1991 Stanley Cup Finals

The 1991 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1990–91 season, and the culmination of the 1991 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested by the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Minnesota North Stars. It was the Penguins' first Final series appearance and their first Stanley Cup victory. This is the first and only (through 2018) Stanley Cup Final to feature two teams from the expansion group of 1967. It was Minnesota's second Final series appearance, and their last before the franchise's relocation to Dallas two years later. It was also the first time since 1983 that an American franchise would win the Stanley Cup. This was the first all-American finals since 1981, which also featured the North Stars in their first appearance.

This was also the first final since 1982 not to feature either the Calgary Flames or the Edmonton Oilers, and the first since 1981 not contested by a team from Western Canada.

The Finals and the NHL season ended on May 25, marking the last time to date that the Stanley Cup playoffs have not extended into the month of June.

1991 Stanley Cup Finals
Stanley Cup 1991 Logo
123456 Total
Pittsburgh Penguins 441568 4
Minnesota North Stars 513340 2
Location(s)Pittsburgh: Civic Arena (1, 2, 5)
Bloomington: Met Center (3, 4, 6)
CoachesPittsburgh: Bob Johnson
Minnesota: Bob Gainey
CaptainsPittsburgh: Mario Lemieux
Minnesota: Curt Giles[1]
RefereesDon Koharski (1, 6)
Andy Van Hellemond (2, 4)
Kerry Fraser (3, 5)
DatesMay 15 – May 25
MVPMario Lemieux (Penguins)
Series-winning goalUlf Samuelsson (2:00, first)
NetworksCBC (Canada-English)
SRC (Canada-French)
SportsChannel America (United States)
KBL (Pittsburgh Area, Games 1, 2 and 5)
KDKA (Pittsburgh Area, Games 3, 4 and 6)
KMSP-TV Channel 9 (Minnesota Area, Games 1, 2 and 5)
Midwest Sports Channel (Pay-Per-View) (Minnesota Area, Games 3, 4 and 6)
AnnouncersBob Cole, Harry Neale and Dick Irvin, Jr. (CBC)
Claude Quenneville and Gilles Tremblay (SRC)
Jiggs McDonald and Bill Clement (SC America)
Mike Lange and Paul Steigerwald (KBL and KDKA)
Doug McLeod and Lou Nanne (KMSP and MSC PPV Minnesota)

Paths to the Finals

Minnesota defeated the first-place overall Chicago Blackhawks 4–2, the second-place overall St. Louis Blues 4–2, and the defending Cup champion Edmonton Oilers 4–1 to advance to the Finals. The North Stars became the first American team and first Norris Division team to win the Campbell Conference since the league re-aligned the divisions and adopted a divisional-based playoff format in 1981.

Pittsburgh defeated the New Jersey Devils 4–3, the Washington Capitals 4–1 and the Boston Bruins 4–2.

Game summaries

Pittsburgh centre Mario Lemieux, despite missing a game due to a back injury, recorded twelve points in five games to lead all scorers and won the Conn Smythe Trophy. One of the most famous goals in NHL history was the goal he made in the second period of the second game. Receiving the puck between the Penguins blue line and the centre line, (on a delayed penalty call to Doug Smail) Lemieux skated solo into the North Stars zone facing two defensemen (Shawn Chambers and Neil Wilkinson) and the goalie (Jon Casey) by himself. Mario Lemieux skirted the puck through the legs of Shawn Chambers, skated around Chambers, got the goalie Jon Casey to commit left (Lemieux's right), then switched the puck to his backhand side and slid the puck into the net before crashing into the net himself. The brief video of the goal has since been featured on recent Stanley Cup promo ads by the NHL.

Schedule and results

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Minnesota North Stars
Date Away Score Home Score Notes
May 15 Minnesota 5 Pittsburgh 4
May 17 Minnesota 1 Pittsburgh 4
May 19 Pittsburgh 1 Minnesota 3
May 21 Pittsburgh 5 Minnesota 3
May 23 Minnesota 4 Pittsburgh 6
May 25 Pittsburgh 8 Minnesota 0
Pittsburgh wins series 4–2
Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh)
wins Conn Smythe Trophy


In Canada, the series was televised in English on the CBC and in French on SRC.

In the United States, the series aired nationally on SportsChannel America. However, SportsChannel America's national coverage was blacked out in the Minnesota and Pittsburgh areas due to the local rights to North Stars and Penguins games in those respective TV markets. In Minnesota, KMSP-TV aired games one, two and five while the Midwest Sports Channel had games three, four, and six. In Pittsburgh, KBL televised games one, two and five while KDKA aired games three, four, and six.

