The Stanley Cup: hands down the most meaningful trophy in all of sports, not only because it has been around since 1893, but also because of the journeys it has been on throughout the years. The Stanley Cup is the only trophy out of the major sports leagues in the US that doesn’t get remade and engraved each year for the winning team. Instead, the same trophy is passed around from team to team each year, going to the team that is crowned “Stanley Cup Champions”.
In 1995, a new tradition began with the Cup, in which each player is granted 24 hours with the trophy and are allowed to do whatever they want with it. Some players get quite creative, like eating their morning cereal out of it or using it as a cooler at a party. The 35 pound silver and nickel rings around the cup are then engraved with
the names of the coaches and players of the championship team. This is usually done once each member of the team had already had their day with the Cup, but this year, that tradition was slightly altered. Rather than having the Cup engraved after the team’s days were finished, the Vegas Golden Knights decided to have it engraved prior to their adventures with the trophy, making them the first team in NHL history to do so. At the very beginning of this team’s creation, Golden Knights owner Bill Foley predicted, “Playoffs in three [years], cup in six”, which ended up coming true for this young team.
After winning the Stanley Cup in five games against the Florida Panthers on June 13th, this year’s “Days with the Cup” kicked off on July 8th. The Cup started its journey with Nicolas Roy, a center with 11 points in 22 games during the 22-23 playoffs. Roy took the cup to his hometown of Amos, Quebec, where the city held a parade for their new champion. Roy even put his cat in the cup at the end of their celebrations!
The Cup then journeyed up north to one of the most valuable players of the playoffs, Jack Eichel. Eichel was traded to the Golden Knights on November 4th of 2021, making him one of the newer members of the team, but that didn’t stop him from making a mark. Eichel put up 26 points in 22 games with the Golden Knights, recording six goals and 20 assists in his first-ever playoff appearance. Eichel spent his day taking the Cup around his hometown of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts. He started on the exact street he grew up on, celebrating with his family and neighbors. He then took the cup to his local rink where he grew up skating, and even took it to the hockey store that he worked at. Finally, Eichel’s fan-favorite pet, Harold the bulldog, got his own time in the Cup!
Now two-time Stanley Cup champion Ivan Barbashev is no stranger to a day with the trophy, as he previously won the Cup with St. Louis in 2019. He spent his first day with the Cup in 2019 in his hometown of Moscow, Russia, and visited local rinks around the area. He took the Cup around to see friends and family, and let young hockey players take pictures with both him and the Stanley Cup. During the 22-23 playoffs, the 27-year-old center put up 18 points in 22 games played. For his second “Day with the Cup,” Barbashev decided to take it easy, and spend the day with his wife and kids (and the Cup of course) on a yacht!
Another two-time Cup champion, Chandler Stephenson, opted for a more relaxed day with the cup than after his first championship. In 2018, Stephenson won the Cup with the Washington Capitals, defeating the Vegas Golden Knights in the Finals. Now, five years later, Stephenson’s second Cup came with the team that he defeated in 2018. Stephenson put up 22 points in 20 games during this season’s playoffs. Just like he did in 2018, Stephenson took the cup to his hometown in Saskatchewan. Rather than making it a public event this time, Stephenson decided to take the Cup wakeboarding with him on Emma Lake.
Mark Stone, captain of the Vegas Golden Knights, put up an astounding 24 points in 22 games during the playoffs, scoring 11 goals and 13 assists. Right before the playoffs started, it was unclear whether or not Stone would be able to play in the games due to a recurring back injury, but the captain showed up for his team by playing a great two-way game and scoring a hat trick in the final game of the Stanley Cup final.
Stone’s day with the cup started in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, at his childhood rink. He then took the cup to his former high school and took pictures with students of the school. While at the school, Golden Knights media discovered that Stone was named two-time floor hockey champion during his time enrolled there, making his visit to the school a little more meaningful as a Stanley Cup champion. After the school trip, Stone took the cup to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, where he took pictures with the patients. Even after his busy day of time in his community, Stone found time to take pictures with his family, including a snap of his daughter in the cup!
It’s not just the players who get to celebrate the team’s achievement; management staff and coaches get their own days with the Cup!
The trophy joined head coach Bruce Cassidy and his family for the launch of the Cassidy Murray foundation, a new foundation started by the Cassidy family that helps families following a tragic loss. After the launch, the Cassidy family brought the Cup to the beach at Cape Cod to take pictures with the fantastic trophy.
General manager Kelly McCrimmon and assistant coach Ryan Craig took the Cup to their shared hometown of Brandon, Manitoba. Craig was seen eating pierogies out of the trophy during his day!
Lastly, Katy Boettinger, Golden Knights director of hockey administration, spent her day with the cup on a ferry ride and ended her day with a celebration with family and friends in Delaware.