Randy McKay took the Stanley Cup to a local restaurant. Tom Chorske had it for an extra day. When it was Bobby Holik's turn, he opted for a low-key celebration in Jackson, WY. The former forward brought the Cup to a youth hockey fundraiser, but otherwise hung out with friends and had dinner, just soaking in and enjoying the presence of the trophy.
Twenty years later, Holik still maintains a few hockey connections. He volunteers with the Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL and offers words of wisdom to hockey players in Des Moines and other places around the country. But more than some of his former teammates, Holik has largely transitioned away from the sport, owning a horse farm in Wyoming and spending time with his wife and daughter.
His daughter competes in horse jumping and is rather good at it, according to Holik, and he tries to support both his wife and daughter in their endeavors, "like they supported me throughout my career."
Ask Holik about the highlights of the last twenty years and before even mentioning his second Stanley Cup win in 2000, or his playing days at all, he talks about family and his post-retirement life. "I've moved on to the next stage of my life," Holik said. "My career was great and I enjoyed it tremendously, but when I decided to retire, my focus was on family."
This may come as no surprise to parents, but for Holik, his accomplishments on the ice come second to watching his daughter succeed in school and in equestrian show jumping. He describes the nearly six years since announcing his retirement as the greatest time of his life.
Even though Holik played for four teams across his career, his 10 years with the Devils have assured that when people think of him on the ice, Holik is remembered by most as a Devil. "Even the Rangers fans associate me more with the Devils than the Rangers."
Looking back at the '95 Cup, Holik insists he doesn't have a single favorite moment and instead prefers to remember the journey. "What it took to get to that night…looking back, I appreciate and cherish the knowledge and experience of what it takes to get there." It's the wisdom that only experience can impart that Holik uses to mentor developing players.
"Dedication, hard work, sacrifice and determination, there's no substitute for work ethic and focus," Holik explained. These were the characteristics that the former Crash Line center feels the entire 1994-95 team possessed, not just the night they won the Championship, or in that series, but throughout the entire season.
Winning the Cup "was basically a confirmation of the hard work and sacrifice." While some might think winning the cup, especially twice, would change someone's life, Holik prefers to say it has enhanced his life.
Embedded in his new life, Holik has not stayed in contact with his former line mates, Randy McKay and Mike Peluso, but that will change after they reunite on Team Red during the Alumni game March 7. Holik said he is excited and looking forward to a weekend of hockey once again.