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'Canes Hold 3-1 Lead Over Oilers

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

EDMONTON -- It's been a dozen years since the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup Final, ending more than 50 years of frustration for that franchise and its fans. The emotional seven-game triumph in 1994, clinched at home before an adoring crowd, was one of the true feel-good stories in sports during the closing decade of the 20th Century.

Bret Hedican never felt good about it, however. Today, he is veteran part of the Carolina Hurricanes team hoping to win its first Stanley Cup this spring against the Edmonton Oilers. But, back in 1994, he was a fresh-faced youngster, imported to Vancouver near the trade deadline to shore up that team's defense for a run at the Stanley Cup -- a run that ended that fateful June day at MSG.

The iconic picture of Ranger captain Mark Messier leaping for joy after present-day Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish -- then a center with the Rangers -- won a last-second faceoff in Game 7 to seal the taut, 3-2, Cup-clinching victory still haunts Hedican these many years later.

"I mean 1994, seventh game against the Rangers, I mean losing that game, I'll never forget it," said Hedican, now 35. "Obviously because of how awesome it was to be in that situation, in New York, in Madison Square Garden and in the seventh game Of the Stanley Cup.

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