TORONTO, ON — It can be said that every hockey player’s dream is to one day hoist the Stanley Cup.
As we approach Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils, the dream will become a reality for a group of men who have outdone their opponents in a battle of physicality, passion and pride. While each player will skate around in a similar fashion in front of thousands with Lord Stanley above their heads, how each player spends his day with the cup is where the uniqueness of this championship thrives.
The “Day with the Stanley Cup” is a tradition that allows each player on the championship team to spend a private day with the cup however they wish.
If hockey’s Holy Grail could speak, it would share a collection of unbelievable stories across thousands of kilometers in the possession of an unthinkable number of hands.
What can be done with the cherished trophy? Anything, really.
Pay Homage to Grandma’s Cooking
What’s better than eating a traditional meal out of the cup? Zdeno Chara took the Cup to the Motherland of Slovakia in 2011, and from it, at one of his favourites in front of a sea of reporters.
Introduce it to Liquid Royalty
You know a Stanley Cup Championship has been celebrated when a hefty liquor bill is in company.
The Cup made its way to Cheli’s Bar in downtown Detroit after the Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008. With the help of teammates, Aaron Downey served beer from the Cup to a cheering crowd in celebration of the win. It just HAS to taste different.
Make a Child’s Day
For many players, children are their inspiration on and off the ice. Doug Weight treated his two kids to a sundae out of the Cup complete with chocolate and marshmallows in 2006. Mark Recchi made a visit to the Royal Inland Hospital in 2011 and brightened a few faces while he was there.
Take it for a Dunk
Who says Lord Stanley doesn’t like to enjoy a little melted ice once in a while? The Cup lay at the bottom of Patrick Roy’s swimming pool in 1993 and was eventually retrieved. Although Stanley sinks, many players still take it for a swim on their day.
Catch Some Zzz’s
Some players choose to bring the Cup to where “the dream” began. After defeating the Detroit Red Wings in 2009, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins took the Cup to bed with him. Just eight hours of shut-eye with the Holy Grail gave “beauty rest” a whole new meaning.
Whether it’s swimming in a pool or under the sheets, Lord Stanley’s Cup has had its share of experiences.
What will players come up with next?
While that is up for debate, one thing is for sure. The newest champions will make the summer of 2012 one to remember for the most prized and respected trophy in professional hockey.
As written for The Fourth Period Lifestyle Column: http://www.thefourthperiod.com/columnists/perri/mp120611.html)