If you're a National Hockey League player, there are two specific criteria that need to be met if you're to have your name engraved on the Stanley Cup: either you play in 41 regular-season games or make an appearance in at least one game of the Stanley Cup finals. Exceptions can be made if a team petitions the NHL due to certain circumstances. Who gets a Stanley Cup ring, on the other hand, is decided by the players on the winning team.
When the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 2008, Kyle Quincey(notes) was a defenseman who spent majority of the season with Grand Rapids in the American Hockey League. Quincey played in six games for Detroit and was on the playoff roster, but did not make it out of the press box. When the Red Wings decided on who would get a ring, Quincey was left off the list of recipients, something he told the Denver Post's Adrian Dater motivates him now that he's with the Colorado Avalanche:
"It bothers me a little that I didn't get a ring. That's kind of a gray area, and they decided not to give us one. That's their decision," Quincey said. "It just drives me more and more to have an opportunity to get one with this team."
I can understand the feeling of being part of a team and having to watch as everyone else gets a Cup ring and you don't. But the fact is that Quincey was only breaking a sweat in practice leading up to Detroit's win in six games over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The only Red Wings skater who played less than 12 games during the 2008 playoffs was center Mark Hartigan(notes) and as The Chief feels this morning, Quincey's six regular-season games in 2007-08 came in February and his contributions helped Detroit to a 1-4-1 record.
Quincey and the rest of his Colorado teammates visit Detroit tonight in hopes of continuing their hot 5-1-1 start. The Avs went 3-1-0 against Detroit last season and with Pavel Datsyuk(notes) out for tonight's game and Chris Osgood(notes) struggling out of the gate, a win by Colorado over a rival could go a long way in building confidence for one of the NHL's early season surprises.