FanPost

Why the Pens win should make Caps fans happy

In his Ted’s Take blog, Leonsis loudly declared that Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup win meant nothing to the Caps. Maybe he was just trying to lessen the sting of the Pens victory, but, in reality, Pittsburgh’s win actually could mean a lot to the Caps and in a very positive way. The chart below shows all the Calder Cup Finalists for the last 18 seasons along with their NHL affiliation. If you examine the results, you’ll see that winning a Calder has no immediate impact on the parent club’s ability to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals the following year or two. However, there appears to be a decided correlation between making it to the Calder Cup finals AND making it to the Stanley Cup Finals 3-5 years later. Before I get into the specifics, a couple of caveats: 1) I’m not a statistician so I don’t know if the numbers I’m presenting have significance in a statistical fashion and 2) matching up the parent club in the early 90’s wasn’t easy. So if I made a mistake, I apologize.

 

Assuming that the parent clubs are accurate, here are some of the results I found interesting:

-While there doesn’t appear to be any carryover from making it to the Calder Cup finals to the Stanley Cup finals in the first two years, there is a definite uptick  three to five years after a Calder Cup Finals appearance. The obvious implication is that it takes a few years for young players to make the transition from the AHL and become important contributors at the NHL level.

Specifically:

  • Detroit- Adirondack won the Calder in 1992. The Red Wings made the SC Finals in ’95 and won the Cup in ’97 (& ’98)
  • Washington- Portland won the Calder in 1994 and the Caps made the Finals in 1998
  • New Jersey- Albany won the Calder in 1995 (the same year the Devils won the Cup) and the Devils won the Cup in 2000
  • Buffalo- Rochester won in 1996 and the Sabres made it to the Finals in1998
  • Colorado- Hershey won the Calder in 1997 and the Avalanche won the Cup in 2001
  • Calgary- Saint John won in 2001 and the Flames made it to the Finals in 2004
  • Edmonton-Hamilton (which was getting players from both the Oilers and the Canadiens) made it to the Calder Cup Finals in 2003. Edmonton made it to the Finals in 2006
  • Pittsburgh- the Baby Penguins made it to the Finals in 2004 and, of course, the Pens made it to the Cup Finals in 2008 and won it in 2009.

 

If you discount the 1990-91 through 1992-93 Finals to give the parent club time to incorporate their minor league prospects into the NHL, that means that from 1993-94 to 2008-09 there have been 15 Stanley Cup Finals involving 30 teams. During that period, 10 of those teams that made the Finals have had their minor league affiliate involved in the Calder Cup Finals 3-5 years earlier. I’ll leave it to the stat wizards to tell me if a 33% ration is meaningful.

 

However, the number that I do find really interesting is that out of the last 15 Stanley Cups, 10 of them have involved a franchise whose minor league affiliate has played in the Calder Cup Finals within a three-five year window. That’s a 66% success ratio. As we all know, the Hershey Bears won the Calder in 2006 and were runner-ups in 2007. Based on the numbers, next year could be the season the Caps really reap the rewards of that ’06 Hershey squad that had guys like Steckel, Laich, Green and Gordon playing for it.

 

Season

Champion

Parent Club

Runner Up

Parent Club

Stanley Cup

2008-09

Hershey Bears

WAS

Manitoba Moose

VANCOUVER

PITT(Det)

2007-08

Chicago Wolves

ATL

W-B/Scranton Penguins

PITTSBURGH

DET(Pitt)

2006-07

Hamilton Bulldogs

MONTREAL

Hershey Bears

WASHINGTON

ANA(Ott)

2005-06

Hershey Bears

WASH

Milwaukee Admirals

NASHVILLE

CAR(Edm)

2004-05

Philadelphia Phantoms

PHIL

Chicago Wolves

FL/ATL

NONE

2003-04

Milwaukee Admirals

NASHVILLE

W-B/Scranton Penguins

PITTSBURGH

TB(Cal)

2002-03

Houston Aeros

MINNESOTA

Hamilton Bulldogs

MON/EDM

NJ(Ana)

2001-02

Chicago Wolves

ATLANTA

Bridgeport Sound Tigers

NY ISLANDERS

DET(Car)

2000-01

Saint John Flames

CALGARY

W-B/Scranton Penguins

PITTSBURGH

COL(NJ)

1999-2000

Hartford Wolf Pack

NY RANGERS

Rochester Americans

BUFFALO

NJ(Dal)

1998-99

Providence Bruins

BOSTON

Rochester Americans

BUFFALO

DAL(Buf)

1997-98

Philadelphia Phantoms

PHIL

Saint John Flames

CALGARY

DET(Was)

1996-97

Hershey Bears

COLORADO

Hamilton Bulldogs

EDMONTON

DET(Phil)

1995-96

Rochester Americans

BUFFALO

Portland Pirates

WASHINGTON

COL(Fla)

1994-95

Albany River Rats

NEW JERSEY

Fredericton Canadiens

MONTREAL

NJ(Det)

1993-94

Portland Pirates

WASHINGTON

Moncton Hawks

WINNIPEG

 NYR(Van)

1992-93

Cape Breton Oilers

EDMONTON

Rochester Americans

BUFFALO

MON(la)

1991-92

Adirondack Red Wings

DETROIT

St. John's Maple Leafs

TORONTO

PITT(Chi)

1990-91

Springfield Indians

NY ISLANDERS

Rochester Americans

BUFFALO

PITT(Min)

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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