The Stanley Cup was back at the Staples Center on Sunday -- this time for a visit with one of the champion Los Angeles Kings' co-tenants. A number of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers got up close and personal with the Cup following their preseason loss to Sacramento.
Star center Dwight Howard took pictures with the Cup after making his debut with the Lakers. Kobe Bryant merely glanced at it -- but he was familiar with the Cup after being seen at a few of the Kings' playoff games last spring.
Forward Metta World Peace was intrigued by the Cup and even did what he hoped was a first: eating almonds from it.
Eleven years after the Los Angeles Kings lost two of their own in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the team made sure the families of Garnet "Ace" Bailey and amateur scout Mark Bavis had their day with the Stanley Cup.
Bailey, the team's director of pro scouting, and Bavis had been heading from Boston to Los Angeles for the Kings' organizational meetings when their United 175 flight was hijacked and crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center.
On Sunday, the Cup was brought to the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero in New York, where the families of Bailey and Bavis got a chance to take part in the first championship in franchise history. Kings general manager Dean Lombardi was also there.
The Kings arranged to bring the Cup to the memorial in New York and posed it there, next to the engraved names of Bailey and Bavis. Some fans had paid their own tributes to the two soon after L.A.'s triumph in June by putting Kings caps and other team memorabilia near their names at the memorial.
The Los Angeles Kings executive brought the Stanley Cup to his parents' home in Quebec to honor a request made by his mother Madeleine, who is suffering from liver cancer.
"She's never asked me for anything, my mom," Robitaille told the Los Angeles Times. "She said, 'Hey, if you win the Cup, can you take it home this time?' It was very matter of fact. I was like, 'Yeah, sure.' I hung up the phone thinking, 'We're going to win the Stanley Cup.'"
The exchange took place during the Kings' second-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the St. Louis Blues.
"When someone who has never asked you to do something asks you, it means something," Robitaille said.
The newspaper provided details of the visit to Norbertville, which occurred this week before the Cup went to be engraved.
The village of 1,261 was treated to a short parade that was followed by a proclamation from the mayor. More than 400 people had their picture taken with the trophy.
Robitaille won the Cup while a player with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002; that offseason the Montreal native brought his parents to Los Angeles to celebrate.
This time, the Kings president of business operations took the Cup to his parents, as his mom asked.
"She figures it's the last time she'll see it," Luc's father Claude said.
The Stanley Cup is taking the final trip of its summertime journey with the Los Angeles Kings.
"We are heading up to Canada on Thursday, it actually goes to get engraved," keeper of the Cup, Phil Pritchard, said on the Kings' website. "The 2011-12 Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings are going to get their names on it."
The Cup made its final stops in Cape Cod, Mass., and at a rally in Manchester, N.H., site of the Kings' minor-league affiliate, on Sunday.
"If it was not for the Monarchs we would not have won the Cup," Kings president of business operations Luc Robitaille said. "... We are very thankful but we wanted to make sure the fans that follow the Monarchs understood that. For us, we know we would not have the success we have had without this team and organization and fans."
More than 2,000 fans attended an event at the Monarchs' arena.
"It has been amazing. It is amazing to see the crowd," Robitaille said. "I was overwhelmed just to drive in and see the crowd, I could not believe it. It went all the way around the block. It is pretty neat to see. I was surprised. I have to admit I did not expect that."
The Stanley Cup spent its final days on tour in Hollywood then on the East Coast on its way to the traditional engraving.
"The Stanley Cup is the greatest trophy in sports," Robitaille said. "There is nothing like it. There is only one. Each player gets it and there is so much tradition. It is almost over 120-years-old now and it has so much history. If it could talk it would have amazing stories, and there is nothing else like it. To a certain point, the game of hockey is such a high level, but the Stanley Cup stands on its own. It is such a special trophy and it makes it unbelievable any time you can see it live."
It's not always easy to take a man at his word, but businessman Chris Byrne had a good feeling in May when he received an email from Los Angeles Kings governor Tim Leiweke. Based on their correspondence, if everything went according to plan, Byrne, a longtime Kings fan, could be the host of his very own Stanley Cup party.
It started weeks earlier, when the Kings were struggling to secure the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Byrne, whose roofing materials company has had Kings season tickets since the team played at the Great Western Forum, attended an event held by Leiweke. Though the presentation was intended to discuss plans for a football stadium in Los Angeles, the Kings governor spent much of his time talking about his hockey team. Inspired by Leiweke's passion, Byrne sent an email weeks later sharing his love for the Kings. It was a spirited message that included one small request.
"I just ended it with, assuming the Kings win the Cup, he'd make a fan from the beginning very happy if he would bring the Cup to an Irish pub in West Hollywood that we own a little part of," Byrne told NHL.com. "Amazingly enough, he wrote back the next day and said, 'Absolutely.' It's a tribute to that organization."
By the time Leiweke got in touch with Byrne, the Kings had already knocked off the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and had won the first two games in their Western Conference semifinal against the St. Louis Blues. A Kings fan practically since the team's arrival in Los Angeles, Byrne was confident the team could win the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history. But the 60-year-old wasn't completely sure if the iconic trophy would really make an appearance at his bar, Rock & Reilly's, in West Hollywood.
"They were playing St Louis and I told a guy, 'They're going to sweep St. Louis and win the Cup.' I felt it. After they beat Vancouver, I thought they were the best team there," Byrne said. "Time went by and he [Leiweke] made good on his word. He's a really good guy."
Sure enough, Leiweke came through on the promise he made almost four months earlier when he brought the Stanley Cup to a party held last week at Rock & Reilly's. Team president Luc Robitaille also was on hand.
"I have three girls who grew up watching the Kings. Kristen, my daughter, got her picture taken with Luc near the end of the party," Byrne said. "She told me later on it was the best day of her life."
The Stanley Cup is used to keeping a frantic schedule. But last week was especially busy for the iconic trophy, which shined even brighter in the company of some of Hollywood's biggest stars.
It started with a trip to the set of "Wheel of Fortune," where host and longtime Los Angeles Kings fan Pat Sajak couldn't help but show his excitement when the special guest arrived. For the Stanley Cup, it was just the beginning of a wild week in Hollywood.
After the game-show set, the Cup paid a visit to the production offices of the animated series "South Park." The show's co-creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, posed for photos with the Cup, and before long the entire staff was congregating around the trophy.
But the Cup wasn't reserved just for the film and television industries during its week in Los Angeles.
Considering the Kings share Staples Center with two NBA teams, it seemed only right the NHL team include its neighbors in the festivities. The Cup was first hosted by the Los Angeles Clippers, including some players and coach Vinny Del Negro, before the Los Angeles Lakers got their moment.
Though Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was one of the most prominent team members to pose with the Cup, one of the team's newest players may have enjoyed its presence the most. Though Steve Nash has never tried to hide his love for the Vancouver Canucks, the point guard, who was traded to the Lakers in July, relished his moment with the trophy marking the Kings' championship.
