Short and Sweet:

Tips for living the abundant life

Another Coffee from the July 1999 Deep Cove Crier Article

Would You Baptize Your Loved Ones in the Stanley Cup??

My Grandfather Allen loved both Stanley Park and the Stanley Cup.  During the Great Depression, he was bumped from being a CPR Railway Engineer to shoving coal.  He had to work seven days a week and had little time to see his children.  But Grandpa Allen was happy to even have a job in those tough times.  When he retired, Grandpa had more time available.  He became the co-ordinator for the Stanley Park Shuffleboard Court, and walked every day the 5 miles around the Stanley Park seawall.  As a young boy, I loved walking and talking with my Grandpa, feeding the squirrels and enjoying the Park scenery.  Stanley Park is still full of many memories for me.

My Grandpa and Nana Allen were also great Stanley Cup fans, never missing a televised game.  One of my three sons is such a dedicated hockey fan that if PhDs were offered for studying the NHL, Vancouver Canucks, and Wayne Gretzky, I am sure that we would have a Rhodes Scholar on our hands.

Under Wayne Gretzky’s leadership, The Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in five years.  After one of those victories,  Gretzky said, ‘‘You know,  I’ve held women and babies.  I’ve held jewels and money.  But nothing will ever feel as good as holding that cup.’  The recently-retired ‘Great One’ was one of the most accurate shooters in history, was named the NHL’s Most Valuable Player every year from 1980 to 1987, and held over 40 scoring records in the NHL – almost every record for goals and assists that can be achieved.  As one sports columnist put it, Gretzky was ‘not merely the best hockey player in the world, but one of the nicest and most unspoiled.’

It is not just Wayne Gretzky but every hockey player who dreams of the moment when he might hoist the coveted Stanley Cup. As a sports commentator put it, the Stanley Cup, sometimes called the ‘Big Mug’, is the hottest thing on ice.  As the oldest trophy in North America, being over 100 years old, it’s covered with names of hundreds of players who have played on winning teams.  "Hockey, more than any other sport, has placed its emphasis on trophies and cups," said Clarence S. Campbell, former president of the National Hockey League.  "Ever since 1893, the world of hockey has revolved around the Stanley Cup. And the history of pro hockey is the history of the Stanley Cup.  I would say that the Cup is the best-known trophy in North American sport today."  Hockey writer  Gerald Eskenazi of the New York Times commented during a telecast of the 1974 Stanley Cup finals: "The Stanley Cup is uniquely Canadian.  We have nothing in this country that transcends how the Canadians feel about the Stanley Cup as an ultimate goal –not the Super Bowl, not the World Series, nothing…"

The old Cup has been lost, stolen, dented, repaired, and mounted on new bases that grew taller and taller with the years. One player on his way home from a victory party in Ottawa drop-kicked the cup into a canal, then returned the next day to retrieve it.  Another team forgot the cup in a photographer’s studio, so the studio cleaning woman took it home and grew geraniums in it! Colorado’s Sylvian Lefebre even went so far as to have his child baptized in the Cup a few years ago!  Twice in the late 1960’s, the cup was stolen from the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. In 1968, a replica was made.  It is this stand-in that we now see presented to the champion team.  The original stays safely in the Hockey Hall of Fame, guarded by electronic burglar alarms.

Very few people realize that both the Stanley Cup and Stanley Park are named after the same Governor General of Canada, Frederick Arthur Stanley.  Click to find out how they are related….


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