Jon Cooper said he feels like he's in special company when he's around the Stanley Cup.
"Honestly, I can't explain the feeling," the Tampa Bay Lightning coach told The Two-Man Advantage Podcast on Dec. 2. "I have people say, 'Well, what's it like?' I was like, you know what? Nobody really wants to see Jon Cooper or really cares, but as soon as you're with the Stanley Cup, it's like walking in with (The Rolling Stones lead singer) Mick Jagger. It is. It is such a remarkable trophy."
Cooper guided the Lightning to their second NHL championship last season with a six-game victory against the Dallas Stars in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Final. The Cup has been in Tampa for most of the offseason, with a stop in Montreal to be engraved, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lightning players have returned to the area to have their days with it.
"We've been able to have it around just because it has been around, and so you kind of take it," Cooper said. "I get to take a little peek at the calendar and see where it is, and if it's available for a few hours I've nabbed it, and it's been a lot of fun.
"I've had it in my house where we just sit, me or maybe my son (Jonny), or my wife (Jessie), and it's the girls (Julia and Josie). You just look at it with that sense of accomplishment, but understanding it just exudes history. And you look at it and look at the names on it and the people that have won it and you know the sweat and tears and everything that went into winning it, and to think 100 years before that's happened.
"It's a magical, magical trophy. It's a treasure to be around regardless of what day of the week it is or who you're with it is. It's truly amazing."