Following appearances at local hospitals and charitable events, the Cup made its way to a pair of parties held by team governor Tim Leiweke and president of business operations Luc Robitaille. In typical Kings style, they welcomed a number of celebrities, including producer Jerry Bruckheimer, broadcasters Ryan Seacrest and Al Michaels, actors Michael Vartan, Michael Rosenbaum and Rita Wilson, as well as former Kings owner Bruce McNall.
It all ended Sunday, when the Cup travelled to Manchester, N.H., for an event held by the Kings' American Hockey League franchise, the Manchester Monarchs. The hundreds of fans in attendance at Verizon Wireless Arena were shocked when Robitaille carried the Cup into the building before making a short presentation.
From Manchester, Robitaille was scheduled to bring the Cup to Quebec, where it will take part in one of its final celebrations before being engraved later in September.
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez started the week training at his old stomping grounds and ended it with a Stanley Cup celebration among friends and family.
A former standout for the Miami (Ohio) University Redhawks, Martinez was back at the school's Goggin Ice Center to participate in its week-long pro camp. Along with 19 other former Redhawks, including Andy Greene, Ryan Jones, Tommy Wingels and Andy Miele, Martinez returned to the ice for an intense training regimen overseen by Miami coach Enrico Blasi. But the camp wasn't just an opportunity for Martinez to work out and catch up with old teammates.
As one of only three Redhawks -- along with Dan Boyle and Kevyn Adams -- to win the Cup, Martinez was honored in the ice complex lobby. It was there that a massive portrait, showing Martinez during his college days as well as in his triumphant moment with the Kings, was placed on the wall of the building's entrance.
For the second-year player, the real Cup celebration took place Friday when the trophy arrived at his offseason home in Allen, Texas, about 30 miles north of Dallas.
Martinez received the Cup around 10:30 a.m., after which he and a group of friends and family, including some former Miami teammates, enjoyed lunch at a nearby driving range. From there, the Michigan native held a Cup party at his new home before enjoying dinner at a local restaurant.
For the town of Allen, it's the first time the Cup has been there since making an appearance at a 2009 game of the Allen Americans of the Central Hockey League.
While Kings players and coaches have all had their time with the Cup, other members of the organization are awaiting their day. Jeff Solomon, the team's vice president of hockey operations and legal affairs, receives the Cup in San Diego on Saturday, and members of the Kings' training staff will get it in Los Angeles after that.
The Cup's whirlwind summer will end next week with vice president of business operations Luc Robitaille before it is engraved in mid-September with the names of the championship squad.
Thursday was already scheduled to be a big sports day in Utah, with the University of Utah, Utah State University, and Brigham Young University all scheduled to start their college football seasons that day.
But Trevor Lewis' arrival with the Stanley Cup is providing a nice boost for area hockey fans.
A prep hockey star growing up in Salt Lake City, the Kings center became the first Utah native to have his name inscribed on the Stanley Cup. So on his day with the Cup, Lewis decided to bring the trophy back to Salt Lake, where he starred at Brighton High School before joining the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL as a 17-year-old. And for a growing hockey community, it's a very big deal.
Denver Wilson's day with the Stanley Cup in Phoenix on Wednesday wasn't exactly typical. Then again, the Los Angeles Kings' assistant equipment manager took a path to the NHL that wasn't exactly typical either.
While the Cup has spent much of the summer in traditional hockey hotbeds, including Minnesota, Massachusetts and most of Canada, Wilson brought the most iconic trophy in sports to Arizona to honor the hockey community that helped carve his way to the NHL.
It starts with his father, Stan Wilson, who has been the Phoenix Coyotes' equipment manager since 1990, when the club was in Winnipeg. In his career with the franchise, the elder Wilson has worked more than 1,500 NHL games, including a tense five-game Western Conference final last May against his son's Kings.
When Los Angeles Kings' center Mike Richards won the Stanley Cup, it marked the ultimate goal in a young career full of championships. Not to be outdone, teammate Davis Drewiske showed off some hardware of his own on Monday, when he enjoyed his day with the trophy.
Richards, who hosted the Cup in his hometown of Kenora, Ont., on Aug. 18, became the first player in hockey history to win a Memorial Cup, Calder Cup and Stanley Cup. But Drewiske had some of his own trophies waiting to meet the Stanley Cup on Monday.
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Davis Drewiske spent part of his day with the Stanley Cup at the home of paralyzed Minnesota high school player Jack Jablonski.
According to KARE, Drewiske, a native of Wisconsin, picked up the trophy at the Twin Cities airport and took it to Jablonski, where he and his brother were photographed with the Cup.
"It was exciting to see him," Drewiske told WQOW. "That was one of the highlights of the day so far. He looks remarkably better than last time I saw him in February and March. His attitude is just so fantastic and his family's attitude -- they are just very positive and realistic at the same time. But he's made some great strides in his recovery this summer and it was inspiring to be around them this morning."
Jablonski was paralyzed after hitting the boards during a game last winter. He begins his junior year at Benilde-St. Margarets on Tuesday.
Drewiske held a viewing party later in the day at his childhood rink in Hudson, Wis.
"It's very special," Drewiske said, according to the Eau Clare, Wis., TV station. "Obviously having the Cup is special, but even more special than that is having all these people here and people that have supported me and my family over the years. This is just a great place to grow up, a great community and really a great area of the country. We're really excited to do something to return the favor a little bit."
The journey through Ontario that started more than a week ago with Mike Richards in the westernmost part of the province ended today with former Kings' player and current team scout Alyn McCauley.
Following two days in London with Los Angeles teammates Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter, the Stanley Cup swung over to Eastern Ontario on Saturday for a day with Kings center Brad Richardson in Belleville. The following day in Gananoque with McCauley marked the end of a nine-day journey through the province for the Cup in which it was hosted by seven players before joining the Kings' scout.
LONDON, Ontario -- After a sleepy morning at his parents' home, Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter brought the Stanley Cup out for a brief tour of the city after making a public appearance Thursday.
About 100 employees at EllisDon, where Jeff's mom Sue works, lined up for pictures with Jeff and the Cup on a sweltering hot day. The Clarence Campbell Bowl was also on hand for the festivities.
The only other public stop before a private party at an uncle's house was Stronach Arena, where Carter played his first hockey as a 7-year-old. The ice was replaced with a sport court for summertime ball hockey, so the Cup was set at "centre ice" for some fun pictures.
Carter posed for shots in almost every jersey he's ever worn -- including one he wore when he was 7 that wasn't as ill-fitting as you'd think. Some children passing by saw the Cup and got some unexpected shots with it too.
LONDON, Ont. -- The handoff of the Stanley Cup between London boys and Los Angeles Kings teamates Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter took place at about 8:30 a.m. this morning, with the Hall of Fame's Mike Bolt driving the Cup across town to Carter's parents' house.
