Hoist it, drink from it, light it on fire…

June 14, 2012

Another season of NHL hockey is in the books and a big congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings on their first ever Stanley Cup victory. Of course, if you watch ESPN exclusively for all your sports information then you likely have no idea what the sports league known as the NHL is or that a group of people who play for a team in said sports league just won a championship. But that is not the point of this post so I will refocus.

Each summer every player from the championship team gets their day with the Stanley Cup. It’s one of the greatest sports traditions around. I started thinking about the craziest, most disgusting, and most disturbing things that poor trophy has been subjected to. These days the Cup doesn’t travel without a chaperone.  The NHL hired handlers to babysit the trophy. Needless to say the best stories are the ones before the handlers came along but there are still some good ones from more recent times. This is what I found.

  • In 2008 Kris Draper put his newborn daughter in the Cup on his day to celebrate. Apparently it either scared her or made her feel really relaxed because, as Draper explained, “she pooped in the Cup. I still drank out of it that night, so no worries”. Typical Red Wing.
  • In 1987 Mark Messier celebrated with the Cup at a classy establishment in Edmonton called the Forum Inn (ahem…strip club) and it made it’s way onstage. More details are difficult to find but I’m sure our imaginations can run with that. The following year he reportedly dented it and brought it to a local automotive repair shop to get it fixed. Wonder what a tune up on the holiest of holy grails costs.

  • Most people know the story of the 1905 Ottawa Silver Seven. After a night of pounding beers out of the Cup, which at that time was literally just a cup, they decided to see if they could kick it across the Rideau Canal. Clearly NFL punters they were not because they didn’t come close to clearing the canal and it skidded across the ice. Thankfully they were in Canada and the canal was frozen.
  • In 1924 the Montreal Canadiens were heading to a victory party when the car got a flat tire. They set the Cup on the side of the road while they took care of the car. After repairs were complete they took off for the party. When they arrived the realization sunk in that something was missing. They had left the guest of honor on the side of the road. Oops. Amazingly…it was still there when they went to retrieve it. Certainly a different time. That thing wouldn’t last 30 seconds in the alley behind my place. Wonder what a steel recycling place would give you for it…
  • The 1940 New York Rangers accidentally lit the trophy on fire…somehow. They did manage to put it out though the same way any other group of intoxicated men would…by urinating on it.
  • Eddie Olczyk took the Cup to the Kentucky Derby in 1994 where he reportedly let the winner, Go for Gin eat out of it. Olczyk denies the rumor. Even still, the following year the NHL hired handlers to accompany the trophy.
  • Mark Recchi took it on the town with him on his day in celebration in 2006. Then went home and curled up in bed…with the Cup. It kinda makes you wonder how far the handler is allowed to be from it and if Recchi had a king bed.
  • Steve Yzerman showered with it in 2002. I don’t even know what else to say about that.
  • Colorado defenseman Sylvain Lefebvre had his child baptized in the Cup. Hopefully God’s a hockey fan.
  • The Cup is definitely no better a swimmer than I am. It’s been in both Mario Lemiuex and Patrick Roy’s pools…both times sinking to the bottom and having to be rescued.

Now…after reading these humorous and sometimes rather gross stories…how many of you are thinking about that time you kissed the Cup?

Yeah…me too.