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.
|2002–03 NHL season|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||October 9, 2002 – June 9, 2003|
|Number of games||82|
|Number of teams||30|
|Top draft pick||Rick Nash|
|Picked by||Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Presidents' Trophy||Ottawa Senators|
|Season MVP||Peter Forsberg (Avalanche)|
|Top scorer||Peter Forsberg (Avalanche)|
|Eastern champions||New Jersey Devils|
|Eastern runners-up||Ottawa Senators|
|Western champions||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim|
|Western runners-up||Minnesota Wild|
|Playoffs MVP||Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Mighty Ducks)|
|Champions||New Jersey Devils|
|Runners-up||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim|
As always, 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 Final 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 lead the Western Conference and Ottawa lead 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.
Note: All dates in 2003.
The 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs was one of shocking upsets in the Western Conference and hard fought battles in the Eastern Conference.
The most closely watched series in the first round was that between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers. Two teams built around physical play with high salary and front-page trade deadline acquisitions. The series did not disappoint and the Flyers ousted the Leafs in seven games. The Senators easily dispatched the New York Islanders, who had traded away their starting goaltender (Chris Osgood) before the playoffs. Despite losing the first two games, Tampa Bay rallied and defeated their division rival the Washington Capitals. New Jersey easily defeated the Boston Bruins, effectively shutting down star player Joe Thornton.
In the west, the first round was one of unmitigated shock to all hockey watchers. The defending champions and perennial cup favourite Detroit Red Wings were swept by the underdog Mighty Ducks of Anaheim behind the goaltending of Jean-Sebastien Giguere. After losing three out of the first four games, the Minnesota Wild came back and defeated the powerhouse Colorado Avalanche in game seven. Vancouver also lost three of its first four games with the St. Louis Blues, but then rallied and won game seven. The only round that surprised no one was round seven of the Dallas Stars–Edmonton Oilers grudge match that saw the first place Stars oust the Oilers with only some difficulty.
The second round in the west brought more upsets. The Minnesota Wild again fell 3–1 behind while playing Vancouver, but rallied and defeated them in seven games. Giguère's stellar goaltending continued to triumph as the Ducks ousted the Stars in six games. The Western Conference final was a meeting of two dark horse teams, but the superb goaltending of Giguère and the Ducks triumphed over the tight checking of the Minnesota Wild. This was the first time since 1994 that a team other than Detroit, Colorado, or Dallas had won the Western conference and earned a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. These playoffs also signaled an end to the dominance of the afore mentioned three teams and shift the balance of power in the Western conference towards teams like Anaheim and San Jose. Of Detroit, Colorado, and Dallas only Detroit has returned to the Stanley Cup Final since, winning the Stanley Cup in 2008 and losing the Final to Pittsburgh in 2009.
The east was far more predictable as Tampa Bay's youth showed when playing the grizzled veterans of the New Jersey Devils and the Ottawa Senators dispatched a tired Flyers team for the second year in a row. The Eastern Conference finals were a contrast of styles between the offensively explosive Senators and the defense minded Devils. The Devils came out to an early lead in the series, Ottawa rallied, winning games five and six on the energizing play of rookie Jason Spezza, but then the Devils regained their form as goaltender Martin Brodeur helped them win game seven and advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in four years.
The Stanley Cup Final was a duel between two elite goaltenders, but after seven games the Devils triumphed to win their third Cup in seven years. The series also saw Scott Stevens land one of his prototypical crushing hits on Anaheim captain Paul Kariya, similar to the one that had knocked out Eric Lindros, then of the Flyers in the 2000 Playoffs. Unlike Lindros, Kariya returned to the game only ten minutes later and scored.
|Anaheim vs. New Jersey|
|May 27||Anaheim 0||3 New Jersey|
|May 29||Anaheim 0||3 New Jersey|
|May 31||New Jersey 2||3 Anaheim||OT|
|June 2||New Jersey 0||1 Anaheim||OT|
|June 5||Anaheim 3||6 New Jersey|
|June 7||New Jersey 2||5 Anaheim|
|June 9||Anaheim 0||3 New Jersey|
|New Jersey wins series|
4–3 and Stanley Cup
|Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Anaheim)|
wins Conn Smythe Trophy
|Conference Quarterfinals||Conference Semifinals||Conference Finals||Stanley Cup Finals|
|2||New Jersey||4||Eastern Conference|
|(Pairings are re-seeded after the first round.)|
The NHL Awards presentation took place in Toronto.