Carter has nothing public planned with the Cup today. He and Doughty shared the spotlight Thursday at a ceremony at City Hall and John Labatt Center, home of the London Knights.
Friends, family and Carter's billet family from his time at Sault Ste. Marie in the OHL are enjoying a quiet party in the back yard. The Cup will make a trip to the workplace of Jeff's mom, Sue, and make another trip the home of Jeff's uncle for a private get together.
There will also be a stop at Stronach Arena, where Jeff played as kid.
LONDON, Ont. -- The final leg of Drew Doughty's tour took him to his parents home on the other side of town and was a walk down memory lane.
Doughty hopped into his old bed with the Cup. He posed for photos in the bed that features a Los Angeles Kings pillow case and sits next to a nightstand that had a phone with a Kings logo on it.
As if that wasn't enough, Doughty's two jerseys from his days as a small child hung on a dresser -- one of Kelly Hrudey and one of Wayne Gretzky.
Doughty took the Cup into the back yard for more pictures with family members, only this time the Cup had Doughty's gold medal from the 2010 Olympics draped around its neck.
The family took the Cup to its final stop in town -- Forest City National Golf Course. The Cup sat in the clubhouse for two hours for pictures while Doughty signed autographs and posed for pictures of his own.
After that, it was back to Doughty's residence for a private party. More to come later on Doughty's day, including stories from his billet parents and how his grandparents made his career possible.
LONDON, Ont. -- Once family time concluded, Drew Doughty shared the Cup with his neighbors. Kids and adults alike took photos in a nearby park and signed autographs as well.
From there, Doughty and his family boarded a bus for city hall, where the town's mayor honored them with a plaque in the shape of the city's emblem. Jeff Carter, also a London native who will have his own day with the Cup on Friday, joined the party with his family.
Doughty and Carter proceeded to climb atop a police rescue vehicle with the Cup and led a small procession to the Joseph Labatt Center, home of the OHL's London Knights.
The Cup was put on display at center ice for the 1,000 or so fans who attended while Carter and Doughty toured the arena and locker room.
There are a few more stops left on a day that's expected to conclude at about 4 p.m.
LONDON, Ont. -- It's never too early to start a party with the Stanley Cup, and Drew Doughty proved that Thursday.
The Los Angeles Kings' defenseman rolled out of bed to greet the Cup outside his home. Also waiting for him was his grandfather, Edward, with a homemade jug of white wine with a Guelph Storm logo painted on the side of it.
Grandpa implored his grandson to drink from it, and he obliged. The entire family sipped from the Cup in Doughty's kitchen before bringing it poolside in the back yard for some more celebratory imbibing.
Doughty's family -- including his billet family from his junior days in Guelph -- posed for photos with the Cup.
The party is expected to last until about 11 a.m. The group will board a party bus -- no drinking and driving -- that will take everyone to Doughty's youth rink and a nearby golf course where fans can view the Cup.
What started with a whirlwind tour around town ended with a surprise appearance from a broadcasting legend. It all came together during a day with the Stanley Cup for Los Angeles Kings forward Kyle Clifford.
It started at 9 a.m., when Clifford's family and friends were on hand for the Cup's arrival at his family home. After a festive breakfast that included some sips of orange juice from the Cup, Clifford's crew boarded a vintage 1950s-era fire truck for a trip around Ayr, Ontario.
Joined by some children who won a spot on the antique vehicle in a local contest, Clifford spent several hours making a number of stops, including at the grave site of his aunt who passed away during this past NHL season. Following quick stops at local businesses and at the family home of an old friend who had passed away, Clifford made the most iconic trophy in sports available to the public at the North Dumfries Community Complex.
With locals lining up all afternoon for a chance to be photographed with the Cup, there was one last surprise in store for the citizens of Ayr. A local resident, legendary broadcaster Jiggs McDonald, who served as the New York Islanders' play-by-play man for three consecutive Stanley Cup wins, made an appearance, livening up what was already an eventful day for the southwestern Ontario town.
Clifford had one last celebration scheduled in which 150 guests were expected to arrive at his family home.
After enjoying several days moving through Western Canada, the Stanley Cup's nine-day trip through Ontario began Saturday with Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards in Kenora, a town situated much closer to Winnipeg than Toronto.
After a day of travel Sunday, the scene shifted to Garden River on Monday, where Kings rookie Jordan Nolan enjoyed his big day.
The day after Dustin Penner personally escorted the Stanley Cup through his hometown of Winkler, Manitoba for the second time in five years, teammate Mike Richards brought the Cup to a town that had gone more than 100 years without a Cup celebration. And he made sure to pay tribute to the last group of Cup-winners from his hometown of Kenora, Ontario.
The weekend started with Penner -- who first won the Cup with Anaheim in 2007 -- getting his second day with the Cup in his hometown of Winkler, located about 80 miles south of Winnipeg and just minutes from the border with North Dakota. It was there that the Kings winger enjoyed a day of golf with the Cup before taking a limo to a public event hosted by the Southland Mall. Hundreds of locals, some of whom had been camping out for three hours, descended on the mall for a chance to be photographed with Penner and the Cup. With August 17, 2012 officially declared "Dustin Penner Day," it was another special day in Winkler.
Stoll visited two separate rinks, held numerous public events, and ended with a banquet with about 1,100 guests. And all this was between two southeastern Saskatchewan towns -- Neudorf and Yorkton -- separated by about 50 miles. So it's pretty telling that Stoll's first stop of the day was to his grandparents' house.
In fact, Stoll's day with the Cup began with a big hug from his grandmother, Doreen, who hosted a brief party at her home in the morning, along with Stoll's grandfather, Wilbert. The pair has been a huge part of Jarret's upbringing, hosting the entire Stoll clan during holidays and attending many of their grandson's youth games. Before those games, the pair would promise to pay Jarret a dollar for every goal he scored, a proposal that got expensive as Jarret developed into a young hockey star. Jarret even picked his number, 28, because his grandfather was born in 1928.
In a day when hundreds of people shared in Jarret's celebration with the Cup, the Kings forward, who came one win short of a Cup win with the Edmonton Oilers in 2006, made sure to reserve plenty of time with family. There was a photo session featuring the Cup and Stoll's family at an area studio and a constant Stoll family presence throughout the day.
But it all started Thursday morning with a special visit to the home of Wilbert and Doreen Stoll.
With 13 different Los Angeles Kings players and staff members hailing from Ontario, Canada's most populous province will see plenty of the Stanley Cup this summer. But Saskatchewan is getting three days of its own this week with hockey's holy grail, more than any Canadian province other than Ontario.
Not bad for a province with a population of just over 1 million -- and one that went without a Cup visit last summer.
It started Tuesday in Saskatoon, where Kings scout Brent McEwen received the Cup. While McEwen enjoyed plenty of private time with the trophy in his hometown, the real celebration began when he brought it to the University of Saskatchewan's Rutherford Rink, a historic facility that opened in 1929.
