We're going to hear it a million times during the series. Yes, Carolina's Eric Staal and Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal are brothers. Oh, there are four Staal brothers? They're going to be going head to head frequently in the Eastern Conference Finals?
Yes, we know.
It's also common knowledge that Hurricanes coaches Ron Francis and Tom Barrasso where key components in the Penguins two Stanley Cup championships. But in the NHL's small world, players' careers intersect from the time they start their junior or college careers. Here's a look at the Pittsburgh roster and if each player played with current Hurricane.
- Sidney Crosby: It feels like Crosby has been around forever, but this is just his fourth NHL season. He hasn't been a teammate of anyone on the Carolina roster in the QMJHL, Penguins or international play.
- Evgeni Malkin: See above. Malkin hasn't played in the NHL, Russian Super League or international play with any Hurricanes.
- Sergei Gonchar: Gonchar played the majority of his career with Washington before joining the Pens, but he did go to Boston following the trade deadline in 2004. There he played with current Cane Sergei Samsonov for 15 regular season game and seven postseason matches. They were also teammates on Russia's entry in the 2002 Olympics and 2004 World Cup.
- Kris Letang: Letang was teammates with Canes prospect Joe Jensen in Wilkes-Barre in 2006-07 and 2007-08 until Jensen was traded by Pittsburgh to Carolina for David Gove.
- Bill Guerin: Guerin and Samsonov were two of the Bruins biggest weapons in 2000-01 and 2001-02, ranking among the top four point producers both seasons. He was also a teammate of Jussi Jokinen with the Stars in 2005-06. Guerin and Ray Whitney both played for the 1997-98 Oilers, but never played together. Whitney was traded to Florida early in the season while Guerin was acquired mid-season. Guerin and Barrasso were both on Team USA at the 2002 Olympics, and at the '06 games he was teammates with Erik Cole.
- Ruslan Fedotenko: No known link to the Carolina roster.
- Chris Kunitz: No known link to the Carolina roster.
- Mark Eaton: Eaton was a longtime teammate of Scott Walker in Nashville from 2000-2006. Eaton was also briefly teammates with Canes captain Rod Brind'Amour in Philadelphia during the 1999-00 season, but that was the year Brind'Amour was dealt to Carolina.
- Jordan Staal: We know he and Eric are brothers, but Staal also played junior hockey in Peterborough with Canes defensive prospect Mark Flood in 2004-05.
- Tyler Kennedy: Like Letang, Kennedy was a teammate of Joe Jensen in the AHL with Wilkes-Barre in 2006-07 and part of 2007-08.
- Miroslav Satan: No known link to the Carolina roster.
- Brooks Orpik: Orpik and Joe Corvo played together at the 2006 World Championships for the Unites States.
- Rob Scuderi: No known link to the Carolina roster.
- Maxime Talbot: Talbot and Jensen both played in Wiles-Barre in 2006-07.
- Matt Cooke: No known link to Carolina roster.
- Craig Adams: Adams was a Hurricane from 2000 until the 2007-08 season, winning a Cup in Carolina. Adams was teammates with Cole in 1999-00 with the Cincinnati Cyclones if the IHL, and with Cole and Nic Wallin in 2000-01. Both Adams and Tuomo Ruutu played with Chicago in last season before the latter was dealt to Carolina for Andrew Ladd. He also played with Hurricanes color commentator Tripp Tracy at Harvard in 1995-96.
- Phillipe Boucher: Boucher played with Jokinen in Dallas in 2006-07 and 2007-08.
- Hal Gill: Gill played with Samsonov for eight seasons from 1997-2006. Gill also played for Team USA in the World Championships in 2006 with Corvo and 2005 with Cole.
- Pascal Dupuis: Dupuis played with Matt Cullen in New York for six games in 2006-07 with the Rangers af ter being acquired at the trade deadline
- Petr Sykora: Sykora was a teammate of Cullen's in Anaheim on 2002-03.
- M-A Fleury: Both Fleury and Jensen played part of the 2007-08 with Wilkes-Barre.
- Coach Dan Bylsma: Like Sykora, Bylsma played in Anaheim in 2002-03 with Carolina's Cullen. He's also a one-time Albany River Rat, playing there in 1993-94. Finally, he played in Greensboro that year and the season before for the Monarchs.