By Deborah Lew
This is the eighth feature of a special multi-part LAKings.com content series featuring various members of the Kings organization as the Stanley Cup makes its way around North America throughout the summer.
Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis may just be the player whose individual season most closely resembled the team’s Stanley Cup Championship season as a whole.
After a rocky start, Lewis, in his second full season with the Kings, saw himself as a regular healthy scratch by December, having played only one in 10 games from November 22 to December 15.
“It’s definitely frustrating because everyone wants to play, but I tried not to let it get to me too much. I just kind of worked hard and showed the coaches I was ready to go back in whenever they needed me to,” said the 25-year old Lewis. “It’s definitely a tough time that nobody likes, but I tried to stay positive about it.”
With the team at a low point in the season, the addition of head coach Darryl Sutter just before Christmas meant new beginnings for Lewis and the rest of the team.
“I kind of viewed it as a fresh start for myself and I got my confidence that way,” remarked Lewis on the coaching change.
“He’s pretty fair and if you work hard you’ll get a chance. I just tried to work my hardest and he was great for me and good for my confidence,” said Lewis of Sutter. “He gave me a good chance and I think that I capitalized on it.
“It was huge for me.”
Fast forward a few months and Lewis finds himself and the Kings on the verge of eliminating the Vancouver Canucks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals…as the game heads into overtime.
Lewis was a key factor in a play that resulted in linemate Jarret Stoll scoring the game and series-wining goal.
“The team was kind of coming together at the right time and we were playing well, like we should have been all year. Luckily I caught the guy and Jarret did the rest,” Lewis describes of the play.
About six weeks after the Kings sent Vancouver to their April tee times, Lewis came up big again, this time in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final where he contributed two goals, including an empty-netter, to send the New Jersey Devils home and seal the victory for the Kings.
“It was a dream come true, everybody dreams about scoring a goal in the Stanley Cup (Final),” Lewis admitted. “Scoring the empty-netter, I think it kind of set in that we were going to win, and going back to the bench and seeing the look on everyone’s faces was something I’ll never forget.”
Watching the Stanley Cup Final and the ensuing on-ice celebration was something that Lewis and his dad made a tradition, and living it is something else that won’t soon be forgotten.
“It was awesome,” Lewis said of having his dad experience the victory with him. “Seeing the look on his face when he came on the ice, that was pretty cool.”
That wouldn’t be the last time the Lewis family got up close and personal with hockey’s Holy Grail, as they took their turn to host it in their hometown of Salt Lake City on August 30.
About 30 family members and friends met at Lewis’ aunt’s house in the morning and boarded a bus that had been rented for the day’s excursion.
“It was probably the ugliest bus you’ve ever seen in your life,” Lewis declared matter-of-factly.
The bus was a hollowed-out yellow school bus that had couches and lounge furniture set up inside, not the most typical bus-riding experience. To top it off, music was blaring from the speakers, which made it an exceptional site cruising through the Salt Lake City airport for the Cup’s 10:30 a.m. arrival.
“I walked in and the Cup had just landed, so he unlocked the case and I took it out and everyone was kind of in shock in the airport and it was pretty cool to see the looks on people’s faces,” Lewis commented.
The first stop on Lewis’ school bus adventure was a fan event that took place at a local rink. Anticipating about 3,000 people, Lewis was shocked to find approximately 7,000 people waiting for him.
“It was pretty shocking actually, I didn’t really know what to expect since Utah’s not really much of a hockey hot bed,” explained Lewis, who ended up having to walk the Cup through the crowd outside after not being able to accommodate everyone inside. “It was pretty cool to go back and see how much support I got in Utah.”
The Cup was then brought to the grave of Lewis’ late grandparents, where Grandpa’s favorite drink, Crown Royal, was sipped from the Cup.
Another family party for 50 people was held at the home of Lewis’ aunt before Lewis took off with the Cup in a helicopter, bound for the University of Utah’s home-opening football game. During half-time, Lewis was honored in a ceremony and paraded the Cup from the end zone around the field.
The night ended with a private party at a bar that Lewis had rented out, which was attended by 250 guests including teammates from his midget hockey-playing days in Colorado.
It may have looked bleak at some points during the season for Lewis and the Kings, but looking back, neither will complain about an ending that had them sitting atop the hockey world.
Join the conversation on Twitter with the NHL, LA Kings and the Cup Keepers for their summer with Stanley by using the hashtag #StanleyCup
LA Kings: @LAKings
Photos via @KeeperOfTheCup
Deborah Lew: @by_DeborahLew
For photos of the Kings’ summer with Stanley, view the Hockey Hall of Fame’s ‘Stanley Cup Journal’ CLICK HERE
You can also check out the Stanley Cup on Facebook at Facebook.com/StanleyCup and Facebook.com/TravelsWithStanley
To read Brad Richardson’s ‘MY STANLEY CUP STORY,’ CLICK HERE
To read Jarret Stoll’s ‘MY STANLEY CUP STORY,’ CLICK HERE
To read Bernie Nicholls’ ‘MY STANLEY CUP STORY,’ CLICK HERE
To read John Stevens’ ‘MY STANLEY CUP STORY,’ CLICK HERE
To read Colin Fraser’s ‘MY STANLEY CUP STORY,’ CLICK HERE
To read Simon Gagne’s ‘MY STANLEY CUP STORY,’ CLICK HERE