|Presidents' Trophy:||Ottawa Senators|
|Prince of Wales Trophy:||New Jersey Devils|
|Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim|
|Art Ross Trophy:||Peter Forsberg, Colorado Avalanche|
|Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy:||Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings|
|Calder Memorial Trophy:||Barret Jackman, St. Louis Blues|
|Conn Smythe Trophy:||Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim|
|Frank J. Selke Trophy:||Jere Lehtinen, Dallas Stars|
|Hart Memorial Trophy:||Peter Forsberg, Colorado Avalanche|
|Jack Adams Award:||Jacques Lemaire, Minnesota Wild|
|James Norris Memorial Trophy:||Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings|
|King Clancy Memorial Trophy:||Brendan Shanahan, Detroit Red Wings|
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:||Alexander Mogilny, Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Lester B. Pearson Award:||Markus Naslund, Vancouver Canucks|
|Lester Patrick Trophy:||Willie O'Ree, Ray Bourque, Ron DeGregorio|
|Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy:||Milan Hejduk, Colorado Avalanche|
|NHL Plus/Minus Award:||Peter Forsberg & Milan Hejduk, Colorado Avalanche|
|Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award:||Marty Turco, Dallas Stars|
|Vezina Trophy:||Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils|
|William M. Jennings Trophy:||Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils;|
Roman Cechmanek and Robert Esche, Philadelphia Flyers
|First team||Position||Second team|
|Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils||G||Marty Turco, Dallas Stars|
|Al MacInnis, St. Louis Blues||D||Sergei Gonchar, Washington Capitals|
|Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings||D||Derian Hatcher, Dallas Stars|
|Peter Forsberg, Colorado Avalanche||C||Joe Thornton, Boston Bruins|
|Todd Bertuzzi, Vancouver Canucks||RW||Milan Hejduk, Colorado Avalanche|
|Markus Naslund, Vancouver Canucks||LW||Paul Kariya, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim|
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
|Marty Turco||Dallas Stars||55||3203||92||1.72||31||10||10||7|
|Roman Cechmanek||Philadelphia Flyers||58||3350||102||1.83||33||15||10||6|
|Dwayne Roloson||Minnesota Wild||50||2945||98||2.00||23||16||8||4|
|Martin Brodeur||New Jersey Devils||73||4374||147||2.02||41||23||9||9|
|Patrick Lalime||Ottawa Senators||67||3943||142||2.16||39||20||7||8|
|Patrick Roy||Colorado Avalanche||63||3769||137||2.18||35||15||13||5|
|Manny Legace||Detroit Red Wings||25||1406||51||2.18||14||5||4||0|
|Tomas Vokoun||Nashville Predators||69||3974||146||2.20||25||31||11||3|
|Robert Esche||Philadelphia Flyers||30||1638||60||2.20||12||9||3||2|
|Manny Fernandez||Minnesota Wild||35||1979||75||2.24||19||13||2||2|
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|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 2002–03 (listed with their first team):
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, 4-time Molson Cup winner, over 1000 games played.|
|Brent Gilchrist||Nashville Predators||1-time Stanley Cup champion with the Detroit Red Wings.|
|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.|
|Sylvain Lefebvre||New York Rangers||1-time Stanley Cup champion with the Colorado Avalanche.|
|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, Olympic silver medalist, 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.|
For complete list, see NHL trade deadline.
The 2002 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft was held June 22–23 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Two hundred and ninety-one players were drafted in total: 35 from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL); 23 from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL); 43 from the Western Hockey League (WHL); 41 from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hockey conferences; six from U.S. high schools and 110 from outside North America.2002–03 Atlanta Thrashers season
The 2002–03 Atlanta Thrashers season was the Thrashers' fourth season. The Thrashers placed third in the Southeast, eleventh in the East to miss the playoffs.2002–03 Boston Bruins season
The 2002–03 Boston Bruins season was the Boston Bruins's 79th season of operation.2002–03 Buffalo Sabres season
The 2002–03 Buffalo Sabres season was the 33rd season of operation for the National Hockey League franchise that was established on May 22, 1970. The 72 points accumulated in the regular season was the lowest total for the franchise since the 1986–87 season.2002–03 Chicago Blackhawks season
The 2002–03 Chicago Blackhawks season was the Chicago Blackhawks' 77th season of operation. Finishing ninth in the Western Conference, they failed to qualify for the playoffs.2002–03 Detroit Red Wings season
The 2002–03 Detroit Red Wings season was the 77th National Hockey League season in Detroit, Michigan. The Red Wings scored 110 points, winning the Central Division, but just one point behind the Dallas Stars for the Western Conference's first seed.
Coming off their latest Stanley Cup victory, the Red Wings started looking towards the future. Dominik Hasek and Scotty Bowman had retired over the summer and captain Steve Yzerman was out for the first 66 games of the regular season. The weight of the team fell on Sergei Fedorov and veteran Brett Hull, who helped the Red Wings score the most goals of any team in the regular season. As newly acquired goaltender Curtis Joseph held steady in net, two more pieces of the Stanley Cup team would be traded over the course of the year. Maxim Kuznetsov and Sean Avery left in a trade for the Los Angeles Kings' Mathieu Schneider right before the trade deadline in an effort to push the Wings towards the playoffs. However, the moves did not come to complete fruition, as the Wings met the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the first round and shocked everyone by being swept in four games.
Three Red Wings were named to the roster for the 2003 All-Star Game: defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom, center Sergei Fedorov and Head Coach Dave Lewis. It was Lidstrom's seventh appearance at the All-Star Game, Fedorov's sixth and Lewis's first appearance as a coach.The Red Wings sold out all 41 home games in 2002–03 as 20,058 fans packed Joe Louis Arena for every regular season and playoff game played in Detroit.2002–03 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim season
The 2002–03 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim season was the Ducks' tenth season in franchise history. The club qualified for the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history, falling to the New Jersey Devils.
