GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The most unconventional Stanley Cup Playoffs in history began with 13 Grand Rapids Griffins alumni on a quest to win the most storied trophy in sports.
In fact, 11 of the NHL's 16 playoff teams and seven of the eight first-round series featured at least one former Griffin among their player or coach ranks.
1. Vegas (left wing Tomas Nosek) defeated 8. Chicago (assistant coach Sheldon Brookbank), 4-1
2. Colorado (head coach Jared Bednar) defeated 7. Arizona (coordinator of skill development Jeff Ulmer), 4-1
3. Dallas (center Mattias Janmark, assistant coach Todd Nelson) defeated 6. Calgary (center Alan Quine), 4-2
4. St. Louis (amateur scout Michel Picard) lost to 5. Vancouver, 2-4
1. Philadelphia (amateur scout Mark Greig) defeated 8. Montreal (defenseman Xavier Ouellet, left wing Tomas Tatar), 4-2
2. Tampa Bay (assistant GM Stacy Roest) defeated 7. Columbus (center Gustav Nyquist), 4-1
3. Washington (defenseman Nick Jensen) lost to 6. NY Islanders (assistant coach John Gruden), 1-4
4. Boston (head coach Bruce Cassidy) defeated 5. Carolina (goaltender Petr Mrazek), 4-1
Mrazek, Nyquist and Tatar were key members of the Griffins' 2013 Calder Cup championship team, while Nosek helped lead Nelson's 2017 squad to the franchise's second title.
If you expand the net to include hockey operations personnel, then Vancouver is the only playoff team without a Griffins alum. Stacy Roest is Tampa Bay's assistant GM and director of player personnel; Jeff Ulmer is Arizona's coordinator of skill development and assistant director of special projects; and Michel Picard and Mark Greig are amateur scouts for St. Louis and Philadelphia, respectively.
Since 1996, 16 Griffins players have gone on to have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup (all as players), earning the honor in six of the last 12 years and eight of the last 15 seasons.
Visit nhl.com for the complete results and remaining schedule for each series.