Where Are They Now? – NHL Trophy Winners Edition
Many of the NHL’s greatest players were winners of the league’s awards honoring performance at a specific position (goaltender, defenseman, defensive forwards) or achievements such as most valuable player. Previous winners of these awards include well-known active players as Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin as well as Hall of Famers like Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr.
Not every player who wins one of the league’s individual awards is a superstar. For some of them, capturing one of those honors proved to be the highlight of their career. Here’s a look at what several of those players are doing today.
Claude Lemieux. An agitating forward who played on Stanley Cup winners with the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils and Colorado Avalanche, Lemieux won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1995 as playoff MVP with the Devils. He is now an NHL player agent with 4Sports & Entertainment and lives in Huntington Beach, CA. He became a naturalized American citizen in 2009.
Bill Ranford. An NHL goaltender for 15 seasons with the Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings, Ranford won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1990 backstopping the Oilers to their last Stanley Cup title. For the past 12 years he’s been the goaltending coach for the Los Angeles Kings.
Jose Theodore. Winner of the Hart and Vezina Trophies in 2002 for backstopping an underdog Montreal Canadiens squad into the playoffs, Theodore spent nearly 17 NHL seasons with the Canadiens, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Minnesota Wild and Florida Panthers. He also won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 2010. Since retiring in 2013, the former goaltender has appeared as an analyst with TVA Sports and writes a regular column for Le Journal de Montreal.
Jim Carey. “The Net Detective” made a promising NHL debut with the Washington Capitals in 1994-95 and was named to the All-Rookie Team. In Carey’s sophomore season, he took home the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender. Soon afterward, injuries and a fading interest in the game would derail his career. After brief stints with the Bruins and St. Louis Blues, he was out of hockey by 1999. Carey is now CEO and president of a medical billing company with offices in Sarasota and Boston.
Jonathan Cheechoo. Tallying 56 goals in 2005-06 with the San Jose Sharks, Cheechoo won the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goalscorer. That season proved to be his career peak as injuries subsequently took its toll on his performance. After six seasons with the Sharks, he played his last NHL campaign with the Ottawa Senators in 2009-10. Cheechoo spent nearly four seasons in the AHL followed by four campaigns in the KHL, announcing his retirement in March 2018. He has expressed interest in working with the Sharks organization.
Rick Meagher. An undrafted center out of Boston University, Meagher spent his first six NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Hartford Whalers and New Jersey Devils in the early 1980s. He went on to play six seasons with the St. Louis Blues, winning the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 1990 as the top defensive forward. The following season, however, injuries forced his retirement.A long-time scout with the Blues, Meagher resides in Belleville, Ontario.