Saturday, July 4, 2009
July by the Numbers celebrates the 4th of July with jersey #4 from Scott Stevens of the New Jersey Devils.
Stevens, drafted 5th overall by the Washington Capitals in 1982, never played a game in the minor leagues and scored on his first ever shot in his first game. After eight seasons with the Capitals, he signed as a restricted free agent with the St. Louis Blues, costing them five first-round draft picks!
St. Louis named Stevens captain and made the Campbell Conference All-Star team in 1991. However, after the 1990-91 season St. Louis would again sign another restricted free agent, Brendan Shanahan of the New Jersey Devils. The Devils were now entitled to compensation and the case eventually went to arbitration, with Stevens being awarded to New Jersey.
In his second season with the Devils, Stevens would again be named team captain and would remain the Devils captain until his retirement 12 seasons later. He would lead the Devils in scoring in 1993-94 with 78 points and was also a league high +53 for the year.
In 1995, the Devils made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they swept the Detroit Red Wings in four straight to claim the first of three Stanley Cups. The Devils second Stanley Cup victory in 2000 would see Stevens be named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy.
After topping 1,500 games in the 2001-02 season, Stevens and the Devils would once again rise to the top and take their third Stanley Cup by defeating the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals.
Stevens would end his career with 1,635 games played, 196 goals and 712 assists for 908 points, finishing his career at a +393 with 13 NHL All-Star Game appearances. His #4 would be retired by the Devils on February 3, 2006.
Internationally, Stevens would appear in the World Championships for Canada four times, the 1991 Canada Cup where he would help Canada win the tournament, the 1996 World Cup and the 1998 Olympics.
The featured jersey today is a CCM 2002-03 New Jersey Devils Scott Stevens jersey with the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals patch as worn when the Devils defeated the Mighty Ducks in seven games.
While I have made mention of Stevens Stanley Cup victories and point totals above, Stevens is probably best remembered for his hard hitting reputation, having made numerous memorable thundering checks throughout his 22 NHL seasons.