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The 1998 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1997–98 season, and the culmination of the 1998 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested by the Western Conference champion and defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings and the Eastern Conference champion Washington Capitals. It was the 105th year of the Stanley Cup being contested. The series was the Capitals' first appearance in a Stanley Cup Final since the franchise's inception in 1974. The Red Wings won the series for the second year in a row, four games to none. It was the Wings' ninth Stanley Cup, and the most recent time when a Finals concluded with a sweep (as of 2019). This was also the last time until 2002 that a Stanley Cup Finals ended after an NBA Finals in the same season had concluded. Detroit coach Scotty Bowman won his eighth Stanley Cup in that capacity (having previously done so with the Montreal Canadiens in 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979, the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992, and the Wings the previous year), tying him with former Canadiens coach Toe Blake for the record of most Cups won by a coach (which he would break when he helped the Red Wings win the 2002 Cup).

1998 Stanley Cup Finals
1998 Stanley Cup patch.png
1234 Total
Detroit Red Wings 25*24 4
Washington Capitals 14*11 0
* indicates periods of overtime
Location(s)Detroit: Joe Louis Arena (1, 2)
Washington: MCI Center (3, 4)
CoachesDetroit: Scotty Bowman
Washington: Ron Wilson
CaptainsDetroit: Steve Yzerman
Washington: Dale Hunter
RefereesBill McCreary (1, 4)
Don Koharski (2)
Terry Gregson (3)
DatesJune 9 – June 16
MVPSteve Yzerman (Red Wings)
Series-winning goalMartin Lapointe (2:26, second, G4)
NetworksCBC (Canada-English), SRC (Canada-French), Fox (United States, game one), ESPN (United States, games 2–4)
AnnouncersBob Cole and Harry Neale (CBC), Mike Emrick and John Davidson (Fox), Gary Thorne and Bill Clement (ESPN)


Motivation to win a second straight titleEdit

Just six days after sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1997 Finals, Red Wings defenceman Vladimir Konstantinov and masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov sustained serious brain injuries when the limousine in which they were riding crashed. Viacheslav Fetisov was also in the limousine but was not seriously injured. The Red Wings subsequently dedicated their 1997–98 season to the two injured members and wore a patch on their jerseys bearing the players' initials. When the Red Wings were presented with the Stanley Cup, they wheeled Konstantinov onto the ice and placed the Cup in his lap. They also took him for a victory lap around the rink.

Paths to the FinalsEdit

Detroit advanced to the Finals by defeating the Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues, and Dallas Stars in six games each.

Washington defeated the Boston Bruins 4–2, the Ottawa Senators 4–1, and the Buffalo Sabres 4–2.

Game summariesEdit

In this series, Capitals head coach Ron Wilson became the first person to head coach in both an Olympics and a Stanley Cup Final in the same year, having coached team USA at the Nagano Olympics. Peter Laviolette would join him in this feat in 2006 while with the Carolina Hurricanes during their championship season, having coached the American ice hockey team during the Torino Olympics.

Game oneEdit

At home, Detroit took an early lead in the first period and scored two goals within two minutes and 14 seconds of each other. The Red Wings were able to hold off a Washington assault and take the first game of the series with a score of 2–1.

Game twoEdit

It looked as if the Capitals would to tie the series with a 4–2 lead in the third period, but after a Detroit goal to make it 4–3, Capitals forward Esa Tikkanen had a shot midway through the third period that would have likely put Detroit away before the venue changed back to Washington's MCI Center, and also would have changed the entire dynamic of the series, but he missed the open net shot. Detroit then rallied late in the third period to tie the game and send it into overtime. Kris Draper scored with four minutes left in the first overtime to give the Red Wings a 5–4 victory and a 2–0 lead in the series.

Game threeEdit

Detroit scored in the first 35 seconds to take an early lead which held up until the third period. The Capitals tied the game midway through the third period, but Sergei Fedorov scored to give the Wings a three games to none lead in the series.

Game fourEdit

In game four, Detroit was dominant throughout to win the game by a score of 4–1 and sweep the series. When the Cup was awarded, Vladimir Konstantinov was brought onto the ice in his wheelchair and joined the celebration with his team.

