June 13, 1995
There it was. The clock striking zero on 60 minutes of play.
The New Jersey Devils waited on the ice after the game and out came the Prince of Wales Trophy, as the Eastern Conference Champions.
The Devils had just eliminated their rivaled Philadelphia Flyers and were off to their first franchise appearance in the Stanley Cup Final.
It had been nicknamed ‘The Turnpike’ series and the Devils came out on top, in front of a sellout crowd of 19,040, eliminating the Atlantic Division winners.
New Jersey took a 2-1 lead into the middle frame, then Randy McKay scored the only goal of the second period, which ended as the series clinching goal. At 10:11 of the third period, Claude Lemieux added an insurance marker in the 4-2 win.
With Jacques Lemaire behind the bench, he was headed to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time behind the bench, already having won the Cup as a player eight times while playing with the Canadiens.
After 21 seasons in New Jersey, the Devils were headed to the Stanley Cup Final, a moment the franchise had waited for, including 12-year veteran John MacLean.
“I’ve always wanted this opportunity…always. Now it’s here, the chance to go for the Stanley Cup.”
June 13, 1987
Lamoriello drafts Brendan Shanahan
At the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, the Devils were quickly on the clock, selecting second overall.
Pierre Turgeon had gone first to the Buffalo Sabres, now then-General Manager Lou Lamoriello stepped up to make his choice.
The Devils selected forward Brendan Shanahan, the start of an illustrious career that would follow. It is also a pick that unknowingly would forever change the Devils franchise.
June 13, 1987, brought Shanahan to New Jersey, where he had a respectable rookie year with 26 points. He remained with the club for four seasons, scoring 59 goals over his final two seasons in Jersey. His career-high 30 goals in a season, was tallied during his third season with New Jersey.
Shanahan would leave the Devils after four years, signing with the Blues as a restricted free agent. Of course, things worked a little differently back in the 1980’s meaning the Blues had to hand over a player without the necessary draft picks to sign him.
That compensation? Scott Stevens.
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