One day after Los Angeles Kings senior adviser and development coach Mike O'Connell showed off the Stanley Cup in front of Pilgrim Arena in Hingham, Mass., head athletic trainer Chris Kingsley basked in the glory of victory with hockey's greatest prize in his hometown of Greenfield, Mass.
The line to greet Kingsley, seated with the Cup in the lobby of Collins-Moylan Arena, stretched across the parking lot, and it was all for a good cause. Fans paid $5 for a photograph with proceeds going to the Franklin County Hockey Association, the league where Kingsley played goalie growing up.
"It's just overwhelming, actually, the support," Kingsley told MassLive.com. "It's so good to be home, and I got another opportunity to do it. I wanted to do this and everything worked out, and hopefully we raise some money for the youth hockey program here. The support is unreal. The buildup for it is kind of overwhelming to me. I don't know what to really make of it. It's just great to share it with friends and family that I haven't been to see in quite a while."
Sean Lavoine, president of the FCHA, told MassLive.com that an equipment loan program has contributed to the organization's growth. Instead of buying equipment, families can deposit $150 to rent it for the season and then return it to get their deposit back. Lavoine explained that the league has grown from 50-60 kids five years ago to 150 association-wide.
"Chris reached out to us as an association," Lavoine said. "We didn't believe it at first, and now we're here, so it's a very exciting day for Franklin County hockey and for Chris."
After the Kings won the Cup in 2012, Kingsley brought it to Westford, Mass., where he lived while serving as a trainer at Cushing Academy.
"That's what's the best part is, to see the emotions and how it touches people and how they respond when they see it. It's awesome," Kingsley said.
Kings defenseman Matt Greene will take his turn Monday with the Cup when he brings it home to Grand Ledge, Mich.