Of all the trophies in professional sports, none compare to the Stanley Cup. The magnitude of the Cup, the fact that there are full-time keepers of the Cup, and the permanence of the engraved names of the winners all contribute to the Cup’s significant magic. Above all, the Cup’s history makes it incredibly special, and the winners of the Cup have made sure that sports’ most prized trophy continues to enhance its legend.
Because each player gets his own day with the Cup, there have been countless stories and incidents that have evolved into nothing short of legend. The Cup has been involved in a great deal of excessive partying, but it has also been involved in some nobler and even holy acts. The celebration with the Cup is a worthwhile reward for the thousands of hours of hard work on and off the ice, and players take full advantage of their opportunity to celebrate in any manner they see fit, with many getting quite creative on their day with the Cup.
So what follows are 15 of the weirdest places the Cup has been throughout its long history. It has been kicked, thrown and left behind, been damaged and repaired more times than one could count. The stories that have been kept secret are probably far more outlandish than those that have been told, yet there is still plenty of intrigue remaining in the destinations that are known. Each year, another team will try to outdo the previous year’s winner, and while the Cup will surely see even weirder locales in the future, it already has a rich and varied travel history.
15. Red Square and Lenin’s Tomb
It should not be all that surprising that the Stanley Cup has made its way around Russia – after all, many NHLers call the country home. It is surprising, however, that Igor Larionov, Slava Kozlov and Slava Fetisov would think it appropriate to try to bring the Cup into the tomb in which former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin permanently rests. While the trio of Detroit Red Wings tried to bring it into Lenin’s tomb, security guards would not allow it. The Cup had to settle for Red Square instead.
14. On the Sets of Countless TV Shows
Being the most famous trophy in sports certainly has its perks, as the Stanley Cup has been a guest star on countless TV shows, co-starring alongside luminaries that include William Shatner and Alec Baldwin. Shatner knocked the Cup off a balcony as part of an episode of Boston Legal, though this certainly wouldn’t have been the first time that the Stanley Cup has had a serious fall. In addition to Boston Legal, the Cup has also appeared on 30 Rock, Guiding Light, Chicago Fire and on the set of Heroes, where it was licked and kissed by Hayden Panettiere.
13. Bled Castle in Slovenia
In 2012 with the Los Angeles Kings, Anze Kopitar became the first man from Slovenia to win the Stanley Cup, and he didn’t pass up the opportunity to bring the Cup to the ancient castle that rests along the shores of Lake Bled. Kopitar brought the Cup across the lake via a wooden gondola before posing for photos throughout Slovenia’s famed castle. According to the Los Angeles Times, Kopitar said his day with the Cup and the trip to Bled Castle was “like Christmas and my birthday all wrapped together.”
12. In the Shower With Steve Yzerman
Hockey players cherish their day with the Cup, and there are many stories in which they try to maximize the amount of time they spend with it. Sidney Crosby slept with the Cup and other athletes have even gone so far as to kick their wives out of the bed so that there would be adequate room for Lord Stanley’s Cup. In the case of Steve Yzerman, he decided that the Cup should never leave his side, so he brought it into the shower with him during his day with the Cup after winning a title with the Detroit Red Wings.
11. Forgotten on the Side of the Road
The Stanley Cup was not nearly as large in 1924 as it is today, so it is at least a little bit more understandable that it could be misplaced somehow. Still, the fact that the 1924 Montreal Canadiens left it behind in a snowbank remains a massive oversight. The Cup had been stored in the trunk of the car, and on the way to a celebration, the car got a flat tire. The players changed the tire but forgot to put the Cup back in the trunk afterwards. The Cup remained in the snowbank for some time before the players realized they had left behind one of the celebration’s most important guests.
10. Tubing Behind a Speed Boat
The 1994 New York Rangers caused so much damage to the Stanley Cup after breaking their 54-year drought that the NHL was forced to put in additional measures to protect it in future years. When Joey Kocur received the Cup it was not whole, so it had to first be soldered together with sterling silver so that Kocur could take it tubing behind his speedboat and enjoy the Cup in its normal, one-piece state.
