Victor’s Insider Scoop About Touching The Holy Grail
August 29th, 2012 | top of page
I’m not big on standing in lines. For anything. At Disneyland, an early start or a SpeedPass is mandatory for me. Line up to eat at a restaurant or drink in a bar?—isn’t going to happen no matter how good the food is or whether the single malt is free. But today, I stood in line, outside in Scottsdale in 106℉ heat for over two hours! What could make me do the unconscionable you ask? How about a 35.25 inch, 34.5 pound silver and nickel alloy trophy: the Holy Grail aka The Stanley Cup the most celebrated prize in professional sports!
Today the Cup was at the Altel Ice Den in Scottsdale (where my son plays goalie on the Bantam AA Jr. Coyotes) in the care of Denver Wilson, trainer for the 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings so I just had to go.
The Stanley Cup has been around since 1893, a gift of then Governor General of Canada Lord Stanley of Preston for the champion hockey team in the Dominion of Canada.
The Cup is unusual in professional sports in that it is not made anew each year like those of baseball, football, or basketball. The winners keep the Cup until a new champion is crowned the following year. Additionally, it is engraved with the names of the winning players, coaches, management, and staff on its chalice.
The Cup has a few traditions associated with it. One of the oldest requires the champions to drink champagne from the top bowl after their victory. Another is the on-ice presentation of the Cup to the captain of the winning team after the series-winning victory, and the subsequent carrying of the trophy around the rink by each member of the victorious club. Another tradition (or rather superstition) that is prevalent among today’s NHL players is that no player should touch the Cup itself until his team has rightfully won the Cup. Not being in the NHL I had no qualms about touching the Cup myself. But I did instruct my son not to touch it just in case …
Since I grew up in Montreal watching The Habs on Hockey Night in Canada with Danny Gallivan and Dick Irvin here are a few fun facts about the Cup:
The winningest team is, of course, Montreal with their name on the Cup 24 times. The next closest teams are the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs both tied with a paltry 11 wins each.
The player with his name engraved the most times is Montreal’s Henri (The Pocket Rocket) Richard who won the Cup 11 times (amazingly, the same number as both the Toronto and Detroit teams!).
The person whose name is engraved on the Cup the most times is Montreal’s Jean (Le Gros Bill) Beliveau who won it 10 times as a player and 7 times in management for a total of 17 times!
It’s hard to imagine these records ever being toppled.
Me with The Stanley Cup!
Elliot with (but NOT touching!) The Cup
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