(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Pittsburgh Penguins won their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history on Sunday night with a 3-1 Game Six victory over San Jose.
Winning the biggest prize in hockey is special for all members of an organization, but it means a lot for the BCHL as well. Former West Kelowna (nee Westside) Warriors defenceman Justin Schultz and former Penticton Vees forward Beau Bennett helped continue a seven year streak which has seen a player who skated in the BCHL win Lord Stanley’s mug.
It remains to be seen if Bennett will get his name on the Cup. Rules stipulate that a player must have at least 41 games played with the club or one game played in the Stanley Cup Finals, neither of which Bennett meets. There was a stipulation enacted in 1994 that allows a team to petition NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for permission to have players’ names put on the Cup if extenuating circumstances prevented them from being available to play. Bennett only played 33 games during the regular season and one game in the playoffs due to injury, we’ll see if the Penguins petition to have him included on the Cup – I’d bet they do.
— Penticton Vees (@PentictonVees) June 13, 2016
Meanwhile, Schultz played 15 games in the Pens’ cup run, finishing with four assists and a +1 +/- rating.
Both Bennett and Schultz are restricted free agents on July 1st and must be extended a qualifying offer from Pittsburgh for the Penguins to retain negotiating rights. Bennett’s qualifying offer must be at least a five percent raise over his 2015-16 salary of $800,000 while Schultz’s qualifying offer must be at least as much as his 2015-16 salary of $3.9 million. Any player who doesn’t receive a qualifying offer becomes and unrestricted free agent.