Pittsburgh Penguins - 1991 Stanley Cup champions



Coaching and administrative staff:

Stanley Cup engraving

  • Jay Caufield* played only 23 games. His name was engraved on the Stanley Cup because he spent the whole season with Pittsburgh.
  • Barry Pederson (C) did not play a single game in the 1991 playoffs, but his name got engraved on the Stanley Cup and got a Stanley Cup ring because he played 46 games during the season.
  • Pierre McGuire, Les Binkley, John Gill, Charlie Hodge, Ralph Cox were with the team as scouts in 1990–91, but names were not included on the Stanley Cup that year. All five of these scouts were awarded Stanley Cup rings.
  • Randy Gilhen was the first German-born player to win the Stanley Cup, but grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Jim Paek was the first Korean-born hockey player to both play in the NHL, and have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.

Included on the team picture, but left off the Stanley Cup

  • #5 Gord Dineen (D - 9 games played), #20 Jamie Leach (RW - 7 games played), #18 Ken Priestlay (2 games played), did not qualify to be included on the Stanley Cup for playing rest of the season in minors.
  • #27 Gilbert Delorme (D) missed the whole season due to a car accident in the offseason.
  • #30 Bruce Racine was called up from the minors to serve as back-up to Frank Pietrangelo. He was dressed for last two games of round one, and first two games of round two. Both Wendell Young (who missed first three rounds due to injury), and Tom Barrasso (missed four games due to injury) were unable to play. Racine name was left off the Stanley Cup, because he had not played in the NHL - in fact, Racine has never played for Pittsburgh. His only NHL experience came in 1995-96 for the St. Louis Blues.

See also


  1. ^ Giles did not play in any of the games in the finals. Neal Broten served as acting captain
  • Total Stanley Cup. NHL. 2000.
  • Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Bolton, Ont: Fenn Pub. pp. 12, 50. ISBN 978-1-55168-261-7.
Preceded by
Edmonton Oilers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Stanley Cup Champions

Succeeded by
Pittsburgh Penguins
1990–91 Philadelphia Flyers season

The 1990–91 Philadelphia Flyers season was the Philadelphia Flyers 24th season in the National Hockey League (NHL). The Flyers missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

1991–92 Philadelphia Flyers season

The 1991–92 Philadelphia Flyers season was the Philadelphia Flyers 25th season in the National Hockey League (NHL). The Flyers hosted the 43rd NHL All-Star Game. They missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

1992 Stanley Cup Finals

The 1992 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1991–92 season, and the culmination of the 1992 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested by the Prince of Wales Conference and defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Clarence Campbell Conference champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks were appearing in their first Finals since 1973. After the Blackhawks jumped to an early 4–1 lead in the first game of the series, Mario Lemieux and the Penguins came back to win the game, sweep the series in four games, and win their second consecutive and second overall Stanley Cup. It was the 99th year of the Stanley Cup, and the first to extend into the month of June. It was the last final for Chicago Stadium as it closed in 1994.

1999 Stanley Cup Finals

The 1999 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1998–99 season, and the culmination of the 1999 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested by the Eastern Conference champion Buffalo Sabres and the Western Conference champion Dallas Stars. It was the 106th year of the Stanley Cup being contested. The Sabres were led by captain Michael Peca, coach Lindy Ruff and goalie Dominik Hasek. The Stars were led by captain Derian Hatcher, coach Ken Hitchcock and goalie Ed Belfour. It was the Sabres' second Stanley Cup Final appearance, the first being a loss to Philadelphia in 1975. It was the third appearance for the Stars' franchise, and their first since moving to Dallas from Minnesota in 1993. Minnesota (known at the time as the North Stars) lost in the Final to the NY Islanders in 1981 and to Pittsburgh in 1991. The Stars defeated the Sabres four games to two to win their first Stanley Cup, becoming the eighth post-1967 expansion team to earn a championship, and the first Southern team to win the Cup. This was the first time since 1994 that the Stanley Cup Finals did not end in a sweep.

This series is also remembered because of the controversial finish to game six, in which Stars forward Brett Hull scored the Cup-winning goal with his skate in the crease, which was against the rules at the time. The league allowed the goal to stand as it was ruled that Hull was turned into the crease while maintaining continuous possession. 1999 was the only year between 1995 and 2003 that neither the New Jersey Devils, the Colorado Avalanche nor the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup.

