ARTICLE OF THE DAY

The Stanley Cup Travels East
by Brian North
7/12/06

One of the great traditions of hockey is that the winners of the Stanley Cup get to party with the silver chalice all summer long. Each member of the team (from players to coaches to front office people) get to spend at least one day with the Stanley Cup and do just about whatever they want with it, and that makes for some interesting stories (check out the Hockey Hall of Fame web site and read some of the best Cup stories over the last couple of years). In 1995, the Cup broke into three pieces after a rough night with a couple of New York Rangers, and a body guard has been assigned to follow the Cup ever since (think about that guy's stories).

The Carolina Hurricanes brought Cup fever to North Carolina, and now they are bringing the Cup down east as well. Lord Stanley's Cup has already been to Morehead City and its beaches. A front office employee had his day with the Cup July 1st and decided to visit his friends at the beach. The Cup ended up at Shackleford Banks, several bars, and at a late night party at a beach house where it spent the night. Hundreds of people got their picture taken with the most famous trophy in sports, and many lucky fans got to take a sip of their favorite beverage from its silver bowl. It seems like anyone who was at the beach that weekend has a story to tell. Newschannel 12 news producer Erin DePoix was awakened from her sleep to touch the Cup and take a drink at 2 a.m. She didn't know much about the Stanley Cup at the time, but she has quickly learned about its historical importance and the craziness that surrounds it.

Some players will party with it, swim with it, drink out of it, baptize their babies in it, and take it to places a silver trophy should never go. But the Cup is also making a poignant trip to eastern North Carolina.  Thursday, July 13th, Glen Wesley will take the Stanley Cup to Camp Lejeune and show it off at the wounded warrior barracks. Wesley is 37 years old and spent his whole career trying to win a championship. For a long time he held the distinction of playing the most career playoff games without winning the Stanley Cup, so you wouldn't blame him if he wanted to keep the trophy to himself for his one day with it. Instead, Wesley will share the Cup with those who put their lives on the line for our country. And I can't think of a more fitting celebration than the one between a hockey hero and true American heroes. It will mark another great chapter in the Stanley Cup's travels.
 
Brian North
bnorth@wcti12.com