Stanley's legendary tales
Mario Lemieux's pool. Steve Yzerman's shower. Sidney Crosby's bed.
Hockey's biggest groupie has been in all of 'em.
A legendary bandwagon fan, Stanley only parties with champions. Whether a guy is closing down a bar, clubbing at a casino or even taking in the "sights" at Scores, Lord Stanley is always down to party. (Kinda like Flat Stanley with an alcohol problem.)
By the end of the month, either the Bruins or the Blackhawks will be Stanley's newest crush and the good people of Boston or Chicago the next to willingly sip from the silver chalice of shared saliva and communal cooties.
Before another epic summer adventure begins, take a minute to get to know the most famous trophy in all of sports, the groupie no one ever sends home early, Lord Stanley's Cup.
Lord Stanley's Cup began its journey in 1892 as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, a simple silver bowl less than eight inches in height. Donated by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley (Lord Stanley of Preston), it was first awarded to the winners of the Amateur Hockey Association.
The original bowl eventually made way for the modern "Presentation Cup," the NHL's championship trophy since 1926. Standing 35 1/4 inches tall and weighing in at 34 1/2 pounds, Stanley features five bands below a replica of the original bowl. Engraved on the bands are the names of every winning team's players, coaches, management and staff.
Where's the Cup been?
The better question is, where hasn't the Cup been? Players, coaches and staff members from the winning team get at least 24 hours to take the Cup anywhere in the world, so Stanley's got more frequent flier miles than George Clooney in "Up in the Air."
Stanley has gotten wild, from partying at a Malibu beach house with Chris Chelios and Kid Rock in 2008 to helping the 2010-11 Bruins down a $100,000 bottle of Ace of Spades champagne at Foxwoods Casino. Several times Stanley has rocked the runway (but not the pole) at Mark Messier's favorite strip clubs, and in 1997 Stanley famously rinsed off in the shower with Red Wings great Yzerman.
Stanley's gone abroad plenty, taking trips home with the likes of David Krejci (Sternberk, Czech Republic), Niklas Hjalmarsson (Gothenburg, Sweden) and Evgeni Malkin (Magnitogorsk, Russia). The Cup has taken in the sights of Gorky Park in Belarus with Nikolai Khabibulin, helped Ruslan Fedotenko attract a crowd of 8,000 in Kiev, Ukraine, and climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower with Cristobal Huet.
Here in North America, Stanley has gone from the top of Vancouver's Crown Mountain with Andrew Ladd to the bottom of a pool with Lemieux. Patrick Kane and Stanley stood under the rushing waters of Bridal Veil Falls at Niagara Falls, then got stuck high above Buffalo for 20 minutes on a malfunctioning fire ladder. Bad traffic once resulted in Corey Perry and Stanley throwing an impromptu party in the middle of one of Canada's busiest highways.
Way back in 1905 the Ottawa Silver Seven unsuccessfully tried to punt Stanley across the Rideau Canal, but thankfully went back to retrieve him from the frozen river the next morning. In 1940 the Rangers not only won the Cup but also paid off their mortgage to Madison Square Garden. To commemorate the occasion, they burned the mortgage paper in the Cup, then, legend says, were forced to urinate on Stanley to put out the fire. Some Rangers fans still blame the actions of the wild boys of 1940 for the 54-year Cup drought that followed.
What's been in the Cup?
From cereal to dog food and from beer to babies, Stanley has played host to almost everything.
Zdeno Chara ate rice cakes out of Stanley in Bratislava, Slovakia, while Tomas Holmstrom dined on a Cup full of pitepalt (stuffed potato dumplings) in Sweden. Doug Weight filled the bowl with the world's biggest ice cream sundae and Brad Marchand started off his day with a Cup full of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Brian Noonan and Nick Kypreos stuffed Stanley with raw clams and oysters on "MTV Prime Time Beach House," while Dustin Brown went a little healthier, serving up a Cup of yogurt. The Cup helped Martin Brodeur's friend propose by providing a lovely resting place for the ring, and Stanley even held Sylvain Lefebvre's daughter while she was baptized.
Clark Gillies, Sean O'Donnell and Jean-Sebastien Giguere let their dogs dine out of the Cup, while racing aficionado Eddie Olczyk allowed Kentucky Derby-winning horse Go For Gin to snack out of Stanley. Rocket Richard left two teeth in the Cup after taking a particularly zealous gulp of booze, while Kris Draper's newborn daughter left a stinky surprise.
Like any good groupie, Stanley knows when to kiss and tell and when to stay quiet. If these Cup tales made it to print, just imagine the stories Stanley could tell off the record.
A new team will soon win the right to party with the Cup, and you can bet a whole new set of legendary tales will be born. If you find yourself near Stanley this summer, forget about what -- or who -- has been in the Cup before, and pour yourself a drink. Life's too short not to party with Stanley.