Medicine Hat, AB — With the Stanley Cup Finals underway, the Tigers boast 1 alumni who is participating in quest for professional sports most difficult trophy. Vernon Fiddler is getting the opportunity to win the Cup with the Nashville Predators. Currently in the post season, Fiddler has appeared in 8 games and recorded 2 points including a goal. Fiddler played in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, which means he will be eligible to get his name engraved onto the Cup should the Predators become victorious.
Fiddler originally came into the WHL with the Kelowna Rockets but was traded to the Tabbies before the 2000-01 season. Fiddler would play in 67 games that year in the orange and black recording 71 points and 100 penalty minutes, in what was his final WHL season.
The Tigers have had past winners, dating back to Lanny McDonald’s 1989 victory with the Calgary Flames. In this feature we take a look at the careers of our Stanley Cup winners…
1989 Champion (Calgary Flames)
There is not much to say about the moustache man that he was a great Tiger and went on to a great NHL career. Lanny started his hockey career with the Tigers during the 1971-72 season, recording 114 points in 68 games and followed that up with a 139 point season the following year. On the line with other Tiger greats Tom Lysiak and Boyd Anderson, the trio combined to be one of the dominant lines in the WHL.
McDonald was drafted the same year he posted 139 points for the Tigers, taken 4th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Lanny would start his career with the Leafs the following season and spent 6 and a half years wearing the blue and white. His successes in the NHL took him to the expansion Colorado Rockies and then the Calgary Flames, a team where he posted his best season in 1982-83 recording a 98 point season.
In his final season in the NHL, McDonald would go on to win the Stanley Cup, the first ever in the Flames franchise history.
1990 Champion (Edmonton Oilers)
Lamb had a lengthy WHL career spending time with the Billings Bighorns, Nanaimo Islanders and then with the Tigers to close out his junior career. Lamb’s best season as a Tiger was in 1983-84 when the Saskatchewan native recorded 136 points in playing all 72 games.
Lamb was drafted by the Calgary Flames in 1982 in the 4th round (72nd overall) and joined their AHL team after his junior days, putting up 72 points in 80 games as a rookie. He would make his NHL debut in 1985-86 with the Flames, playing just 1 game. That was just the beginning for Lamb as he would play 403 games in the NHL with 6 clubs (Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Montreal, Detroit).
Lamb won the Stanley Cup with the Edmonton Oilers in 1990 alongside Mark Messier and Grant Fuhr.
1997/1998/2008 Champion (Detroit Red Wings)
Osgood started his WHL career with the Tabbies but did not finish it in Medicine Hat. Chris played 2 and a half seasons before being traded to the Brandon Wheat Kings and then onto the Seattle Thunderbirds. Overall Osgood played in 118 games in Medicine Hat recording 57 wins and a Goals Against Average of 4.08.
Chris’ play would improve as he made the jump to the professional ranks. Drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 1991 (3rd Round, 54th Overall), Osgood spent the first season in the AHL, collecting 19 wins in 45 appearance. The following season Chris would get the call to the big club, appearing in 41 games and going 23-8-5 as a rookie. That season kickstarted Chris’ time as a full time goaltender in the NHL, solidifying him as the number one netminder for the Wings.
Chris bounced around to a couple teams after his first stint with the Red Wings, joining the likes of New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues before coming back to Detroit in 2005.
Chris has won the Stanley 3 times in his career, all with the Red Wings. In all 3 Championship seasons Osgood recorded 94 wins in 170 appearances.
1997/1998/2002/2008 Champion (Detroit Red Wings)
Holland, a Vernon, BC native, spent 2 seasons in goal for the Tigers during the 1974-75 and 1975-76 seasons playing in 78 games and recording 45 victories along the way. Not large in stature, standing just 5’9, Holland was great for the Tigers posting a 45-21-5 record and a 4.05GAA playing in a time where goal scoring came easier than today’s game.
Drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 12th Round (188th overall) in 1975, Holland was only able to get into 3 NHL games allowing 17 goals during those games. Holland’s did have a good career in the AHL, playing for Binghamton Whalers and Detroit Red Wings farm system before retiring from playing in 1985.
Holland won his Stanley Cup’s as the mastermind behind developing the teams that won them in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008, one as assistant general manager and the other three as general manager of the Wings.
2004 Champion (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Cibak was an import selection of the Tigers in 1998, which began his North American career. Originally from Slovakia, Cibak recorded 47 points in 66 games as a rookie in the WHL and then followed that up with 45 points in 58 games the following season.
Drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1998 in the 9th Round (252nd overall), Cibak started in the IHL after his Tigers career but made his NHL debut the following year, playing 26 games, recording 6 points. He split time with the Lightning’s affiliate in the AHL over the next season and a half, but became a full-time NHLer in 2003-04. Cibak played in 63 games, recording 9 points capturing the Stanley Cup.
Cibak still currently is playing at the age of 37 in Slovakia with Liptovsky Mikulas HK. This past season Martin collected 9 points in 29 games.
Cibak is the only Tiger import to have won the Stanley Cup as they defeated the Calgary Flames in Game 7.
2007 Champion (Anaheim Ducks)
Rob was a long term Tiger as he spent 3 and a half seasons in Medicine Hat and was a dominant force since his rookie season in 1990-91. In his first campaign, Rob picked up 50 points in 71 games and another 10 points in 12 post season games, soldifying himself in the hearts of Tiger fans immediately. The following two seasons is where NHL scouts took noticed and in 1993 Niedermayer was drafted 5th overall by the Florida Panthers.
Rob joined the Panthers in 1993 and played 65 games as a full time NHL player. The following season he was sent back early on the in year to the Tigers, playing in just 13 games, but the Panther brought him back for 48 games, ending his Tiger career. It sparked a 8 year career with the Panthers before Rob was on his way to the Calgary Flames in 2001. After playing 2 seasons in Calgary, Rob was off to the West Coast of California to join his brother Scott eventually in 2007.
Rob and his brother Scott became the first set of brothers to win the Stanley Cup since the Sutters in the 1980s with the New York Islanders.
2008 Champion (Detroit Red Wings)
Helm had a great career with the Tigers and was apart of a trio of former Tigers (in different generations) to win the Stanley Cup in 2008. As a Tiger Helm brought tenacity and strength to the penalty kill and his 5 on 5 action, a style of play he continues to bring at the NHL level. Helm’s best season as a Tiger was in 2005-06 when the Manitoba native scored 79 points in 70 games. Helm was apart of the 2007 WHL Championship team.
Drafted in the 5th round (132nd overall) by the Detroit Red Wings, he continues to play for the same team that has drafted him. Heading to the big club was a journey as the Wings believe in developing talent in the AHL first. Helm collected 68 points in 123 games at the AHL level and made the jump to the NHL full time in 2009-10.
Helm captured the Stanley Cup alongside Chris Osgood and General Manager Ken Holland. Helm is staying a part of the Red Wings future as he signed a multi-year extension last off season and recorded 17 points in 50 games in 2016-17.
The Tigers organization would like to wish Vernon and the Nashville Predators the best of luck against the Pittsburgh Penguins as they head into Game 2 on Wednesday night. We hope to add another name to this list in a few weeks!