Grand Rapids Griffins | FORMER GRIFFINS BEDNAR, HELM HOIST STANLEY CUP

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.With the Colorado Avalanche’s 4-2 series victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final, a former Grand Rapids Griffins player will have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup for the ninth time in the last 15 years and the 11th time in the last 18 seasons.

Colorado head coach Jared Bednar is the first former Griffin to win the Stanley Cup as a coach and will become the 18th Grand Rapids player to later have his name added to the most famous trophy in sports. meanwhile center Darren Helm – a 2008 Stanley Cup champion with the Detroit Red Wings – joined Tomas Kopecky (2008 Detroit, 2010 Chicago) as the only alumni to win a pair of Stanley Cups as players after leaving Grand Rapids.

Bednar, whose six seasons in Colorado make him the NHL’s third-longest tenured head coach, patrolled the Griffins’ blue line during the 1998-99 season. During his lone IHL campaign, the defenseman registered 21 points (3-18—21) and a team-high 220 penalty minutes in 74 games. In his final coaching stop before Colorado, he guided the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters to the 2016 Calder Cup championship, with the team’s only two losses during its playoff run coming at the hands of the Griffins in the Central Division Finals.

Helm began his pro career with the Griffins in 2007-08 and went on to appear in 124 games over parts of three seasons (2007-09; 13-14) with the club, tallying 68 points (29-39—68) and 54 penalty minutes. He still ranks among Grand Rapids’ all-time leaders with five shorthanded goals (T8th) and seven unassisted goals (T6th). Helm’s 812 NHL regular-season games played after departing the Griffins rank sixth all time, behind only Jason Spezza (1,248), Valtteri Filppula (1,056), Chris Neil (1,026), Niklas Kronwall (953) and Chris Kelly (845).

As the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs dawned in May, all 16 teams claimed a former Griffin within their player, coaching or hockey operations ranks.

STANLEY CUP FINAL RESULT

1. Colorado (center Darren Helm, head coach Jared Bednar) defeated 3. Tampa Bay (assistant GM/director of player development Stacy Roest), 4-2

CONFERENCE FINALS RESULTS

Western Conference

1. Colorado (center Darren Helm, head coach Jared Bednar) defeated 2 Edmonton (pro scout Chris Cichocki), 4-0

Eastern Conference

3. Tampa Bay (assistant GM/director of player development Stacy Roest) defeated 2. NY Rangers (assistant GM Ryan Martin), 4-2

SECOND ROUND RESULTS

Western Conference

1. Colorado (center Darren Helm, head coach Jared Bednar) defeated 3. St.Louis (pro scout Michel Picard), 4-2

2. Edmonton (pro scout Chris Cichocki) defeated 1 Calgary (center Calle Jarnkrok, assistant coach Cail MacLean), 4-1

Eastern Conference

3. Tampa Bay (assistant GM/director of player development Stacy Roest) defeated 1 Florida (assistant GM Brett Peterson), 4-0

2. NY Rangers (assistant GM Ryan Martin) defeated 1. Carolina (defenseman Brendan Smith), 4-3

FIRST ROUND RESULTS

Western Conference

1. Colorado (center Darren Helm, head coach Jared Bednar) defeated WC2. Nashville (chief amateur scout Tom Nolan, pro scout Doug Janik), 4-0

3. St.Louis (per scout Michel Picard) defeated 2. Minnesota (defenseman Joe Hicketts, pro scout Mark Mowers), 4-2

1. Calgary (center Calle Jarnkrok, assistant coach Cail MacLean) defeated WC1. Dallas (center Luke Glendening, assistant coach Todd Nelson, GM Jim Nill), 4-3

2. Edmonton (pro scout Chris Cichocki) defeated 3 Los Angeles (center Andreas Athanasiou), 4-3

Eastern Conference

1. Florida (assistant GM Brett Peterson) defeated WC2. Washington (defenseman Nick Jensen, right wing Anthony Mantha), 4-2

3. Tampa Bay (assistant GM/director of player development Stacy Roest) defeated 2. Toronto (goaltender Petr Mrazek (IR), center Jason Spezza), 4-3

1. Carolina (defenseman Brendan Smith) defeated WC1. Boston (left wing Tomas Nosek, head coach Bruce Cassidy, assistant coach Chris Kelly), 4-3

2. NY Rangers (assistant GM Ryan Martin) defeated 3. Pittsburgh (pro scout Kerry Huffman), 4-3

Photo by Getty Images

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