2003–04 NHL season

2003–042003–04 season200420032003-042003-04 NHL seasonfollowing season2003-2004 NHL season2003–04 campaign2003-2004
The 2003–04 NHL season was the 87th regular season of the National Hockey League.wikipedia
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1969–70 NHL season

1969–7019701969–70 season
For the first season since the 1969–70 season, teams would now wear their colored jerseys at home and white jerseys away.
It was also the final season that teams wore their colored jerseys at home until the 2003–04 season.

Arizona Coyotes

Phoenix CoyotesPhoenixPHX
The Phoenix Coyotes moved to a new arena in Glendale, Arizona, after playing their first seven seasons at America West Arena.
The team moved into Glendale Arena (now known as Gila River Arena) about two-and-a-half months into the 2003–04 NHL season.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa BayTBLTB
The Stanley Cup champions were the Tampa Bay Lightning, who won the best of seven series four games to three against the Calgary Flames. The most surprising teams were the Tampa Bay Lightning in the East and the San Jose Sharks in the West.
The Lightning's dramatic improvement continued through the 2003–04 regular season, finishing with a record of 46–22–8–6 for 106 points, second-best in the NHL after the Western Conference's Detroit Red Wings—the first 100-point season in franchise history.

Nashville Predators

NashvilleNSHPredators
Of note is the fact that the Nashville Predators made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, though they were dispatched by a star-studded Detroit Red Wings team in the first round.
After five seasons, the Predators qualified for their first Stanley Cup playoffs during the 2003–04 season.

Gila River Arena

Jobing.com ArenaGlendale ArenaGlendale, Arizona
The Phoenix Coyotes moved to a new arena in Glendale, Arizona, after playing their first seven seasons at America West Arena.
With agreements signed with the city of Glendale in 2001, the venue opened midway through the 2003–04 NHL season as the Glendale Arena on December 26, 2003, with the Arizona Sting of the National Lacrosse League defeating the Vancouver Ravens, 16–12, the 2004 NLL season opener.

Andrew Raycroft

RaycroftRaycroft, Andrew
The Calgary Flames ended a seven-year playoff drought backed by the solid play of Miikka Kiprusoff, and the Boston Bruins won the Northeast Division by a whisker over the Toronto Maple Leafs with the help of eventual Calder Memorial Trophy-winning goaltender Andrew Raycroft.
Originally drafted by the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL) 135th overall in 1998, he won the Calder Memorial Trophy with the club in 2004 as rookie of the year.

Calgary Flames

CalgaryCGYFlames
The Stanley Cup champions were the Tampa Bay Lightning, who won the best of seven series four games to three against the Calgary Flames. The Calgary Flames ended a seven-year playoff drought backed by the solid play of Miikka Kiprusoff, and the Boston Bruins won the Northeast Division by a whisker over the Toronto Maple Leafs with the help of eventual Calder Memorial Trophy-winning goaltender Andrew Raycroft.
Iginla again won the "Rocket" Richard Trophy, tied with Rick Nash and Ilya Kovalchuk, with 41 goals in 2003–04.

Todd Bertuzzi

Bertuzzi, ToddLarry BertuzziSteve Moore from behind and punched him the head
The regular season ended controversially, when in March 2004, the Vancouver Canucks' Todd Bertuzzi infamously attacked and severely injured the Colorado Avalanche's Steve Moore, forcing the latter to eventually retire.
During the 2003–04 season, he was suspended for the Todd Bertuzzi–Steve Moore incident.

Anaheim Ducks

Mighty Ducks of AnaheimAnaheimANA
The greatest disappointments were the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, who, despite making it to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals the year prior and adding both Sergei Fedorov and Vaclav Prospal, failed to make the playoffs.
The 2003–04 season was a season to forget, as Jean-Sebastien Giguere could not repeat his stellar goaltending from the previous year.

Miikka Kiprusoff

KiprusoffMiika KiprusoffMiikka
The Calgary Flames ended a seven-year playoff drought backed by the solid play of Miikka Kiprusoff, and the Boston Bruins won the Northeast Division by a whisker over the Toronto Maple Leafs with the help of eventual Calder Memorial Trophy-winning goaltender Andrew Raycroft.
A trade to the Calgary Flames in 2003–04 brought Kiprusoff into a starting role, and he set a modern NHL record for lowest goals against average (GAA) at 1.69 as he helped the Flames reach the 2004 Stanley Cup Final.

Washington Capitals

WashingtonWSHWAS
The Washington Capitals, who were regarded as a contender, also stumbled early in the season and never recovered.
In the 2003–04 season, the Caps unloaded much of their high-priced talent – not just a cost-cutting spree, but also an acknowledgment that their attempt to build a contender with high-priced veteran talent had failed.

New York Rangers

NY RangersNYRRangers
In the East, the star-studded New York Rangers again failed to make the playoffs.
Later years saw other stars such as Alexei Kovalev, Jaromir Jagr, Martin Rucinsky and Bobby Holik added, but in 2002–03 and 2003–04, the team again missed the playoffs.

