As the Final is about to get underway this evening with Tampa Bay and Chicago going to battle, I sought out the opinion of someone who knows what it takes to get the job done.
Wally Stanowski, the oldest living former Toronto Maple Leaf player, won his first Stanley Cup in 1942. The previous season, Stanowski was named to the First All-Star Team for his outstanding performance on Toronto's blue line. The '42 Cup win is an important part of hockey history due to one factor. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Leafs in the first three contests, but Stanowski and his teammates fought back to win the next four and capture Lord Stanley's silver mug.
Since 1942, no National Hockey League club has been able to repeat this feat in the Stanley Cup Final.
After returning from military service (RCAF), Stanowski went on to win three more Cups in 1945, 1947 and 1948.
When I spoke to Stanowski about the Tampa Bay-Chicago Final, his reply came without an ounce of hesitation. "Hawks will win the Cup," he told me. Stanowski pointed out that Chicago is the more skilled club and they know how to win.