As a former hockey player, manager and coach for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, it was the perfect homecoming for McEwen, who also served for seven years as general manager of the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League before joining the Kings in 2004. With McEwen's daughter getting married last Saturday, it was an eventful week for the family.
Bill Ranford won the Stanley Cup twice as a player with the Edmonton Oilers, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1990. But those wins predated the modern tradition entitling members of the Stanley Cup-winning team to a day with the trophy. So when Ranford won another Cup, this time as the Los Angeles Kings' goaltending coach, the town of New Westminster, British Columbia knew it was going to have a big celebration this summer.
Monday was already scheduled to be a big day for the town located in the eastern part of the metro Vancouver area. Anne Callaghan, the United States Consul General, was scheduled to visit the office of Mayor Wayne Wright that day. But when the Cup was delivered to Ranford around noon, Callaghan's visit was likely overshadowed.
Kings' goaltending coach Bill Ranford poses for a photo on his day with the Stanley Cup. (Photo: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI)
For his efforts with Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who himself won the Conn Smythe for his outstanding play, Ranford received the Cup in the town known as "the Royal City" and immediately enjoyed private time among friends and family. From there, Ranford delivered the Cup around 4 p.m. to the local Queen's Park Arena, where fans had been lined up for three hours to get a chance to see the Cup. A photographer took photos of locals, who got to pose with the Cup in exchange for a small donation to the local hockey program.
After two hours at the arena, Ranford hosted a private party with the Cup, which was scheduled to spend time on Tuesday with Kings scout Brent McEwen in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
To Ranford's credit, this wasn't his first Cup unveiling in New Westminster. In 2004, shortly before coming on as a goaltending coach with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, Ranford lobbied the Hockey Hall of Fame for a day with the Cup. Taking into consideration his two wins as a player, the Hall of Fame gave Ranford and New Westminster their day with the Cup. Eight years later, the pair made a triumphant return to the Royal City.
PORT McNEILL, B.C. -- For Willie Mitchell, it wasn't enough to thank the tiny town that raised and nurtured him -- as both a hockey player and young man -- during his one day with the Stanley Cup.
For the veteran defenseman of the Los Angeles Kings, it was important to also honor the First Nation community that continues to stoke his spiritual side every summer as he searches for balance through the area's incredible natural surroundings, away from the pressures of being a professional athlete.
For Mitchell, 35, it was important to thank the entire north end of Vancouver Island -- even if the effort left him worn out for the little private time remaining.
So Mitchell split the bulk of a long day with the Stanley Cup between his hometown of Port McNeill and at the 'Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay on nearby Cormorant Island. In Port McNeill, Mitchell posed for pictures in the arena where he learned to skate with a crowd estimated at approximately 6,000 – more than double the population of the little logging town.
PORT MCNEILL, B.C. -- Willie Mitchell and the Stanley Cup have been left behind temporarily at the community arena in Port McNeill, where the last few thousand fans waited for their chance to get a group picture with the guests of honor.
The rest of the Mitchell entourage, including grandfather Les, who was once invited to training camp with the New York Rangers in the Original Six era, is already aboard three different boats bound for Alert Bay on a nearby Island.
Mitchell and the Cup will take a helicopter over a bit later for a traditional ceremony at the Namgis First Nation Longhouse. But it's not like Mitchell, an avid fisherman, hasn't had a chance to take the Cup out onto the ocean that is such a big part of his life and this small community on the northern end of Vancouver Island.
The Los Angeles Kings' defenseman woke his father, Reid, with a 3:30 a.m. call to take the Stanley Cup fishing, a trip that left other family members with blood from the day's catch still on their clothes during the morning ceremony at the arena, and left more than a few tourists out on whale watching expeditions shocked to see hockey's famous trophy out in a boat in the wee hours.
PORT MCNEILL, B.C. -- With a population listed just over 2,600 people, it's safe to say traffic jams aren't the norm for the town of Port McNeill.
But with Willie Mitchell bringing the Stanley Cup to the north end of Vancouver Island on Sunday, the lineups were as long as that big stick the Los Angeles Kings defenseman uses to poke the puck away from top NHL forwards.
Organizers were expecting up to 7,000 people to see Mitchell and the Cup, more than doubling the population of the oceanside fishing and logging town Mitchell grew up in -- and still returns to every summer. The local arena was already overflowing, with lineups winding in every direction out the door, more than half an hour before Mitchell and the Cup were expected to arrive by helicopter in an adjacent field.
With so many people eager to see both, the plan was to bring people into the arena 50 to 75 at a time for group photos before Mitchell flies it to Alert Bay on a nearby island for another afternoon ceremony.
The day after Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi enjoyed idyllic weather for his day with the Stanley Cup in Ludlow, Mass., defenseman Matt Greene didn't have the same luck when he received the trophy Friday morning in Grand Ledge, Mich.
But despite some torrential rains and a sudden change of schedule, it was still a special day for Greene and his hometown.
The day began with Greene presenting the Cup to a group of local military veterans and emergency services staff in Grand Ledge, located a few miles from the campus of Michigan State University in Lansing. The plan for the afternoon originally called for a parade through town, allowing residents to catch a glimpse of the Cup. But thunderstorms and high winds forced the town to cancel the parade. With the weather not cooperating, Greene and the Cup were instead shuttled to an event at the local high school.
From the looks of the monstrous crowd at Grand Ledge High School, where Greene graduated in 2001, it didn’t take long for the residents to learn about the change in plans. By the time Greene and the Cup arrived at the high school gym, fans were reportedly already lining up to have a moment with the most iconic trophy in sports.
After three hours there, Greene was scheduled to visit a number of businesses around Grand Ledge before ending his day with the Cup among friends and family.
It's amazing how much things can change in a matter of months. For Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi, the 2011-12 season ended on such a high note with the franchise's first Stanley Cup win that it's easy to forget the team's tumultuous regular season.
Just under a year ago, the Kings were opening the season in Europe with one of their best players, defenseman Drew Doughty, holding out for a new contract. Eventually head coach Terry Murray was replaced with Lombardi's former coach in San Jose, Darryl Sutter. That's a lot for any team to deal with in just half a season.
"[Last season] was really hard in a lot of ways. Starting out with Drew, it was frustrating not having a top player in your camp. Then going to Europe, you're not sure how it affects your team with the travel," Lombardi told NHL.com. "Making that [coaching] change was very difficult, but fortunately I had a man like Darryl who I knew was willing to do it. What he did speaks for itself."
In all the drama surrounding the Kings' first half last season, Lombardi didn't escape unscathed, either. Leading up to the NHL trade deadline, there was some speculation that his job could be in jeopardy if he didn't make a significant addition to a team that ranked near the bottom in League scoring. But for a longtime executive mentored by Cup winners like Bill Torrey, Bob Clarke and Lou Lamoriello, that speculation didn't mean much.