Andy Murray (ice hockey)

Andy Murray (born March 3, 1951) is the current head coach for the Western Michigan Broncos men's ice hockey team of the NCAA Division I National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). He is a former head coach of the Los Angeles Kings and the St. Louis Blues in the National Hockey League.

Murray has 20 years of NHL experience as an assistant or head coach. He has also coached at the junior, high school, and college levels, as well as in the North American minor leagues and European professional leagues.

Bob Johnson (ice hockey, born 1931)

Robert Norman "Badger Bob" Johnson (March 4, 1931 – November 26, 1991) was an American college, international, and professional ice hockey coach. He coached the Wisconsin Badgers men's ice hockey team from 1966 to 1982, where he led the Badgers to seven appearances at the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championships, including three titles. During his time as the head coach at Wisconsin, Johnson also coached the United States men's national ice hockey team at the 1976 Winter Olympics and seven other major championships, including the Canada Cup and IIHF World Championships. He then coached the Calgary Flames for five seasons that included a Stanley Cup Finals loss in 1986. Johnson achieved the peak of his professional coaching career in his only season as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990–91, when the Penguins won the 1991 Stanley Cup Finals, becoming the second American-born coach to win it and the first in 53 years. In August 1991, following hospitalization due to a brain aneurysm, Johnson was diagnosed with brain cancer. He died on November 26 of the same year.

Johnson was well known amongst players and fans for his enthusiasm and unflappable optimism, immortalized through his famous catchphrase "It's a great day for hockey!" .

Cinderella (sports)

In sports, the terms Cinderella, "Cinderella story", and Cinderella team are used to refer to situations in which competitors achieve far greater success than would reasonably have been expected. Cinderella stories tend to gain much media and fan attention as they move closer to the championship game at the end of the tournament. The term comes from Cinderella, a well-known European folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. The title character is a woman living in unfortunate circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune. In a sporting context the term has been used at least since 1939, but came into widespread usage in 1950, when the Disney movie came out that year, and in reference to City College of New York, the unexpected winners of the NCAA Men's Basketball championship also that year. The term was used by Bill Murray in the 1980 hit movie Caddyshack where he pretends as the announcer to his own golf fantasy: "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion."Referring somewhat inaccurately to the plot details of the classic Cinderella story, the media will debate whether the given "Cinderella" team or player will "turn into a pumpkin", i.e. fail to win the prize and then return to its former obscurity. In the fairy tale, it was the carriage that turned into a pumpkin at midnight, not Cinderella herself. Another popular term is "strike midnight", when a Cinderella team does finally get beaten.Prior to the widespread use of "Cinderella" in this way, the more common term for unexpected and dramatic success was "Miracle", as in the "Miracle Braves" of 1914, the "Miracle of Coogan's Bluff" in 1951, the "Miracle Mets" of 1969, and the "Miracle on Ice" in 1980.Cinderella teams are also referred to as a surprise package or surprise packet, and their success would be termed a fairy-tale run. A related concept is the giant-killer, which refers to a lesser competitor who defeats a favorite, reflecting the story of David and Goliath.

Curt Giles

Curtis Jon Giles (born November 30, 1958) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey defenceman.

Selected by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft, Giles had two tenures with the North Stars (1979–86 and 1987–91). During each, his steady defensive play helped guide the North Stars to appearances in the 1981 and 1991 Stanley Cup Finals. Giles also played for the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.

He had a portion of his left ring finger amputated on March 24, 1986 in order to compete in the 1986 Stanley Cup playoffs. The finger had a tumor in the bone and forced him to miss the end of the 1985-86 regular-season.He currently serves as the head hockey coach at Edina High School, Minnesota. His team won the state title in 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2019.

Gaétan Duchesne

Gaétan Joseph Pierre Duchesne (July 11, 1962 – April 16, 2007) was a professional Canadian ice hockey player.

Jon Casey

Jonathon James Casey (born March 29, 1962 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota) is an American former professional ice hockey goaltender.

Jon Casey was born in Grand Rapids Minnesota to James and Colleen Casey. He is the second of four children. He played college hockey for the University of North Dakota from 1980–1984 and was part of two NCAA National Championship teams in 1980 and 1982.