Detroit wins series 4–0 and Stanley Cup

Team rostersEdit

Bolded years under Final appearance indicates year won Stanley Cup.

Detroit Red WingsEdit

# Player Catches Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
30 Chris Osgood L 1991   Peace River, Alberta third (1995, 1997)
31 Kevin Hodson L 1993–94   Winnipeg, Manitoba first (did not play)
# Player Shoots Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
2 Viacheslav Fetisov L 1994–95   Moscow, USSR third (1995, 1997)
3 Bob Rouse R 1994–95   Surrey, British Columbia third (1995, 1997)
5 Nicklas Lidstrom - A L 1989   Krylbo, Sweden third (1995, 1997)
15 Dmitri Mironov R 1997–98   Moscow, USSR first (did not play)
16 Vladimir Konstantinov R 1989   Murmansk, USSR third (1995, 1997) (did not play)
27 Aaron Ward R 1993–94   Windsor, Ontario second (1997) (did not play)
34 Jamie Macoun L 1997–98   Newmarket, Ontario third (1986, 1989)
44 Anders Eriksson L 1993   Bollnäs, Sweden first
55 Larry Murphy R 1996–97   Scarborough, Ontario fourth (1991, 1992, 1997)
# Player Position Shoots Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
8 Igor Larionov C L 1995–96   Voskresensk, USSR second (1997)
11 Mathieu Dandenault LW R 1994   Sherbrooke, Quebec second (1997) (did not play)
13 Vyacheslav Kozlov LW L 1990   Voskresensk, USSR third (1995, 1997)
14 Brendan Shanahan - A LW R 1996–97   Mimico, Ontario second (1997)
17 Doug Brown RW R 1994–95   Southborough, Massachusetts third (1995, 1997)
18 Kirk Maltby RW R 1995–96   Guelph, Ontario second (1997)
19 Steve YzermanC C R 1983   Burnaby, British Columbia third (1995, 1997)
20 Martin Lapointe RW R 1991   Ville St. Pierre, Quebec third (1995, 1997)
22 Mike Knuble RW R 1991   Toronto, Ontario first (did not play)
25 Darren McCarty RW R 1992   Burnaby, British Columbia third (1995, 1997)
26 Joe Kocur RW R 1996–97   Kelvington, Saskatchewan third (1994, 1997)
33 Kris Draper C L 1993–94   Toronto, Ontario third (1995, 1997)
41 Brent Gilchrist C L 1997–98   Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan second (1989)
91 Sergei Fedorov C L 1989   Pskov, USSR third (1995, 1997)
96 Tomas Holmstrom LW L 1994   Piteå, Sweden second (1997)

Washington CapitalsEdit

# Player Catches Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
30 Bill Ranford L 1996–97   Brandon, Manitoba third (1988, 1990) (did not play)
37 Olaf Kolzig L 1989   Johannesburg, South Africa first
# Player Shoots Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
2 Ken Klee R 1990   Indianapolis, Indiana first (did not play)
6 Calle Johansson - A L 1988–89   Gothenburg, Sweden first
19 Brendan Witt L 1993   Humboldt, Saskatchewan first
24 Mark Tinordi L 1994–95   Red Deer, Alberta second (1991)
28 Jeff Brown R 1997–98   Ottawa, Ontario second (1994) (did not play)

29 Joe Reekie L 1993–94   Victoria, British Columbia first
55 Sergei Gonchar L 1992   Chelyabinsk, USSR first
96 Phil Housley L 1996–97   St. Paul, Minnesota first
# Player Position Shoots Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
9 Todd Krygier LW L 1995–96   Chicago Heights, Illinois first
10 Kelly Miller LW L 1986–87   Lansing, Michigan first (did not play)
11 Esa Tikkanen LW L 1997–98   Helsinki, Finland sixth (1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1994)
12 Peter Bondra RW L 1990   Luck, USSR first
13 Andrei Nikolishin C L 1996–97   Vorkuta, USSR first
17 Chris Simon LW L 1996–97   Wawa, Ontario second (1996)
20 Michal Pivonka C L 1984   Kladno, Czechoslovakia first
22 Steve Konowalchuk LW L 1991   Salt Lake City, Utah first
23 Brian Bellows RW R 1997–98   St. Catharines, Ontario third (1991, 1993)
27 Craig Berube LW L 1993–94   Calahoo, Alberta first
32 Dale HunterC C L 1987–88   Petrolia, Ontario first
36 Mike Eagles C/RW L 1993–94   Sussex, New Brunswick first (did not play)
44 Richard Zednik RW L 1994   Banská Bystrica, Czechoslovakia first
77 Adam Oates - A C R 1996–97   Weston, Ontario first
90 Joe Juneau C L 1993–94   Pont-Rouge, Quebec first


