Filppula won the Cup with the Detroit Red Wings under coach Mike Babcock back in 2008 and just three months ago won Olympic gold with that Finnish team’s history-making victory. That just leaves the Worlds, and given that Finland has more Olympians on its roster than any other team (17), Suomi is surely among the favourites to win gold on 29 May in Tampere.
There were five other possible TGC candidates, all Canadian, and all absent from the roster in Helsinki. Drew Doughty underwent season-ending surgery a while ago, and Ryan Getzlaf retired. Jeff Carter, Duncan Keith, and Alex Pietrangelo are also not here.
There are currently 29 TGC members. Canada leads the way with 11, Sweden 9, Russia 7, and the Czechs 2. The most recent member was Jay Bouwmeester in 2019 with the Cup-winning St. Louis Blues. The only player to captain all three teams to victory is Canada’s Sidney Crosby. The all-time leader with the most TGC championships is Slava Fetisov with 11 (2 OG, 7 WM, 2 SC).
The only TGC coach is Mike Babcock, who led Canada to Olympic gold in 2010 and 2014, WM gold in 2004, and Detroit in the aforementioned 2008 win over Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins. Jonathan Toews is the youngest TGC member, having achieved all three wins by the age 22 years, 41 days when he captained Chicago to the Cup in 2010. And then there are three Swedes – Niklas Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg, and Mikael Samuelsson – who took only two years (2006-08) to win all three, a record of its own.
But right now all TGC eyes are on Filppula, who is hoping to cap an amazing season with a singular achievement for Finland.