Casey spent most of his career with the Minnesota North Stars. In 1989-90, Casey tied Patrick Roy and Daren Puppa for the league lead in wins with 31. In 1993, he was a part of the Campbell Conference's roster at the 44th National Hockey League All-Star Game. Casey would also spend time with the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues.

Casey is best remembered for two famous moments when he was scored upon. The first, when Mario Lemieux split two North Stars defensemen (Neil Wilkinson and Shawn Chambers) and scored past Casey in the 1991 Stanley Cup finals. The second came in the 1996 Stanley Cup playoffs when Steve Yzerman scored the game-winning goal in 2OT of Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals with a long shot from the blue line.

Met Center

The Met Center was an indoor arena that stood in Bloomington, Minnesota, United States, a suburb of Minneapolis. The arena, which was completed in 1967 by Minnesota Ice, just to the north of Metropolitan Stadium, seated 15,000. It was best known as the home of the Minnesota North Stars of the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1967 to 1993. For its first 15 years, its official name was the Metropolitan Sports Center; the more familiar shorter name was adopted in 1982.

The Met's other tenants included the ABA's Minnesota Muskies, which played just one season before moving to Miami for the 1968-69 season. The league responded by moving the defending champion Pittsburgh Pipers to Bloomington, but the Pipers left to return to Pittsburgh after the season. The NASL's Minnesota Kicks played two indoor seasons at the Met from 1979 to 1981. The Minnesota Strikers of the Major Soccer League (MISL) played indoor soccer at the Met Center from 1984 to 1988. The Boys' High School Hockey Tournament was also held there from 1969 to 1975.

The arena also held entertainment-related shows, including the very first performance of Sesame Street Live in September 1980.


Minnesota ( (listen)) is a state in the Upper Midwest and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, and is known by the slogan the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". Its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord (French: Star of the North).

Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 22nd most populous of the U.S. states; nearly 60% of its residents live in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area (known as the "Twin Cities"). This area is the center of transportation, business, industry, education, and government, while being home to an internationally known arts community. The remainder of the state consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture; deciduous forests in the southeast, now partially cleared, farmed, and settled; and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation.

Minnesota was inhabited by various indigenous peoples for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. French explorers, missionaries, and fur traders began exploring the region in the 17th century, encountering the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe tribes. Much of what is today Minnesota was part of the vast French holding of Louisiana, which was purchased by the United States in 1803. Following several territorial reorganizations, Minnesota in its current form was admitted as the country's 32nd state on May 11, 1858. Like many Midwestern states, it remained sparsely populated and centered on lumber and agriculture. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of European immigrants, mainly from Scandinavia and Germany, began to settle the state, which remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture.

In recent decades, immigration from Asia, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America has broadened its demographic and cultural composition. The state's economy has heavily diversified, shifting from traditional activities such as agriculture and resource extraction to services and finance. Minnesota's standard of living index is among the highest in the United States, and the state is also among the best-educated and wealthiest in the nation.

Minnesota North Stars

The Minnesota North Stars were a professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League (NHL) for 26 seasons, from 1967 to 1993. The North Stars played their home games at the Met Center in Bloomington, and the team's colors for most of its history were green, yellow, gold and white. The North Stars played 2,062 regular season games and made the NHL playoffs 17 times, including two Stanley Cup Finals appearances. In the fall of 1993, the franchise moved to Dallas, and is now known as the Dallas Stars.

National Hockey League rivalries

Rivalries in the National Hockey League have occurred between many teams and cities. Rivalries have arisen for many different reasons, the primary ones including geographic proximity, familiarity with opponents, on-ice incidents, and cultural, linguistic, or national pride.

The importance of these various factors has varied widely throughout the history of the league.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins (colloquially known as the Pens) are a professional ice hockey team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Penguins are one of two NHL franchises in Pennsylvania, the other being the Philadelphia Flyers. The cities' proximity has led to a rivalry known as the "Battle of Pennsylvania". The club is owned by Mario Lemieux and Ronald Burkle, who purchased the Penguins in 1999 and brought the club out of bankruptcy.