In Canada, the series was televised on CBC. In the United States, Fox broadcast game one while ESPN televised games two through four. Had the series extended, games five and seven would have been broadcast on Fox, and ESPN would have aired game six.

Detroit Red Wings — 1998 Stanley Cup ChampionsEdit


Coaching and administrative staff

  • Mike Ilitch Sr. (Owner/President/Governor), Marian Ilitch (Owner/Secretary-Treasurer), Atanas Ilitch (Vice President/minority Owner)
  • Christopher Ilitch (Vice President/minority owner), Denise Ilitch Lites, Ronald Ilitch (Minority Owners)
  • Michael Ititch Jr., Lisa Ilitch Murray, Carole Ilitch Trepeck (Minority Owners)
  • Jim Devellano (Sr. Vice President), Ken Holland (General Manager), Don Waddell (Assistant General Manager), William Scotty Bowman (Head Coach/Director of Player Personnel)
  • Barry Smith (Associate Coach), Dave Lewis (Associate Coach), Jim Nill (Director of Player Development/Director of Amateur Scouting), Dan Belise (Pro Scout), Mark Howe (Pro Scout)
  • Jim Bedard (Goaltending Consultant), Hakan Andersson (Director of European Scouting), Mark Leach (Scout), Joe McDonnell (Scout)
  • Bruce Haralson (Scout), John Wharton (Athletic Trainer), Paul Boyer (Equipment Manager), Tim Abbott (Asst. Equipment Manager)
  • Bob Huddleston (Massage Therapist), Sergei Mnatsakanov (Masseur), Wally Crossman (Dressing Room Assistant)

Stanley Cup engravingsEdit

  • Konstantinov's career ended in a car accident. The Red Wings still recognized him as part of the team and got permission from the league to have his name engraved.
  • Wally Crossman was the oldest person engraved on the Stanley Cup at age 87.
  • Detroit wanted to include a record 55 names on the Stanley Cup in 1997–98. Following that request, the NHL decided to limit the number of names to 52 to make sure all names fit on the Cup. Players who play in Stanley Cup Finals, or play at least 41 regular season games for the winning team, must be included on the Cup each year. Other players who do not officially qualify may also be included if requested by the team. There are no rules for which non-players must be included on the Stanley Cup, only a limit on total number of names going on the cup. No player who officially qualifies may be left off to include more non-players.

Included on the team picture, but left off the Stanley Cup

  • #34 Norm Maracle† (G – 4 games played), #21 Darryl Laplante† (D – played 2 games) did not qualify to win the Stanley Cup. Both players spent majority of the season of in the minors. Maracle played 66 games in goal for Adirondack while Darryl Laplante played 77 on defence.
  • Art Mnatsusakanov†, Johnny Remejes†, Mike Vella† (Dressing Room Asst.) – all 5 members were awarded Stanley Cup Rings


The following season, the Red Wings would reach the Western Conference Semifinals, only to be ousted by the Colorado Avalanche in six games. The Red Wings would not return to the Stanley Cup Finals until 4 years later, when they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes in five games. The Washington Capitals, however, missed the playoffs the following year. The Capitals would not return to the Stanley Cup Finals until 20 years later winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history defeating the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in 5 games.

See alsoEdit


  • Diamond, Dan (2000). Total Stanley Cup. NHL.
  • Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-55168-261-7.
  • Wilborn, Michael (1998). "Red Wings Fans jam Downtown". Washington Post.
Preceded by
Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings
Stanley Cup Champions

Succeeded by
Dallas Stars