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If the Oilers win Game 7, will Stecher and Gagner get their names on the Stanley Cup?

Richmond's own Troy Stecher is the only former member of the Vancouver Canucks currently listed on the Edmonton Oilers' roster.
Troy Stecher is the lone former Canuck on the Edmonton Oilers.

In a just world, Vancouver Canucks fans would have former Canucks on both teams in the 2024 Stanley Cup Final. 

The Florida Panthers have a former Canuck, a former Canucks prospect, and a former Canucks legend in the front office. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, freed from his onerous contract with the Canucks, is providing value on the Panthers’ third pairing. Gustav Forsling, drafted by the Canucks in the fifth round in 2014, is eating up significant minutes as the Panthers’ number one defenceman. And Hall of Fame goaltender Roberto Luongo is watching it all from the press box as part of the Panthers’ Hockey Operations team.

The Edmonton Oilers, however, don’t have any former Canucks on their roster. But they were supposed to.

(Okay, if you want to count Oilers assistant coach Glen Gulutzan, who was an assistant coach with the Canucks from 2013 to 2016, you can. I can't stop you.)

Sam Gagner, who played 81 games for the Canucks, isn't currently listed on the Oilers' roster but he did play 28 games for them this season, splitting time between the Oilers in the NHL and the Bakersfield Condors in the AHL. He hasn't played a single game for the Oilers in the playoffs.

The Oilers did acquire one former Canuck at the trade deadline this season, trading a 2027 fourth-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for Richmond’s own Troy Stecher and a 2024 seventh-round pick. Stecher played 286 games with the Canucks at the beginning of his professional career after signing with the Canucks as a college free agent.

Unfortunately, Stecher hasn’t played a single game for the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In a brutal turn of events, Stecher had to have surgery on his ankle to remove a badly infected cyst. 

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“The cyst seemed a non-issue for Stecher when the trade was made, until it wasn’t,” reported Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal. “He couldn’t get his foot into his skate boot after it became infected. He had the cyst drained and the Oilers thought it was coming along, but the lump became very big again, and he had to stop practicing with the team.”

It’s unfortunate for Stecher but also for the Oilers, who could have used Stecher during the playoffs when the likes of Vincent Desharnais and Cody Ceci were getting lit up. The Oilers simultaneously have the defenceman with the best plus/minus in the playoffs in Evan Bouchard at plus-14 and the two defencemen with the worst plus/minus in Desharnais and Darnell Nurse, both at minus-9.

Even if Stecher didn’t get a chance to play in the playoffs, however, he’s still a member of the Oilers. If they complete the stunning comeback against the Panthers and win Game 7 on Monday night, Troy Stecher will still be a Stanley Cup Champion. Ostensibly, so will Gagner.

But will Stecher and Gagner get their names engraved on the Cup?

Well, no. But also, maybe.

The maximum number of names that a team can have engraved on the Stanley Cup is 55. These names include the players, coaching staff, and management team, the latter determined by the team.

In order for a player to have his name engraved on the Cup, he is required to have appeared in at least half the regular season — 41 games — or at least one Stanley Cup Final game. Stecher played in just seven games for the Oilers after the trade; Gagner played just 28.

However, the NHL added a stipulation back in 1994 that allows a team to petition the Commissioner to add a player’s name “if extenuating circumstances prevented them from being available to play.”

The question is whether the Oilers will consider Stecher and Gagner an important enough part of their team to petition to have their names added to the Cup. 

But let's face it: winning the Stanley Cup without officially winning the Stanley Cup is quite possibly the most Canucks thing that could ever happen to Stecher and Gagner.

Even if Stecher doesn’t get his name on the Cup, he may still get the traditional day with the Cup enjoyed by every member of the championship team. Presumably, he would bring the Cup home to Richmond and he likely wouldn’t be the only Oiler bringing the Cup back to B.C. Evander Kane is from Vancouver, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is from Burnaby.

The Panthers have B.C. connections beyond their former Canucks, as star forward Sam Reinhart is from West Vancouver, while Black Ace Justin Sourdif is from Richmond.