The franchise was founded in 1967 as one of the first expansion teams during the league's original expansion from six to twelve teams. The Penguins played in the Civic Arena, also known as The Igloo, from the time of their inception through the end of the 2009–10 season, when they moved to the Consol Energy Center, which was later renamed PPG Paints Arena. The 1992–93 Penguins won the franchise's first-ever Presidents' Trophy for being the team with the most points at the end of the regular season. In addition to their eight division titles, they have qualified for six Stanley Cup Finals, winning the Stanley Cup five times – in 1991, 1992, 2009, 2016, and 2017. Along with the Edmonton Oilers, the Penguins are tied for the most Stanley Cup championships among non-Original Six teams and sixth overall. With their Stanley Cup wins in 2016 and 2017, the Penguins became the first back-to-back champions in 19 years (since the 1997–98 Detroit Red Wings) and the first team to do so since the introduction of the NHL salary cap. They also became the fifth team to accomplish this feat multiple times.

Sports in Minneapolis–Saint Paul

Sports in Minneapolis–Saint Paul includes a number of teams.

The Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Vikings arrived in Minnesota in 1961. The Twins were formed when the Washington Senators of the American League relocated to Minnesota and the Vikings were an NFL expansion team. Both teams played outdoors in the open air Metropolitan Stadium in the suburb of Bloomington for twenty one years before moving to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis in 1982.

The Twins have won 10 division titles (1969, 1970, 1987, 1991, 2002–04, 2006, 2009, and 2010), 3 American League Pennants (1965, 1987 and 1991) and the World Series in 1987 and 1991. The Twins moved to Target Field in Minneapolis in 2010.

The Vikings have played in four Super Bowls - Super Bowl IV in 1970, Super Bowl VIII in 1974, Super Bowl IX in 1975 and Super Bowl XI in 1977. They moved into U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis in 2016.

The Minnesota Timberwolves brought NBA basketball back to Minneapolis in 1989 after a 29-year absence. The Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1960. The Timberwolves play in the Target Center. Women's basketball was added in 1999 with the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA.

The Minnesota Wild of the NHL began play in 2000 in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center. That followed a 7-year drought after the Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas in 1993.

Minnesota United FC of MLS currently play at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. In 2019, they will move into their permanent home at Allianz Field in St. Paul. They previously played in the NASL.

The Minnesota Whitecaps, formerly of the Western Women's Hockey League (WWHL), joined the professional National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) in 2018. The Whitecaps play at TRIA Rink in St. Paul.

Major professional sporting events hosted by the Twin Cities include the 1965, 1985 and 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Games, the 1965, 1987 and 1991 World Series, 1981 and 1991 Stanley Cup Finals, Super Bowl XXVI in 1992 and Super Bowl LII in 2018.

Sports in Minnesota

Sports in Minnesota include professional teams in all major sports, Olympic Games contenders and medalists, especially in the Winter Olympics, collegiate teams in major and small-school conferences and associations and active amateur teams and individual sports. The State of Minnesota has a team in all five major professional leagues (Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer). Along with professional sports, there are numerous collegiate teams including the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in the NCAA Division I, Minnesota State Mavericks in NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II and many others across the Minnesota public and private colleges and universities.

Sports in the United States by state

Sports in the United States are an important part of American culture. Baseball is the most popular sport to watch in the United States, followed by american football, basketball, hockey, and soccer. Tennis, golf, wrestling, auto racing, arena football, field lacrosse, box lacrosse and volleyball are also popular sports in the country.

Based on revenue, the four major professional sports leagues in the United States are Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL). The market for professional sports in the United States is roughly $69 billion, roughly 50% larger than that of all of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa combined. All four enjoy wide-ranging domestic media coverage and are considered the preeminent leagues in their respective sports in the world, although American football does not have a substantial following in other nations. Three of those leagues have teams that represent Canadian cities, and all four are the most financially lucrative sports leagues of their sport. Major League Soccer (MLS), which also includes teams based in Canada, is sometimes included in a "top five" of leagues.

Professional teams in all major sports in the United States operate as franchises within a league, meaning that a team may move to a different city if the team's owners believe there would be a financial benefit, but franchise moves are usually subject to some form of league-level approval. All major sports leagues use a similar type of regular-season schedule with a post-season playoff tournament. In addition to the major league–level organizations, several sports also have professional minor leagues, active in smaller cities across the country. As in Canada and Australia, sports leagues in the United States do not practice promotion and relegation, unlike many sports leagues in Europe.

Sports are particularly associated with education in the United States, with most high schools and universities having organized sports, and this is a unique sporting footprint for the U.S. College sports competitions play an important role in the American sporting culture, and college basketball and college football are as popular as professional sports in some parts of the country. The major sanctioning body for college sports is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Unlike most other nations, the United States government does not provide funding for sports nor for the United States Olympic Committee.

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