"Whether it was Clarkey or Torrey or Lou Lamoriello, they would pound that into you. You can't listen to it. You're a pro, you can't let it affect your judgment. At this stage of my career, it really didn't affect me. I've been trained so well," Lombardi said. "They're very single-minded men who aren't going to be influenced by things they don't believe. Early in my career, it might have [been a distraction]. But I guess that just comes with experience."
In the end, Lombardi was able to acquire Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the deadline and the rest is hockey history. And with the entire Cup-winning roster returning for a chance to repeat, Lombardi sees an opportunity for the Kings to make even more history.
"We're very fortunate to bring everybody back," he said. "We were the fifth- or sixth-youngest team in the League. These guys have to continue to get better. I just talked to Jeff Carter last week, he sounds better than he ever has in terms of conditioning. Dustin Penner is way ahead of schedule.
"They're a great bunch of guys. The bottom line is it's about the players. The way they stuck together, I'm so proud of them."
Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi had the perfect icebreaker for the noticeably pro-Boston Bruins crowd that came out to celebrate the public event he hosted Thursday during his day with the Stanley Cup in his hometown of Ludlow, Mass.
"It's all about you. It's about being able to give back to so many people who did it for me. I just hope you have a great time," Lombardi said. "There's only one problem. Every Bruins jersey has to go in the back."
Lombardi would end up hosting a five-hour photo session with the Cup. For the man known by his hometown buddies as Dean-O, it was just part of giving back to the community that helped raise him.
Local hockey fans gathered to celebrate Dean Lombardi's day with the Stanley Cup in Ludlow, Massachusetts. (Photo: Tal Pinchevsky/NHL.com)
That meant starting the day by bringing the Cup to two local children's hospitals. The incredible perspective that trip provided ultimately set the tone for what would be a day dedicated to the people of Ludlow.
"There was one kid. She was in intensive care and she got up and touched [the Cup] and smiled," Lombardi told NHL.com. "I got so wired I wanted to hit somebody. Sport is about competitiveness. You see kids like that, they send us a message about being competitive. That was really neat."
From there, Lombardi was a fixture at the public event held nearby at Ludlow's Polish-American Citizens Club. Through five hours of posing for pictures and handing out hugs and handshakes, the GM made sure to spend time with the childhood friends he has known for over 40 years. They're some of his most cherished friends, a tight-knit group of one-time hockey brats whose parents, like Lombardi's, worked at the local factories and mills that once dotted Western Massachusetts.
Even decades after first lacing up the skates together, they still laugh at one another's expense, still refer to one another by nicknames like Sponge and Stevie and Eddie Looch. And when Lombardi returned to Ludlow this summer with the Stanley Cup, it was clear from the start that this was a celebration for everyone.
"He never forgot his roots," said Steve Orlik, Lombardi's longtime friend and former minor hockey teammate. "There's an electricity here right now, because it's about the people."
But when the endless crowds finally stopped filing into the public event, Lombardi and his former mates, including a group that won a national championship in 1976 with the Springfield Olympics, took time to honor two people in particular.
The first was Tony Costa, a local legend generally revered around town as the godfather of Ludlow hockey. Lombardi was just one of hundreds of young kids Costa coached in the area over decades. When kids needed a ride, he drove them to the game. When they needed equipment, he found it for them. And when Lombardi and his crew walked the Cup right up to the home of their former coach, the 92-year-old local legend was waiting ecstatically for them on his porch.
"It's hard to describe back then in the Bobby Orr era, when every kid was starting to play. He [Costa] drove the bus, collected the money, got you to the rink, coached you. Everybody knew him in this town," Lombardi said of his mentor. "[We] never forgot what he did."
After spending time with Costa, the group reconvened with the Cup to make one last visit to a friend; a valued teammate who couldn't make it to the day's festivities. That last trip was to the grave site of Gary "Zun" Ziencina, a fixture in the community who lost his battle with cancer in April 2010. Zun's concern for others always stuck with Lombardi, who has tried to impart those values on his players.
"He was the guy who taught me that happiness in life is being happy for someone else. He was so beloved in this town. He would get 10 guys together, but if somebody wasn't having a good time, he wasn't having a good time. He just loved people," Lombardi said. "In life, you say, 'If I had that car or if I just did this or met this person, my life would be complete.' Usually you're disappointed. Winning the Stanley Cup that night was [actually] better [than expected]. He totally would have loved this."
Kings' general manager Dean Lombardi poses for a photo on his day with the Stanley Cup in Ludlow, Mass. (Photo: Tal Pinchevsky/NHL.com)
There have been plenty of locals in Ludlow, Mass., conspicuously wearing Boston Bruins jerseys for Dean Lombardi's day with the Stanley Cup. But with streams of Bruins fans filing into town hall more than two hours after the Cup's arrival, one longtime fan of the Los Angeles Kings general manager made sure to wear her Kings T-shirt.
"I had no idea how much he's loved here," said Wandamae Lombardi, Dean's wife of almost 20 years. "It's amazing. He's had a great year."
Mrs. Lombardi is no stranger to hockey. Her father is Hall of Fame player/coach/GM Bob Pulford, and she met her husband when she was working the San Jose Sharks marketing department. Since that chance meeting, it's been a remarkable journey for the Lombardis, culminating in the Kings' Cup win, which occurred just months before the couple's 20th wedding anniversary, to be celebrated Sept. 5.
"I knew this team had it in them," Wandamae told NHL.com. "They really believed in themselves after they beat Vancouver."
And in a life surrounded by hockey, Mrs. Lombardi can't help but get excited about her husband's Stanley Cup summer.
"It's all come full circle. My father was a player and coach in L.A. Dean hired (former Sharks coach and current Kings coach) Darryl (Sutter)," Wandamae said. "It's very poignant."
When it came time to receive the Stanley Cup in Ludlow, Mass., Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi knew who he wanted to be with.
Throughout the day, from a visit to local children's hospitals to a public event at the town hall to a private party scheduled for later in the day, Lombardi was flanked by longtime friends and former teammates, some of whom have known him since he was 6 years old.
While Lombardi has enjoyed a nomadic hockey career, a number of his old friends have stayed in the area and were thrilled to welcome their old friend back -- this time with a special guest.
While Lombardi and his friends reminisced at the Polish American Citizens Club, local minor hockey teams posed with the Cup in the background. All in all, it's so far been a memorable day in Ludlow.
Ludlow, Massachusetts welcomes home Kings GM and resident Dean Lombardi on his day with the Stanley Cup. (Photo: Tal Pinchevsky/NHL.com)
Ludlow, Mass., is a short drive from the Basketball Hall of Fame in nearby Springfield. But the discussion today is all hockey, as Los Angeles Kings general manager and Ludlow resident Dean Lombardi enjoys his day with the Stanley Cup.
