The Denver Pioneer hockey program is celebrating the three latest DU alumni winners of the Stanley Cup Trophy, emblematic of an NHL Hockey Champion – Tyler Bozak – a key forward for the 2019 champion St. Louis Blues, former DU defenseman Chris Butler who played 13 games with the Blues this season (and is a St. Louis native) and Bruce Affleck, a 1970s DU defenseman who today is a front office executive with the St. Louis Blues.
These three new Pioneer Stanley Cup Winners join a select group of fellow DU Pioneers who have also won the vaunted trophy as NHL players, coaches or management. DU forward John MacMillan was the first DU Stanley Cup winner in the early 1960s, winning a pair of Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs. DU forward and Hockey Hall-of -Famer Glenn Anderson is the most decorated DU Stanley Cup winner, winning six Stanley Cups in his career, mostly with the Edmonton Oiler dynasty of the 1980s. 1960s DU captain and two-time NCAA Champion Craig Patrick won two Stanley Cups as the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early 1990s, while DU Pioneer forward Beau Bennett was the last Pioneer to play on a Stanley Cup-winning team (prior to this week) in 2016 with the Penguins. Kevin Dineen, who captained the Pioneers in the early 1980s, was an assistant coach on the 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, while Dineen’s brother Shawn, who played at DU just before Kevin, owns a 1996 Stanley Cup ring with the Colorado Avalanche as a scout. Former DU player and head coach Marshall Johnston got his name on the Stanley Cup as part of the front office with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.
Center Tyler Bozak, who played two seasons with the Pioneers a decade ago, signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent for the first nine seasons of his NHL career, and joined the St. Blues before this season just in time to help the Blues to an improbable Stanley Cup win over the Boston Bruins in seven games, after languishing in last place in January of 2019. Enjoy these photos of the last 48 hours of Bozak’s hockey life.