The mystery of the missing puck from the end of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final has been solved. New Jersey's Patrik Elias found it in his equipment bag.
Michael Altieri, the Kings' vice president of communication, told L.A. Kings Insider Rich Hammond that the team got a call to say the puck would be returned.
Elias, according to the Devils, returned from vacation, went to the rink, checked his equipment bag found the puck and will be sending it to the Kings. Altieri said the Kings, to thank Elias, will make a donation to the player's favorite charity, UNICEF. The puck has been identified as the correct one, according to Hammond.
"I understand it's a meaningful thing for them. For me? No. Why would I want to keep a losing Stanley Cup puck?"
-- Devils' forward Patrik Elias on his possession of the Stanley Cup puck
Video of the final seconds of Game 6, a 6-1 victory that gave the Kings the first Stanley Cup in franchise history, shows Elias flipping the puck into his glove and then skating off the ice. After it goes into Elias' glove, the puck is not seen again. Elias went to the Devils' bench, then returned to the ice after a few moments for the handshake line.
Elias told the Rich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger earlier this week that he didn't know where the puck was. He said he was sure he didn't throw the puck into the crowd and didn't give it to goalie Martin Brodeur, as had been theorized.
"I understand it's a meaningful thing for them," Elias told the Star-Ledger. "For me? No. Why would I want to keep a losing Stanley Cup puck?"
Kings GM Dean Lombardi told the Los Angeles Times he was happy the story of the missing puck would have a happy ending.
"It's like a lot of traditions, and it became one of them that the puck has gone to the winning team," he said. "He [Elias] called me and said he wanted to make sure it got to its rightful owners. He was a real class act.
"It's a feel-good story for hockey that he did that and for our organization to show our appreciation with a donation to his charity."