9. At a Baptism
When the Colorado Avalanche won the Cup in 1996, Sylvain Lefebvre had the perfect idea for how he intended to use the Cup for his personal day. The Cup, which many consider the Holy Grail of sports trophies, was indeed used for holy purposes for Lefebvre, who had it used as a baptismal font at the baptism of his daughter, Alexzandra. This would not be the last time it was used in a baptism, as Tomas Holmstrom used the Cup at his niece’s baptism in the same manner after winning with the Red Wings.
8. On a Helicopter
At first glance, a trip inside of a helicopter does not seem all that odd for Lord Stanley’s Cup. After all, this is a jet-setting trophy that has been all over the world and has accumulated plenty of frequent-flier miles over the years. But the trophy was on the helicopter with Hockey legend Guy Lafleur and served as the ring-bearer for Andre Roy as he proposed to his future wife, Karine Labelle. Lafleur was manning the controls of the helicopter as Labelle and Roy flew to St. Jerome with the Cup, and when Roy proposed, Labelle quickly accepted.
7. Kicked Into the Rideau Canal
When drinking is involved, things are often done for no good reason at all. Such was the case in 1905 when the Stanley Cup — significantly smaller in the early 1900s than it is today — was punted into the Rideau Canal by a member of the Ottawa Silver Seven. Why did they feel compelled to do such a thing? Just to see if they could. They did, and the Cup stayed in the canal overnight while the Silver Seven continued to celebrate their victory. Fortunately for the team members, the canal remained frozen and the Cup was easily retrieved the following day.
6. Military Bases
The Cup is an excellent morale booster and has been known to do some humanitarian work during its many years of existence. Patrick Kane brought the Cup to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and Glen Wesley brought the Cup to the Wounded Warrior Barracks at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., spending the afternoon with the marines there. The Cup has even been to a war zone, as it was brought to Kandahar in Afghanistan by a group of former NHLers in 2007 that included Bob Probert, Dave Williams, Ron Tugnutt, Yvon Lambert and Rejean Houle.
5. The Flight Deck of the Shuttle Atlantis
The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, and by virtue of the fact that the team’s owner was also the CEO of Delaware North Companies, the Cup wound up on the flight deck of the recently decommissioned space shuttle Atlantis. So while the Cup has yet to leave Earth’s atmosphere to explore space, it has at least been on a shuttle that has traveled to space 33 times between 1985 and 2011.
4. The Bottom of Mario Lemieux’s Pool
In one of the more famous Stanley Cup stories, members of the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins decided to test the Cup’s buoyancy by tossing it in Lemieux’s pool during a party thrown by the Penguin captain after winning the Cup. The Cup, of course, does not float, so it had to be retrieved from the pool’s bottom. Apparently, the Penguins did not share this information with the 1993 Montreal Canadiens, who threw the Cup into Patrick Roy’s pool during their own celebration. As Guy Carbonneau famously noted, “The Cup does not float.”
3. At Celebrity and Rock Star House Parties
The Cup is a major attraction, and celebrities are more than happy to throw a party in its honor. Perhaps the most notable party was thrown by members of Pantera, who have a legendary reputation for excessive drinking and hard partying. While there is some dispute over what happened at the Pantera party, many contend that Guy Carbonneau tossed the Cup off the balcony and, in an attempt to throw it in the pool, missed and dented the Cup. The Cup has also been the guest of honor at a party thrown by Matthew Perry of Friends fame, who recently appeared on SportsCenter and said that he invited the Los Angeles Kings over to celebrate their victory at his home.
2. Forgotten in a Photographer’s Garden
Just a single season after the Ottawa Silver Seven booted the Cup into the Rideau Canal, the trophy suffered yet another indignity at the hand’s of the Montreal Wanderers. The team gathered at the home of a photographer to take a team picture with the Cup, but left it behind upon leaving. It was not until several weeks later that anyone realized it was missing, so when team members went to retrieve the Cup, they found that the photographer’s mother had been making good use of the forgotten trophy. While the Cup was missing, she had been using it to plant geraniums in her garden.
1. At Strip Clubs With Mark Messier
Messier, a six-time winner of the Stanley Cup with the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers, knew a thing or two about properly celebrating a Cup victory. After winning the Cup in 1984, Messier brought the Cup to the Forum Inn, allowing one of the strippers there to use the Cup as a part of her on-stage performance. Of course, this would not be the last time the Cup saw the inside of a strip club, as Messier made sure to bring it to one in Manhattan after the Rangers finally broke their 54-year drought in 1994.
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