); Derrick Brassard (DRU 2003-07); Jean-Gabriel Pageau (GAT/CHI 2009-12); Alexandre Burrows (SHA 2000-02); Chris DiDomenico (2006-10); Guy Boucher (ROU/RIM/DRU)
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
CLB – Lucas Sedlak (CHI 2011-13); David Savard (BAC/MON 2007-10)
PIT – Sidney Crosby (PIT 2003-05); Kristopher Letang (VDO 2004-06); Marc-André Fleury (CAP 2000-04)
Calgary Flames vs. Anaheim Ducks
CGY – Michael Frolik (RIM 2006-08);
ANA – Jonathan Bernier (Lewiston 2004-08); Antoine Vermette (QUE/VIC 1998-2002); Simon Després (SNB 2007-11)
Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks
EDM – David Desharnais (CHI 2003-07)
SJ – Timo Meier (HAL/ROU 2013-16); Marc-Édouard Vlasic (QUE 2003-06)
Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks
NAS – Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (MON/CHI/SHE 2000-03)
CHI – Corey Crawford (MON 2001-03); Johnny Oduya (MON/VIC 2000-01); Tomas Jurco (SNB 2009-12)
Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues
MIN – Jason Pominville (SHA 1998-2002); Charlie Coyle (SNB 2011-12); Marco Scandella (VDO 2007-10)
STL – Ivan Barbashev (MON 2012-15); Dmitry Jaskin (MON 2012-13); Jake Allen (St John’s/Montréal/DRU 2007-10); David Perron (Lewiston 2006-07)