2 Former Montreal Canadiens Playing in the Stanley Cup Final

Two former Montreal Canadiens are facing off in the Stanley Cup Final, with Brett Kulak representing the Edmonton Oilers and Nick Cousins representing the Florida Panthers.
Brett Kulak as a Montreal Canadien
Brett Kulak as a Montreal Canadien / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

The Canadiens have two former players playing for a Stanley Cup this season, with one player on each of the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers. Brett Kulak is no stranger to the Stanley Cup Final, as he appeared in the 2021 edition with the Montreal Canadiens in their Cinderella run through the all-Canadian Division. Nick Cousins doesn't have the same history with the Canadiens, as he spent just half a season with the Habs.

Brett Kulak

The Calgary Flames drafted Kulak with the 105th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He debuted with the Flames in 2014, playing 30 games for the team over the next three seasons. He finally got a full-time run with the Flames in 2017-18 but spent just one season with the team. The Flames re-signed Kulak to a one-year deal in the offseason but traded him to the Canadiens for Matt Taormina and Rinat Valiev.

Kulak blossomed as a member of the Canadiens, tallying a career-high in points in 2018-19 in just 57 games. The performance led Marc Bergevin to sign Kulak to a three-year deal worth $5.55 million in the offseason. The team believed that Kulak could be a valuable depth piece, but they couldn't have guessed the impact Kulak was about to make.

Kulak played his role well while battling injuries and trips in and out of the lineup. He never reached the same amount of point production after his 2018-19 season but played in 13 games on the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2020-21.

Kulak would play half the following season before the Canadiens traded him to his hometown Edmonton Oilers at the trade deadline for William Lagesson, a 2022 second-round pick and a seventh-round pick in this year's draft. The 2022 second-round pick turned into Lane Hutson, which looks like a good robbery for the Habs.

Kulak has been playing his best hockey since joining the Oilers, reaching 100 career points this season after back-to-back 15+ point campaigns.

Nick Cousins

Nick Cousins didn't make the same impact during his time with the Canadiens. The winger played his best hockey with the Canadiens to that point in his career and was well on his way to reaching a career-high in points with 22 in 58 games. However, the Golden Knights came calling at the trade deadline to bolster their lineup for their eventual Cup Final run.

The Canadiens traded Cousins for a 2021 fourth-round pick which they eventually traded to the Lightning for a fourth-round pick in 2022. Cousins has gone on to be a force and will be playing for his third chance at a Stanley Cup this season. After the trade, he went to the Stanley Cup Final with the Golden Knights and is on his second trip with the Panthers.