The Cup last came to this area in 1995, when it was hosted by nearby Wilbraham. On Thursday, residents lined up at least two hours in advance at the Polish American Citizens Club, where Lombardi is expected to bring the Cup by at noon. A local fundraiser is being held with a charity auction, in which locals will have the chance to win autographed Kings jerseys.
Prior to his arrival at the hall, Lombardi took the Cup to nearby hospitals before spending time with his first hockey coach, Tony Costa, who is known locally as the godfather of Ludlow hockey.
Lombardi is scheduled to spend five hours with the Cup at the Citizens Club, so stay tuned for more information at NHL.com.
When former Los Angeles Kings assistant coach Jamie Kompon was asked where he wanted to enjoy his day with the Stanley Cup, he didn't hesitate to say "St. Louis."
It was there he started his NHL career when St. Louis Blues coach Joel Quenneville hired him in 1997. Monday morning, almost exactly 14 years after arriving in the Gateway City, Kompon received the Cup there, ending one remarkable chapter in Los Angeles as another is about to begin.
Kompon left the Blues after being hired as an assistant on Marc Crawford's L.A. staff in 2006, brought in to groom second-year forward Dustin Brown and a rookie center named Anze Kopitar. Six years later, Kopitar and Brown are the only players remaining from that 2006-07 squad, and two big reasons the Kings are Stanley Cup champions.
Over the years, the Stanley Cup has traveled thousands of miles, but it may never have visited a smaller town than West Guilford, Ontario, hometown of Los Angeles Kings coaching consultant Bernie Nicholls.
A player for nine seasons in Los Angeles, Nicholls grew up in the town of roughly 100 people on his family's hunting farm, where his father and brothers have been leading hunts for bears, deer and moose for more than 50 years.
So when Nicholls finally had his day with the Cup on Wednesday, it only seemed fair he take it hunting at the Nicholls family camp.
"My dad makes canoes and we have a great picture of me holding the Cup out in the lake in the canoe," Nicholls told NHL.com. "We do a lot of hunting. I had my bow and it [the Cup] stood in the tree stand beside me. My dad has been there since 1961. I remember walking through the bush when I was 5 years old following my dad. I've hunted my whole life. I always had a passion for that."
For residents of the small town, located about 10 miles from Halliburton, Ontario, where Nicholls played junior hockey, it was a remarkable finish to a memorable 12-month run for the former Kings great, who ranks in the top five in team history in goals, assists and points. After staying involved with the club through alumni events, Nicholls spent parts of last summer lobbying L.A. general manager Dean Lombardi for a position with the team. While nothing came of the discussions with Lombardi, Nicholls was honored Dec. 10 on Kings Legends Night. Ten days later, Darryl Sutter replaced Terry Murray as Kings coach and brought Nicholls aboard as a consultant.
"For the last couple of years I've tried to do things with [the Kings]. It just didn't work out," said Nicholls, who was coached by Sutter while playing with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1994-95 season. "When Darryl took over, I thought if I asked him for an opportunity that he would let me come."
For a player who scored more than 1,200 points with six teams in a 20-year career, the return to the Kings rekindled Nicholls' hopes of bringing the Cup to the family hunting camp.
"When I retired we thought the dream was over," he said. "Playing, you think about it all the time. This year when I went to L.A., with the run they had, it made a dream come true for a community. Not only me and my family."
That remarkable Kings run to the first Stanley Cup in franchise history helped to realize a dream for a small, tight-knit Ontario town. But Nicholls still slightly was dismayed to find that he wasn't the first person to take the Cup hunting. Apparently Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, another avid outdoorsman, did the same after his team won the Cup in 2009.
"I heard Dan had it in a tree stand too. He had it fishing and everything," Nicholls said. "I may send Dan a picture. He would appreciate it."
8:50 a.m.: Justin Williams arrived at his offseason home in Ventnor City, N.J., with the Stanley Cup in tow.
It's the second time Williams will spend a day with the Cup, and for this year's celebration, he's got some interesting plans.
The day is starting with some time with family and friends, followed by a pontoon boat ride on the bay.
There also will be a street hockey game with some friends, some time at City Hall, and a party and autograph session at Caesar's in Atlantic City.
Justin Williams' brother-in-law and his girlfriend of six years, Dana, were sipping champagne and orange juice out of the Cup when Pat dropped to one knee, pulled out a ring and proposed. (Photo: NHL.com)
10:10 a.m.: Every marriage proposal is a memorable one, but when you do it with the Stanley Cup as a backdrop, well, that's a tough one to beat.
On a boat ride with family and friends, Justin Williams' brother-in-law and his girlfriend of six years, Dana, were sipping champagne and orange juice out of the Cup when Pat dropped to one knee, pulled out a ring and proposed.
Dana, of course, said yes.
"This is for life," Williams said. "We're a part of the story they're going to tell forever. I'm happy to be a part of it and I'm happy Kelly and I were able to accommodate her brother."
Pat said the plan was months in the making.
"I was thinking the Cup is going to be there, and Justin said, 'OK,' " Pat said.
"I'm just glad she said yes," Williams said.
1:05 p.m.: Playing like a mix of Jacques Plante and Jonathan Quick, Justin Williams backstopped his team to an 8-4 win in a road hockey game on a community tennis court.
Playing without a mask -- shots were kept low, of course -- Williams did his best impersonation of his Conn Smythe-winning teammate.
Williams might not have a future in net, but he impressed his teammates.
"He's got some new bruises, they match his eyes," said longtime friend Nick Bayley. "He didn't wear a mask, so we're going back to the days you didn't have to wear a mask. He just did what he had to do, which was stop the ball."
The only other injury was to Craig Williams, Justin's father, who was cut on the head by an errant stick.
"My team really gave it their all, blocking a lot of shots," Justin said. "My dad got a stick up high, but he stayed after it. My competitive juices come from both my parents, but as you saw he's a competitor."
In the lengthy hockey history of Waterford, Ontario -- located about 80 miles south of Toronto -- roughly 12,000 kids have played hockey in the local minor hockey system. Only one of them has played in the NHL. Monday afternoon, that prodigal son returned to Waterford with a very special guest.
Following a 13-year NHL playing career that ended with the Los Angeles Kings, Waterford's Nelson Emerson served as an assistant coach for three seasons before being named the team's director of player development in 2009.
After Emerson received the Cup on Monday from Kings assistant coach John Stevens, who enjoyed his time with the trophy a few miles away in Simcoe, Ontario, the town of Waterford welcomed the Stanley Cup for the first time.
The Cup's afternoon started at the fire department, where Emerson boarded the town's historic antique fire truck for a ride to the local arena. It was there that about 1,200 locals lined up for a moment with the Cup.
The gathering included former member's of Emerson's 1983-84 midget hockey team, which won the International Silver Stick and Ontario Minor Hockey Association titles. At Emerson's request, that iconic Waterford team reunited around the Cup, where they posed for photos and relived old times.
"That's Nelson," team captain Chris Miles told Jacob Robinson of the Simcoe Reformer. "Nelson knows he came from grassroots and he never forgets."
