Dinger's connected to foes

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:04 AM ET


 One by one, Chris Dingman began to rattle off all his former teammates on the other side.

 "The only one I played with in Calgary was Iggy (Jarome Iginla)," began the hulking Tampa Bay Lightning forward. "I played with (Denis) Gauthier and Chris Clark in the minors."

 It's a small group but what would you expect. After all, Dingman was dealt away from the Stampede City Feb. 28, 1999, as part of the famous Theoren Fleury deal.

 Which means a whole handful more ex-teammates on the other side vying for the Stanley Cup.

 "Yeah, Stephane Yelle, Steve Reinprecht, Ville Nieminen and Shean Donovan were also in Colorado."

 And then came one more name.

 "Oh yeah, Martin Gelinas in Carolina," Dingman said. "I knew it was a few guys but I didn't realize it was that many. It's weird how that works out, to face them all in the final. It's good for them because they're all quality people who've worked hard."

 Then, Dingman stopped and laughed.

 "I think it means I'm a suitcase and moved around too much," he said.

 He's had his share of success, too.

 Having won a Cup with the Avalanche in 2001, Dingman is one of three Lightning with his name on the Stanley Cup, along with Tim Taylor and Darryl Sydor.

 It was the first of what could have resulted in a mittful of Stanley Cup rings.

 Except he was dealt away to Carolina a month later, which almost meant another trip to the final. However, he was dispatched to Tampa just before the ensuing trade deadline.

 "I was happy to come here," he said. "Being injured the whole time in Carolina, I hurt my groin in training camp, was so frustrating and it never seemed to work out.

 "The worst part was having a long summer because it was the first time I wasn't in the playoffs since being in Calgary."

 No such problem now. Blessed with a plethora of young and talented forwards, the Lightning are a team capable of being a Cup contender for more than just a year or two.

 With Dingman relied on, for now, to provide some veteran presence.

 The message heading into the final was to not be overly excited about reaching the final because there's a bigger prize ahead.

 "It's funny but I did a couple of interviews after we beat Philadelphia and was asked, 'How come you're not happy?' " he said. "I told them, that we're still not where we want to be."

 Which would mean one thing, vanquishing all those former teammates.

 "It would be nice to shake their hands after winning," he said, "but it's going to be a heck of a challenge."


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