Less than a week after the Stanley Cup was awarded to the Carolina Hurricanes, the NHL hosted its annual awards ceremony in Toronto. The highlight of the night was Joe Thornton, who took home dual honours by winning the Art Ross (scoring leader) and Hart (MVP) trophies. He was joined by teammate Jonathan Cheechoo
along with Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Lidstron, Miikka Kiprusoff, Rod Brind'Amour, Pavel Datsyuk, Lindy Ruff, Teemu Selanne and Olaf Kolzig.
After losing two games that tied the series at 3-3, the Carolina Hurricanes persevered to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 and win the Stanley Cup championship. Rookie phenom Cam Ward made 22 saves playing in net and defencemen Aaron Ward and Frantisek Kaberle scored as the Hurricanes captured their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. The team dominated most of the game, taking it to the Oilers with aggresive physical play. The Oilers falied to capitalize on a key 5 on 3 powerplay near the end of the second period and fell short of winning their first Stanley Cup in 16 years.
The Edmonton Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes (Hartford Whalers previously) began their existance with the World Hockey Association in 1971. Today, they start playing their best of seven game series for the Stanley Cup. The Oilers made quick work of the Anaheim Might Ducks in the previous round while the Hurricanes ploughed through a close seven game series, defeating the Buffalo Sabres. With the series about to get going in Raleigh, North Carolina the two teams are all set to fight it out to the bitter end.