After an hour at the arena, Emerson enjoyed a private party at his cottage nearby, but his hometown certainly enjoyed a day it won't forget anytime soon.
Yet the assistant coach will take the Stanley Cup to that city after winning it with the Los Angeles Kings.
Hired in July as an assistant for the Chicahgo Blackhawks, Kompon told the team's website his plans for his day with the Cup
"Yes, I was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, but my parents no longer live there," Kompon said. "When I arrived in St. Louis (1997), I didn’t know a soul. When I left in 2006 for Los Angeles, there was a goodbye party for me and 200 people showed up.
"I didn’t think I had that many friends, but everybody who walked through the door, I knew. So, yes, I have a warm spot for St. Louis and that will be where I have my Stanley Cup day on Aug. 6."
Kompon will be working in Chicago for coach Joel Quenneville, his former boss with the Blues. Mike Kitchen, another former St. Louis coach, is on the Blackhawks staff.
Kompon also has a warm spot for his former California home, though the team did not renew his contract.
"I had a wonderful time in Los Angeles, and what we did this spring really did wonders for the sport out there," Kompon said. " ... My wife, Tina, and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary the day we won it all, June 11. I came home that night and there were purple, black and white streamers on our house. I didn’t even realize our neighbors knew what I did for a living, but it was a terrific run."
Dustin Brown's time as a member of the Ithaca High School ice hockey team was brief, yet illustrious. He went to the state championship game twice, losing in the final as a ninth grader in 1999 before winning it all the following season before leaving to play for Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League.
Despite the short stint in Ithaca, located in central New York, Brown played his hockey in two rinks and took the Stanley Cup to both Saturday.
The Los Angeles Kings captain stopped first at the rink he played at as a ninth grader, at Cass Park. It is an outdoor rink shielded from the sun but lacking in ice for Brown's visit. He said the reason Ithaca was able to do so well that season before losing in the state final was the benefit of playing outside. A sign hung congratulating Brown on his Stanley Cup win.
Dustin Brown's day with the Stanley Cup was filled with plenty of fun stops. The Los Angeles Kings captain spent three hours at Ithaca (N.Y.) High School allowing fans to get a picture with the Cup while signing everything from jerseys to hats to posters. He took the Cup to a waterfall and to the two rinks he called home during his two years at Ithaca High.
Brown allowed the media to tag along just about everywhere for his day with the Cup, but he asked for privacy at one very important stop late Saturday afternoon.
Brown and his family brought the Cup to the gravestone of Christopher Bordoni, his wife Nicole's cousin, a Marine who died in January as a result of injuries suffered in Afghanistan. Bordoni was serving his second tour of duty when he was critically wounded during a suicide attack. He was scheduled to return home in February.
While visiting his old high school during his day with the Cup, Kings captain Dustin Brown was faced with a daunting task -- making enough time for the nearly 1,000 people who lined up for a picture with the Cup.
Thanks to Brown's wife, Nicole, running a tight ship, everyone came away with a picture. A few lucky fans who bought raffle tickets even won an autographed miniature Cup. All the money collected this morning will go to the Semper Fi Fund, which does charity work for marines injured in the line of duty.
Brown got involved with the organization after his wife's cousin died due to injuries sustained while serving in Afghanistan.
Dustin Brown's day with the Cup in his hometown of Ithaca, NY got off to an early --and wet -- start.
Phil Pritchard, the keeper of the Cup, started his drive from the home of Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in Stamford, CT at about 12:30 a.m., made a stop in a hotel for a couple hours of sleep before arriving at Brown's place.
Not long after the Cup arrived, so did the rain, which forced Brown and his three children to move the Cup into the garage. His oldest son, Jake, who is 3, had to be told he couldn't climb into the Cup like he had in the past.
For the past few summers, Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has hosted his annual goaltending camp at the Stamford Twin Rinks in Stamford, CT. But this year in particular has seen the camp's popularity take off. That tends to happen when the local rink rat suddenly wins the Conn Smythe trophy in leading the Los Angeles Kings to their first Stanley Cup win.
"People were coming out of the woodwork. The day after [Quick won] the Cup we received 20 calls for applications for the camp," said Marvin Minkler, the assistant hockey director at Twin Rinks. "It was kind of neat seeing the little kids on the ice. They had a little twinkle in their eye when Jonathan would come and speak to them."
The week-long camp just recently wrapped up and featured roughly 46 attendees, including a father-and-son team that participated together in what has become an annual event for the Kings' star goaltender. But this year's edition of Quick's goaltending camp took on a whole new meaning when the Stanley Cup arrived in Stamford around 9 a.m. on Friday. With good reason, Quick got that day off from working at the rink.
When Montreal-born brothers Chris and Kosta Tsangaris opened the Redondo Beach Café in Southern California seven years ago, they wanted to create a haven for Canadian expats and L.A. hockey diehards. They never dreamed that one day they'd be hosting the Stanley Cup.
"The amount of people that showed up -- we never expected something like that. It's a Wednesday morning a month removed from the actual Cup victory. In L.A., things get old fast," said Chris Tsangaris, who moved to the area in 1988 after accepting a football scholarship at Long Beach State. "It was incredible. The Kings brought it out and it was just majestic."
The huge turnout, which stretched from the restaurant all the way to the sandy beaches a few blocks away, was for a Los Angeles Kings alumni charity event hosted by the Café where fans could have their picture taken with the Cup.
From Slovenia to Sylvan Lake, from Voskresensk to Vegas, the Stanley Cup spent the past few weeks in Europe and North America before returning to Los Angeles this week for a series of events that will allow many of the team's biggest fans to enjoy some time with the iconic trophy.
It started with the Kings' premium seating event Tuesday, when some of the team's season-ticket holders were let into Staples Center to select the seats from where they will watch the defending champions play next season. The day would have been momentous enough, but an appearance by the Cup made it an event few people involved likely will ever forget.
It was a precursor to an alumni event Wednesday at a venue that has become a popular stomping ground for Kings fans in Southern California.
That's when the Cup is scheduled to make an appearance between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. local time for a charity event at the Redondo Beach Café. With several Kings alumni scheduled to attend, including Nelson Emerson, Jim Fox, and Daryl Evans, the Stanley Cup will serve as the guest of honor at the fundraiser for the Kings Care Foundation. For $10, guests will have the opportunity to have their photograph taken with the Cup.
The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that a limited number of photo opportunities with the Cup will be available for a $5 donation to the Semper Fi Fund, which helps provide support for injured or critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Fans will also be able to receive an autographed championship photo signed by Brown for a $5 donation, and raffle tickets will be sold for the chance to win mini replica Stanley Cups signed by Brown.
"Winning the Stanley Cup is a dream come true," Brown said. "I'm extremely excited to share this experience with the people and town of Ithaca, and raise money for a cause very close to me and my family."
The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund is a nonprofit organization that provides immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the Armed Forces and their families.