Peter Bondra

Bondra, PeterBondraPeter
The Capitals traded away Jaromir Jagr, Peter Bondra, Sergei Gonchar, Robert Lang and Anson Carter, while the Rangers moved Petr Nedved, Brian Leetch, Anson Carter and Alexei Kovalev to other NHL teams.
In the 2003–04 season, Bondra's 14th with Washington, the Capitals endured a disappointing year and in a salary purge move traded veteran members of the team to contenders.

Robert Lang (ice hockey)

Robert LangLang, Robert
The Capitals traded away Jaromir Jagr, Peter Bondra, Sergei Gonchar, Robert Lang and Anson Carter, while the Rangers moved Petr Nedved, Brian Leetch, Anson Carter and Alexei Kovalev to other NHL teams.
During the 2003–04 season, Lang was enjoying another career year and recorded his first career hat-trick on November 12, 2003.

Martin St. Louis

St. LouisSt. Louis, MartinMartin St-Louis
The game eventually went into double overtime, where Lightning winger and former Flame Martin St. Louis scored the overtime winner.
He was voted the recipient of the Lester B. Pearson Award and Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player as chosen by the players and league respectively in 2003–04, also winning his first Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer with 94 points.

San Jose Sharks

San JoseSJSSJ
The most surprising teams were the Tampa Bay Lightning in the East and the San Jose Sharks in the West.
2003–04, under new general manager Doug Wilson and head coach Ron Wilson saw another turnaround for the team, resulting in the team's best season to that point.

Brian Leetch

Leetch, BrianLeetchTeam Leetch
The Capitals traded away Jaromir Jagr, Peter Bondra, Sergei Gonchar, Robert Lang and Anson Carter, while the Rangers moved Petr Nedved, Brian Leetch, Anson Carter and Alexei Kovalev to other NHL teams.
After the especially unsuccessful 2004 campaign, the Rangers traded most of their high-priced veterans; Leetch was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs just prior to the trade deadline for prospects Maxim Kondratiev, Jarkko Immonen, a first-round pick in the 2004 draft, which became Kris Chucko (pick was later traded to the Calgary Flames), and a second-round pick in 2005, which became Michael Sauer.

Teemu Selänne

Teemu SelanneSelanne, Teemu
Entering the season, the two Stanley Cup favorites were the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference, who had won the Presidents' Trophy and come within a win of the Stanley Cup Finals the year before, and the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference, who, despite losing legendary goaltender Patrick Roy to retirement, added both Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya to an already star-studded lineup.
Selänne then declined an option in his contract that would have paid $6.5 million in 2003–04 and instead opted to sign a one-year, $5.8 million contract with the Colorado Avalanche, where he was joined by former Anaheim teammate Paul Kariya.

Scott Niedermayer

ScottNiedermayer, ScottScott Neidermayer
He won the James Norris Memorial Trophy in 2003–04 as the NHL's top defenceman and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2007 as the most valuable player of the playoffs.

Colorado Avalanche

ColoradoCOLAvalanche
Entering the season, the two Stanley Cup favorites were the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference, who had won the Presidents' Trophy and come within a win of the Stanley Cup Finals the year before, and the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference, who, despite losing legendary goaltender Patrick Roy to retirement, added both Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya to an already star-studded lineup.
Both failed to live up to the expectations—Kariya spent most of the 2003–04 season injured and Selanne scored only 32 points (16 goals and 16 assists) in 78 games.

Boston Bruins

BostonBOSBruins
The Calgary Flames ended a seven-year playoff drought backed by the solid play of Miikka Kiprusoff, and the Boston Bruins won the Northeast Division by a whisker over the Toronto Maple Leafs with the help of eventual Calder Memorial Trophy-winning goaltender Andrew Raycroft.
In 2003–04, the Bruins began the season with ex-Toronto Maple Leaf goalie Felix Potvin.

Dan Snyder (ice hockey)

Dan SnyderDaniel Snyder
The passenger, Thrashers teammate Dan Snyder, was killed.
The following season, Atlanta dedicated the season to Snyder and Heatley, while further honoring Snyder with a patch displaying his number 37 on it and painting the same logo on the boards.

Jarome Iginla

IginlaIginla, JaromeJerome Iginla
In 2003–04, Iginla led the league in goals for the second time and captained the Flames to the Stanley Cup Finals, leading the playoffs in goals.

Brad Richards

Richards, BradRichardsRichards, Brad †
Brad Richards, with 12 goals and 26 points in the playoffs, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
During the 2003–04 NHL season, the Lightning would win their first Stanley Cup, with Richards' contributions during the playoffs earning him the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player of the postseason, which included a record seven game-winning goals, overtaking Joe Sakic's and Joe Nieuwendyk's record of six.

Petr Nedvěd

Petr NedvedNedved, PetrPet Nedved
The Capitals traded away Jaromir Jagr, Peter Bondra, Sergei Gonchar, Robert Lang and Anson Carter, while the Rangers moved Petr Nedved, Brian Leetch, Anson Carter and Alexei Kovalev to other NHL teams.
Suffering through a disappointing 2003–04 season, Nedvěd was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers at the trade deadline.