Share with your Friends

Hatcher's exclusive club set for second member

Tuesday, 05.29.2012 / 1:38 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Share with your Friends

Hatcher's exclusive club set for second member
Thirteen years after Derian Hatcher became the first U.S. captain to hoist the Stanley Cup, he'll finally be joined by either the Kings' Dustin Brown or the Devils' Zach Parise.

Derian Hatcher has enjoyed being in a club of one. He's going to enjoy it even more when that club doubles sometime in the next two weeks.

Hatcher, a native of Sterling Heights, Mich., became the first U.S.-born NHL player to captain a team to a Stanley Cup when he helped the Dallas Stars win in 1999.

Thirteen years later, he'll finally have some company, as either the Kings' Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y.) or the Devils' Zach Parise (Minneapolis, Minn.) will join him in the U.S. captain's club.

STANLEY CUP FINAL - KINGS VS. DEVILS's expert Stanley Cup Final Picks

By Staff
Can the Kings keep up their remarkable postseason run or will the Devils bring home a fourth Cup. See what the experts have to say. READ MORE ›

"It was good to see three of the four guys were Americans left in the [conference] finals there," Hatcher told "I knew it [solo membership] was going to come to an end. At the time it was fun and it was an honor."

Hatcher said it wasn't until the 1999 Stanley Cup Final against the Buffalo Sabres that he even realized the historical significance of him being the first American-born player to hoist the Cup would be.

"I didn't [know it] until sometime into the series against Buffalo, when someone asked me," he said. "Not only was it the first, it was the first non-Canadian. That was before [Detroit's Nicklas] Lidstrom won it. I didn't even know it."

Hatcher also represented the U.S. at two World Cups and two Olympics, and enjoys his place in American hockey history.

"I was the first American-born captain to do it and they can never take that away from me," he said. "It was something special. My kids actually even talk about it now."

Hatcher, who will turn 40 on June 4, currently works for the Philadelphia Flyers as their player development coach. He retired in 2008 after 1,045 NHL games with the Stars, Detroit Red Wings and Flyers. He doesn't know Parise or Brown very well, but added he'll be watching every game.

"Am I rooting for one team or another? Probably not," he said. "I know who I think is going to win, but as far as the rooting interest, no. They're both good teams and they're both there for a reason."

As much fun as it's been to have the time to himself, Hatcher said he's looking forward to welcoming another member to the club.

"It'll all be good," he said. "It'll be good for American hockey and I think it's showing not only where it's come but the future and the path that it's set on."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
World Cup of Hockey 2016