The Stanley Cup is the most coveted trophy in all of sports. Unlike other professional sports trophies, a new one isn’t made every year for the reigning champions to keep. It’s given to the winning team for the year until a new championship is claimed. Every member of the team gets the Cup for a day to take wherever and do whatever it is they want with it. This has lead it to many adventures.
The tradition of the players day with the cup started as an ESPN marketing campaign in 1995 where Ken Daneyko ate cereal for it, Derian Hatcher used it as a cooler at a party, and Brett Hull and Mike Modano locked themselves out of their car with the Lord Stanley locked inside. Drinking from the Cup started in 1896 with the Winnipeg Victorias when they drank champagne out of it. Having it raised above players heads as each takes a victor lap with it started in the 1950′s. In 1950 the Detroit RedWings’ Ted Lindsay was the first captain to lift it.
In the past 5 years alone The Stanley Cup traveled more than 400,000 miles. Let’s take a look at some of those adventures:
It’s been used to baptize children.
Clark Gillies let his dog eat out of it.
Brad Richards took it on a fishing boat.
Guy Lafleur piloted a helicopter with Andre Roy as a passenger, who used it as an engagement ring bearer.
It’s been on a roller coaster at Universal Studios, Hollywood.
Luc Robitaille took it to the Hollywood sign.
Brad May accompanied it on the Anaheim City’s float in the 2008 Rose Bowl Parade.
It’s been to the White House with Ronald Regan, George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, George Bush Jr, and Barack Obama in office.
TV: Lord Stanley is now an accomplished actor as it’s been on the soap opera Guiding Light, Boston Legal, and 30 Rock. It’s also appeared on Comer Gas, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’brien, and Meet The Press with Tim Russert. (After the wonderful anti Boston segments, I say that Jon Stewart should be rewarded with the Cup for a show.)
Glen Wesley took it to Camp Lejeune to visit the United States Marine Corps.
It was taken to Kandahar on a Canadian Forces C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
Brent Sopel took it for a ride in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade. (I’ll betcha a certain Boston goaltender loved that.)
An Ottawa Senator tried to kick it into the Rideau Canal, which was frozen over, so the attempt failed. It wasn’t retrieved until the next day.
It’s been used to plant geraniums.
In Montreal, it was left on the side of the road after having a tire repaired, and found the next day exactly where it was left.
It’s been found in the basement of a house where 2 children found it and scratched their names on it. These 2, Lynn & Muzz Patrick, years later had it engraved the proper way as New York Rangers. Then they urinated in it. Now that’s class.
It’s been the cause of the New York Rangers curse, when the owners of Madison Square Garden burned the mortgage in it.
Maurice “Rocket” Richard chipped 2 of his teeth while drinking from it.
It’s been dropped in a bon fire at a party.
Held Red Kelly’s baby in a photo shoot.
It’s been thrown into pools to see if it can float. It doesn’t.
The winner of the Kentucky Derby, (a horse of course), ate oats out of it.
It’s been dropped countless times, and lost several times at air ports.
Just last year it was dropped and dented, lost, and the Keeper Of The Cup, Mike Bolt, had to hitchhike with it when his car broke down in Quebec City. It was called ‘that thing’ by Bruins team captain Zdeno Chara when he was asked if it was heavy. (It’s 30 pounds.) He replied ‘Yeah, I’ve been lifting ‘that thing’ over my head a lot lately.’ THAT THING???!!!!?! That’s what I usually call Chara! haha (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
There’s plenty of myths and mysteries associated with The Stanley Cup. A good friend got me during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals when we were watching Chara hoist the Cup for the first time. He made the comment that Lord Stanley himself is in the original base of it, cremated. Shocked, in an air headed moment, I looked at him and gasped “Is he really?!”He and his wife busted out in laughter and to this day they still have yet to let me live that one down.
Let’s hope that The Stanley Cup’s adventures bring him back to the Motor City soon.
Until then, I’m just Wingin’ it in hockey paradise.