ROCKFORD, Ill. – For the second consecutive season, former IceHogs defenseman Jan Rutta and the Tampa Bay Lightning are heading to the Stanley Cup Final! Tampa defeated the New York Islanders, 1-0, in Game 7 of their Stanley Cup Semifinal series tonight in Tampa Bay.
Rutta will take on former IceHogs Phillip Danault, Erik Gustafsson, and the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanely Cup Final starting with Game 1 on Monday in Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Rutta appeared in eight games with the IceHogs during the 2018-19 campaign, adding a goal and three assists for four points before being acquired by Tampa Bay in January of that season. He has appeared in 18 Stanley Cup Playoff games this season, adding a goal in Game 2 vs. New York on Jun. 15, and posted eight assists in 35 regular-season contests for the Lightning.
It has been a few campaigns since the IceHogs have seen Danault in the black and red, having skated with the team from 2011-16 adding 70 points (20 goals, 50 assists) in 160 games. He has spent the last six seasons with Montreal after 32 games with Chicago from 2014-16 and placed sixth on the team this year with 24 points (five goals, 19 assists). He currently has three assists in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games this year.
Gustafsson picked up 58 points (11 goals, 47 assists) in 120 games along the IceHogs blueline from 2015-18. He began this season with Philadelphia (24 games, nine assists and 10 points) and joined the Canadiens at the NHL Trade Deadline on Apr. 12. He has three points (one goal, two assists) in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff Games.
Also worth noting, former IceHogs forward Laurent Dauphin is in the Montreal system and skated with their AHL club, Laval Rocket, this season.