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Stanley Cup Journal - Keepers of the Cup

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Join hockey's most prized trophy as it parties throughout the summer of 2009. As each member of the Pittsburgh Penguins assumes possession of the Stanley Cup for one day, get an insider's view through exclusive stories, videos, and photographs via the Hockey Hall of Fame's Stanley Cup chaperone (aka "White Gloves") - no one gets closer! The Stanley Cup Journal is presented by
Trib Total Media and content is provided by the Hockey Hall of Fame.



The Stanley Cup is always accompanied by a handler from the Hockey Hall of Fame. On the surface, being 'Keeper of the Cup' is the greatest job in the world, but beneath the shiny surface, it truly is one of the great unheralded jobs &ndsash; too little sleep, too many meals eaten on the run and extended travel that takes the Cup Keeper away from family and friends over long periods of time. Yet, there's not a hockey fan we've met yet who wouldn't trade his or her soul for the chance to accompany the greatest trophy in sport &ndsash; the Stanley Cup.

To read the rest of this journal please visit the Hockey Hall Of Fame website.

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Mike Bolt spends almost as much time with the Stanley Cup as the NHL's championship team. Crisscrossing the continent, Mike ensures that the rights and privileges that accompany winners of the Stanley Cup are both enjoyed and upheld, doing so in a firm yet entertaining way. Loved by both players and management, Bolt is a hockey fan first and foremost, but treats his job with the seriousness it demands. Even NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman once took him aside and said, "You've got an awesome job."

Born and raised in Toronto's Leaside area, Mike Bolt was no different than most other hockey-playing boys &ndsash; he, too, dreamed of one day hoisting the Stanley Cup over his head. But his career path took a different turn early on, and instead of a hockey career, Mike managed a cowboy boot and western wear store in Toronto. It wasn't until 1995, when he joined the Hockey Hall of Fame as a guest services associate that the path veered back towards hockey.

To read the rest of this journal please visit the Hockey Hall Of Fame website.

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This was summer number four as Keeper of the Cup for Bill Wellman, although he's been with the Hockey Hall of Fame since 1993, joining the staff just a few months before the legendary hockey attraction moved into its new location at Yonge and Front streets in Toronto.

Toronto-born and raised, Bill played hockey through his teens and has always had an intense passion for the game, even before being hired at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Once there, Bill occasionally travelled with various NHL trophies, including the Stanley Cup, but didn't join the exalted ranks of Cup Keeper until the summer of 2006. "I can't begin to tell you how thrilling it was to travel to Europe with the Cup that summer," Bill said, recalling a trip that saw him take the Stanley Cup to Switzerland, the Ukraine, Russia, the Czech Republic and Sweden. "To see the way people react to the Stanley Cup in countries that seldom see NHL hockey was mind-boggling, and made me appreciate even more the impact this trophy has on people."

To read the rest of this journal please visit the Hockey Hall Of Fame website.

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Would Walt Neubrand trade the opportunity of being Keeper of the Cup for any other job in the world? "No way," he replied.

Walt Neubrand was born in Mississauga, just west of Toronto, and learned his hockey on the frozen surface of the Credit River. Although always a hockey fan first and foremost, Walt was also a baseball player up through his teenaged years. After graduating from the University of Waterloo, Walt joined the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995, working as a guest services associate. Two years later, he got his first taste of working with the Stanley Cup. During the Detroit Red Wings' Stanley Cup championship in 1997, Walt was asked to accompany the Cup to Scotty Bowman's home in New York State.

To read the rest of this journal please visit the Hockey Hall Of Fame website.

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The glove-wearing Keeper of the Cup has become an icon in the sporting world, so much so that the Hockey Hall of Fame uses the imaging as the basis of marketing campaigns, including contesting and television commercials. The popular commercial featured the Stanley Cup and its well-recognized Keeper, Phil Pritchard. In 30 seconds, the commercial followed a day in the life of the Vice President and Curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Born in Oakville, Ontario, Phil's hockey career began later than that of most Canadian boys. His British-born parents weren't raised with Canadian customs like hockey, so after playing road hockey with his pals for a number of years, Phil was finally able to convince his Mom and Dad to register him for ice hockey, and at 13 years of age (six or seven years later than most of his peers), he began playing Bantam. Pritchard had discovered his passion, and now not only works in the hockey industry, but plays ice hockey and ball hockey several times a week all year round.

To read the rest of this journal please visit the
Hockey Hall Of Fame website.

 
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Mike Bolt first official accompaniment with Stanley was in 1997. (HHOF Archives) 
 
 
 This was Bill’s fourth summer as Keeper of the Cup. (HHOF Archives)

  
Stanley Cup Cup Keeper Walt Neubrand and Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik. (HHOF Archives)
 
Born in Oakville, Ontario the Vice President of the Resource Centre and Curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame Phil Pritchard easily goes through hundreds of white gloves per year. (HHOF Archives)
 

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