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Williams' day with Cup includes marriage proposal

Thursday, 08.02.2012 / 7:43 PM / NHL Insider

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Williams' day with Cup includes marriage proposal
Justin Williams' day with the Stanley Cup was filled with excitement, even more so after his brother-in-law proposed during the family's celebration.

When Justin Williams had his first day with the Stanley Cup, back in 2006, he celebrated at his charity golf tournament and was the guest of honor at a parade through his hometown of Cobourg, Ontario.

Justin Williams
Justin Williams
Right Wing - LAK
GOALS: 22 | ASST: 37 | PTS: 59
SOG: 241 | +/-: 10

Six years later, Williams is a married father of two, and he chose to spend his second day with hockey's greatest trophy in a slightly more intimate fashion, enjoying a day with the Cup at his home in Ventnor, N.J., on Thursday with a small group of people, followed by a larger party later that night at Caesar's Atlantic City.

"This time it's more family and friends," Williams told NHL.com.

The Los Angeles Kings forward started his day with the Cup just before 9 a.m., and the first order of business was eating Cheerios out of it with wife Kelly, son Jaxon, 4, and daughter Jade, 17 months.

Other children had their turn with the Cup and some spoons -- the house was filled with a number of them as Williams' sister and some of Kelly's four brothers brought their families.

"My family never went up (in 2006) because he had it in his hometown," Kelly, who grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, told NHL.com. "This year it's great because we can have both families."

After a morning filled with pictures in the house with the Cup, the group moved the party onto a pontoon boat that docked behind Williams' home.

Williams and his wife were married not long after his first day with the Cup, which was won with the Carolina Hurricanes. Thursday, they took turns taking groups out on the bay for pictures with the Cup with the Atlantic City skyline in the background. One group included Kelly's brother Pat and his girlfriend, Dana, and that's when the day turned even more memorable.

As the pair was sipping champagne and orange juice from the Cup, Pat kneeled down, pulled out an engagement ring and proposed to Dana, his girlfriend of six years. She, of course, said yes.

Williams said he was happy to play a role in his brother-in-law's big moment.

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MORE NHL INSIDER STORIES ›"He told Kelly about it a couple months ago," Williams said. "He asked permission if he could (propose) and I said yes, it would be a great story. I didn't know how he'd do it, but we're pretty happy for them.

"This is for life. We're a part of the story they're going to tell forever. I'm happy to be part of it. I'm happy Kelly and I were able to accommodate her brother."

After the boat rides, the group made its way to a local park for a road hockey game on a public tennis court, with the Stanley Cup serving as the winner's trophy.

Williams played goal, and though Conn Smythe Trophy-winning teammate Jonathan Quick doesn't have to worry about Williams stealing his job, the goal-scoring wing stopped enough shots to lead his team to an 8-4 win.

"We did real well," said Williams, who played without a mask. "We put the Cup up for another team to win and they couldn't do it. That was a commanding win, a statement win."

There was only one injury in the game -- Williams' father Craig had a small cut on his head courtesy of an errant stick. But being on the winning side eased any pain he felt.

"My team really gave it their all, blocking a lot of shots," Justin Williams 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."

Like the saying goes, "Because it's the Cup."

After Williams took a dip in the bay, it was off to Ventnor City Hall for pictures and autographs with local police, firefighters and residents.

"I don't live here full-time, but I wanted to show people that I'm part of the community even though I play hockey thousands of miles away," Williams said. "It's good to meet the people of the city you live in. And any time you bring the silver jug around it makes people happy. Everyone's genuinely excited."

Among the most excited was Ventnor Mayor Mike Bagnelo.

"We tried to keep it low-key because we didn't want him mobbed," Bagnelo told NHL.com. "If we made it public early on, this place would have been filled. In fact, when people heard about the possibility of it coming here, people called my office -- 'When is the Stanley Cup going to be here? How long will it be here?'"

Williams and the Cup spent about an hour at City Hall, then it was off to Caesar's for some media events as well as a public display of the Cup. Williams signed dozens of autographs and posed for pictures with fans, some of whom wore purple-and-black Kings jerseys. Others were decked out in black-and-orange Williams jerseys from his time with the Philadelphia Flyers, the team he started his NHL career with.

"The turnout here is awesome," Kelly Williams said. "Everybody in Philly always liked Justin, so there's still Justin fans that come to see him and see the Cup, as well."

The entire day was awesome for Williams, his family and friends.

"Myself, I have a bit of a bigger family now and we're able to celebrate with a lot of people," he said. "Sometimes it's hard to get everyone together and this is a decent reason for everyone to come together and enjoy the night."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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