All eyes of the hockey world will be on Ball Arena in Denver tonight as the Stanley Cup Final begins.
Can Tampa Bay make it three straight cups or will Nathan Mackinnon and Cale Makar solidify their stardom with a championship and possibly a Conn Smythe?
Makar is the most obvious New England connection as the two-way defenseman called UMass home for two years. His arrival in Amherst helped the Minutemen rise to prominence, which eventually led to a national championship in 2021 after Makar had turned pro. The 23-year-old from Calgary won the 2019 Hobey Baker Award before signing pro.
Now making $9 million a year, he has five goals and 17 assists in 14 postseason games this spring. His elite performance on the big stage led Wayne Gretzky to compare him to Bobby Orr.