Although the Ducks eventually won the Stanley Cup 4 years later, the Ducks failed to bring another championship to Anaheim, after their MLB counterparts, the Anaheim Angels won their first World Series title the year before.2002–03 Montreal Canadiens season
The 2002–03 Montreal Canadiens season was the club's 94th season of play. The club struggled through the season, made a coaching change and did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.2002–03 Nashville Predators season
The 2002–03 Nashville Predators season was the Nashville Predators' 5th season in the National Hockey League (NHL).2002–03 New York Islanders season
The 2002–03 New York Islanders season was the 31st season in the franchise's history.2002–03 New York Rangers season
The 2002–03 New York Rangers season was the 77th season for the team in the National Hockey League (NHL). In the regular season, the Rangers posted a 32–36–10–4 record, finishing fourth in the Atlantic Division. The Rangers' ninth-place finish in the Eastern Conference left them out of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the sixth straight season.The Rangers entered the season under the supervision of former Colorado Avalanche assistant coach and New York Islanders star Bryan Trottier in his first head coaching role. With the team on the outside of the playoff picture, he was fired after 54 games and replaced with general manager Glen Sather.The Rangers saw a major milestone reached as goaltender Mike Richter won his 300th game with the team. Shortly thereafter, he suffered a concussion against the Edmonton Oilers when Todd Marchant accidentally struck his head with his knee. Combined with a skull fracture Richter suffered toward the end of the previous season when hit in the face with a slap shot, it was the second such injury he suffered in the previous eight months and caused him to miss the rest of the season. Richter retired before the start of the next season.2002–03 Ottawa Senators season
The 2002–03 Ottawa Senators season was the 11th season of the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL). This season saw the Senators reach the highest point in the playoffs until the 2006–07 season. They were eliminated by the New Jersey Devils, the eventual Stanley Cup winning team in the Eastern Conference final. On top of their larger success, with their total 113 points they won the Presidents' Trophy, the Northeast Division title and the Eastern Conference title.
After their long history of debt problems, the Senators filed for bankruptcy on January 9, 2003. They continued regular season play after receiving emergency financing from the NHL. Despite the off-ice problems, they had a successful year, compared to their early day woes. The Presidents' Trophy awarded to the Senators made them the first Canadian team to win it since the Calgary Flames in their championship season of 1989, and the first Eastern Conference team to win it since the New York Rangers' title in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. In the playoffs, they defeated their former teammate Alexei Yashin and his New York Islanders, then the Philadelphia Flyers before coming within one game of making it into the Finals, falling to the New Jersey Devils.2002–03 San Jose Sharks season
The 2002–03 San Jose Sharks season was the Sharks' twelfth season of operation in the National Hockey League (NHL). The Sharks placed 14th in the Conference and did not qualify for the playoffs.2002–03 St. Louis Blues season
The 2002–03 St. Louis Blues season was the 36th for the franchise in St. Louis, Missouri. The Blues finished the regular-season with a record of 41 wins, 24 losses, 11 overtime losses and six ties, good for 99 points, and the team qualified for the NHL Playoffs for the 24th consecutive season, only to lose in the Western Conference Quarter-finals to the Vancouver Canucks in seven games.2002–03 Tampa Bay Lightning season
The 2002–03 Tampa Bay Lightning season was the 11th National Hockey League (NHL) season in Tampa, Florida. The Lightning made it back to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 1996.2002–03 Toronto Maple Leafs season
The 2002–03 Toronto Maple Leafs season was the team's 86th season of the franchise, and the 76th season as the Maple Leafs.
Key dates prior to the start of the season:
The 2002 NHL Entry Draft
The free agency period began on July 1.2002–03 Vancouver Canucks season
The 2002–03 Vancouver Canucks season was the Canucks' 33rd NHL season.2003 National Hockey League All-Star Game
The 2003 National Hockey League All-Star Game took place on February 2, 2003 at Office Depot Center in Sunrise, the home of the Florida Panthers. It was the first All-Star Game since the 1997 All-Star Game to use the Eastern Conference–Western Conference format.2003 Stanley Cup Finals
The 2003 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 2002–03 season, and the culmination of the 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs. The second-seeded Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils defeated the seventh-seeded Western Conference champion Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in seven games and were awarded the Stanley Cup. It was New Jersey's first appearance since 2001 and third in four years. It was Anaheim's first-ever appearance. The Devils defeated the Mighty Ducks in seven games to win their third Stanley Cup in less than a decade.
The Devils' win was the last in a series of wins they, along with the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings, established in the era from 1995 to 2003. The three teams won a combined eight of nine Stanley Cups during that time. The Devils won in 1995, followed by the Avalanche in 1996, then the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. The Dallas Stars win in 1999 would be superseded by the Devils in 2000, Colorado in 2001 and Detroit in 2002.
The 2004–05 season was cancelled due to a lockout.
2002–03 NHL season