1981 Stanley Cup Finals
The 1981 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1980–81 season, and the culmination of the 1981 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested by the Minnesota North Stars, making their first Finals appearance, and the defending champion New York Islanders, in their second Finals appearance. The Islanders would win the best-of-seven series, four games to one, to win their second Stanley Cup championship. This would be the last all-American Finals until 1991, when the North Stars faced the Pittsburgh Penguins. Butch Goring won the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player in the playoffs.
|1981 Stanley Cup Finals|
|Location(s)||Uniondale: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (1, 2, 5)|
Bloomington: Met Center (3, 4)
|Coaches||New York: Al Arbour|
Minnesota: Glen Sonmor
|Captains||New York: Denis Potvin|
Minnesota: Paul Shmyr
|Dates||May 12 – May 21|
|MVP||Butch Goring (Islanders)|
|Series-winning goal||Wayne Merrick (5:37, first, G5)|
|Networks||CBC, Simulcast in the United States by USA Network|
SportsChannel New York (Games 1,2,5; New York Area), WOR-TV (Games 3 and 4; New York Area)
|Announcers||Bob Cole, Mickey Redmond, and Gary Dornhoefer (CBC/USA) |
Jiggs McDonald and Ed Westfall (SCNY)
Tim Ryan and Ed Westfall (WOR)
Paths to the FinalsEdit
Dino Ciccarelli of the North Stars set a rookie record (since tied by Ville Leino in 2010), scoring twenty-one points (14 goals and seven assists) during the year's playoffs. The Islanders' much deeper lineup, however, won the day.
|May 12||Minnesota||3||New York||6|
|May 14||Minnesota||3||New York||6|
|May 17||New York||7||Minnesota||5|
|May 19||New York||2||Minnesota||4|
|May 21||Minnesota||1||New York||5|
New York wins the series 4–1.
The series aired on CBC in Canada. In the United States, this was the first of five seasons that the Cup Finals aired on the USA Network. For the 1981 Finals only, USA simulcast the CBC feed instead of producing their own coverage.
New York Islanders — 1981 Stanley Cup championsEdit
Coaching and administrative staff
- John Pickett (Chairman/Owner)
- Bill Torrey (President/General Manager)
- Al Arbour (Head Coach), †10 Lorne Henning (playing-Ass't Coach)
- Jim Devellano (Chief Scout), Gerry Ehman (Western Scout)
- Harry Boyd (Scout), Maurice Sabageno (Scout)
- Ron Waske (Trainer), Jim Pickard (Asst. Trainer)
- Steve Corais (Director of Public Relations)^
Stanley Cup engraving
- ^-Steve Corais was included on the team, but name was left off the Stanley Cup.
- † Lorne Henning (Center) played nine regular season and one playoff game. He was the last playing-coach to win the Stanley Cup.
- †† Jean Potvin 18 games regular season games, and did not dress in the playoffs. He spent the rest of year as a broadcaster. Potvin's name was put on the cup in 1981, even though he did not officially qualify.
- A new ring was created in 1993 for the winners from 1979 to 1991. New York Islanders was misspelled. NEW YORK ILANDERS missing the first "S". Name was spelt correctly on the Replica Cup also created in 1993.