This weekend should prove to be a special one as the Stanley Cup serves as the guest of honor on the historic Sutter family farm in Viking, Alta. The prolific property raised six brothers who played in the NHL in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, combining for an astonishing 4,994 games and 2,934 points. When second-eldest brother Darryl Sutter earned his first Stanley Cup win as coach of the Los Angeles Kings, it meant hockey's most prolific family would be celebrating a championship for the first time since brothers Brent and Duane won one together playing for the New York Islanders in 1983.
But earlier this week, another of hockey's most famous families celebrated the end of an even longer drought.
Just four days before the Cup arrived in Viking, it spent an evening in Clear Lake, Manitoba with the family of Kings assistant general manager Ron Hextall, who is also part of one of the NHL's great dynasties.
The weekly farmer's market in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, was forced to move this week from Friday to Wednesday, but area vendors shouldn't be too inconvenienced by the switch. It's all part of the day-long festivities welcoming Los Angeles Kings forward Colin Fraser and his special guest, the Stanley Cup.
It's not Fraser's first day with the Cup. After winning it for the first time with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, he brought the iconic trophy to his parents' home in Surrey, B.C. It was there he enjoyed a game of ball hockey with some old friends before being escorted by Royal Canadian Mounted Police to an official reception at Central City Plaza.
As one of the last dairy farms still packing their product in glass containers, the staff at Broguiere's Dairy likes to have fun with their bottle designs.
Photo courtesy Don Broguiere
A family-run business since 1920, the company has made commemorative bottle designs honoring numerous Southern California teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, UCLA, USC, and even Little League teams. But the response they're getting for their new bottle honoring the L.A. Kings' Stanley Cup win has shocked everyone, especially the head of the company.
"The response caught us off guard. We did a 'Congratulations Lakers' bottle three different times and never had a response like this," said company owner Ray Broguiere, whose son Chris is a big Kings fan and came up with the idea. "The response has been better than anything we've ever done."
After spending much of the last week moving around the east coast, the Stanley Cup made a stop in Canada's heartland Monday, where it was scheduled to spend two days in Brandon, Manitoba. With two Kings staff members hailing from Brandon, the Cup gets to enjoy an extended stay in town.
On its first day in Manitoba's second-largest city, the Cup officially belonged to Kings head equipment manager Darren Granger, who was born and raised in Brandon before playing junior hockey for the Western Hockey League's Brandon Wheat Kings and eventually serving as the team's trainer for five years before moving on to the NHL.
After spending Tuesday and Wednesday in Massachusetts with members of the Los Angeles' Kings training and scouting staff, the Stanley Cup spent two days in Quebec with Jonathan Bernier and Simon Gagne before boarding an Air Canada flight for a return trip to the Boston area.
This time to spend its second day in the last four years with Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi.
A Boston College product who makes his off-season home in the Boston area, Scuderi enjoyed his first Cup win in 2009 with the Penguins by bringing the Cup to his childhood home on Long Island.
In his first day with the Cup, the veteran defenseman visited the local Nassau County police station, where his father Bob served on the force for 31 years, before arriving at Bethpage High School, where his mother Leslie works as a chemistry teacher. It all culminated in a memorable event at Newbridge Park, as locals honored the first Long Island native to have his name inscribed on the Stanley Cup.
Eleven months after Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron brought the Stanley Cup to Quebec City, enjoying a nice breakfast with the trophy at the city's historic Chateau Frontenac hotel, another native son brought the Cup to town.
With a golf tournament followed by a public event at the Le Relais ski resort just a few miles north of the city, Los Angeles Kings forward Simon Gagne made it a Friday the 13th to remember in La Belle Province's capital city.
After receiving the Cup in the morning and enjoying a family brunch, the Gagne was escorted by local police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the Golf de la Faune resort, where he kicked off his annual golf tournament with the Cup serving as the guest of honor. This year marked the 11th edition of the annual tournament, which has contributed $600,000 over the years to children's cancer charities.
After a picturesque trip through Slovenia with Kings star Anze Kopitar and two days of travels through Massachusetts with head athletic trainer Chris Kingsley, pro scout Steve Greeley and co-director of amateur scouting Mark Yannetti, the Stanley Cup found itself in the province of Quebec on Thursday as it spent the day with Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
The morning after the Kings received an award for "best upset" at the annual ESPYs, Bernier received the Cup in the city of Laval, a large suburban area just north of the island of Montreal that is also the hometown of NHL greats like Martin Brodeur, Mike Bossy, and Maurice Richard.
In just one month since the Los Angeles Kings captured the franchise's first championship, the Stanley Cup has already traveled hundreds of miles through four different countries. The grand trophy even graced the red carpet, alongside Kings captain Dustin Brown, at the Hollywood premiere of "The Amazing Spider-Man."
But perhaps nothing captures the incredible travels of the Cup quite like the map created by Kings Insider Rich Hammond.
A beat reporter for the Kings' website, Hammond has created a Cup tracker on Google Maps, which he has updated regularly since the Kings captured the Cup at Staples Center on June 11. In the month he's been tracking the comings and goings of the most legendary trophy in sports, Hammond has marked spots on the customized map for events like Brown's appearance on "The Tonight Show," the team's visit to Dodger Stadium, a stop at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, and days with Slava Voynov and Andrei Loktionov in Russia.
Links to the tracker are available at LAKingsInsider.com and the map is updated regularly by Hammond.
Over the Stanley Cup's grand history, it has visited some of the most picturesque sites on the planet, including its fair share of castles, lakes and arenas.
But it would be difficult for any of those to match the scene surrounding the Cup last week when it arrived at the Church of the Assumption, a 15th-century Baroque-style place of worship located in the Julian Alps of northwestern Slovenia.
After carrying the Stanley Cup around Slovenia, the first time the trophy ever visited the country, Los Angeles Kings star Anze Kopitar brought it, along with family and friends, to the church. For the NHL all-star, the visit brought his Cup journey full circle.
Anze Kopitar is the NHL's first player from Slovenia, so he is clearly the first person to spend his day with the Cup in Slovenia.
Kopitar's special celebration in Jesenice started Thursday with the Cup being placed atop a log in the backyard of the family's home, one that has been used to celebrate hockey accomplishments of Anze and his brother, Gasper, over the years.
Kopitar had breakfast with the Cup and will eventually hand it off to coach Darryl Sutter, who will spend his day with the Cup in Viking, Alta., on the farm where he was raised.
The Stanley Cup began its tour of the world Wednesday, with Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov and forward Andrei Loktionov taking the Cup through several Russian cities.
Loktionov played just two games during the playoffs and none after the first round. Meanwhile, Voynov's emergence after the Kings dealt Jack Johnson to the Blue Jackets for Jeff Carter was a major reason for Los Angeles winning it all.
The Cup first arrived in Voynov's hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia, before Loktionov took it to a spot just outside Moscow.
Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'
— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis