How to win the Stanley Cup (or your version of the Stanley Cup)

Before reading this column, I’d like to offer a fair warning to hockey players, hockey coaches and sports fans in general, that I know nothing about hockey or sports in general. Despite being a Michigan native, to say I’m even a hockey fan would be a stretch.
What I am a fan of, however, is the Fat Guy Corner, a weekly sports column written by Lapeer native Jeff Day that publishes in a few of our View Newspaper Group publications. It can also be found and read online for free at
I’ve been fortunate enough to edit his column for the past four years, and it’s turned me into more of a sports fan than I ever thought I’d be. Last week he wrote about the exciting game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, in which the Florida Panthers won the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history. That alone is pretty exciting, but the fact that really got me was this line in Fat Guy’s column, “How about that the coach for Florida, Paul Maurice, has been an NHL coach for 26 years before he finally hoisted the Stanley Cup! I bet he thought it would never happen!”
I’m also a big fan of a sports success story, and I knew there had to be a great story behind this one. Sure enough there are a lot of articles out there about how Maurice finally won the Stanley Cup.
An AP article breaks down his stats like this, “1,985 games, 939 wins, four different franchises, a team relocation, three times getting fired — twice by Carolina alone — and a semi-retirement to get him to this moment”
Maurice started coaching at just 21-years-old, becoming a head coach in the NHL at 28. The Athletic article put it like this, “Thrown to the wolves as an NHL head coach at 28 years old, only making the playoffs with mediocre rosters four times in his first 13 years, his coaching career has been an absolute grind.”
With that, I knew that the path Maurice took to success used the same stepping stones one could take on a path to success in the business world. Keeping that in mind, here are some of the ways colleagues and Maurice himself told the story of his success and how you can use those same ideas to win your own version of the Stanley Cup. GO HOCKEY!
Evolve and be open to doing new things: It could be because he started young or it could be because of his personality, but in The Athletic article Rod Brind’Amour, head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes credits Maurices’ success to his ability to not get stuck. “He’s evolved really well with the game, which is not easy to do, right? … Most coaches have their way of doing things, but the ones that can survive and keep going know how to evolve.”
As I’ve shared before, our leadership teams never answer a question with “well, that’s the way we’ve always done it,” and it seems like Maurice follows that rule as well.
Treat everyone along the way with respect: In articles following the Stanley Cup win, people are quoted sharing what a great coach and person Maurice is. Brind’Amour said in that same Athletic article, “Happy for him because along the way he’s treated everyone right. And I think that’s the biggest takeaway.”
Yes, Maurice just won the Stanley Cup, but I don’t think if he was a jerk that would be forgiven because of a big win. As that same article pointed out, Brind’Amour’s comments are especially meaningful given that “things weren’t always rosy between Brind’Amour the player and Maurice the coach, who had each other twice in Carolina.”
The lesson here should be obvious, but it can be easy to forget to treat people right when you’re grinding away trying to achieve your goal. When success arrives, make sure you still have some friends and your family to share it with.
Know when to take a break: Before joining the Florida team, Maurice took a break, stepping down as coach of the Winnipeg Jets in 2021. Some thought that step signaled retirement. It turned out to be a much-needed break, ultimately propelling him toward success. Jim Rutherford, the president of hockey operations for the Vancouver Canucks said in The Athletic article, “Well I think most of us at some point in time in this game get burnt out … he was smart enough to recognize that.”
We all like to think we have super powers, but we’re human. If something isn’t working, continuing to push ahead might do more damage than good.
Give credit to those who help you win: Maurice is quick to point out in almost every quote on his win, that it’s not his win only. In The Athletic piece he said, “But it’s not mine. I got a piece of it — just a piece of it. So I don’t feel like I won a Stanley Cup. I feel like I got a piece of it. And that’s way better.”
No one does it alone. In hockey or in business. It’s always the right move to realize that and thank those who helped you get to the goal or gold, or silver and nickel alloy in the case of the Stanley Cup.
What has hockey or sports in general taught you about business? Email me at
Emily Caswell is the Brand Manager for VIEW Group, the branding division of View Newspaper Group.

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