Lord Stanley’s Cup is considered to be the ultimate prize by professional players, minor and pond hockey hopefuls, as well as friends of the frozen game all around the world. There are a few superstitions associated with the Cup, while the most prevalent dictates that players should refrain from touching hockey’s holy grail until they rightfully win it. Clearly that hasn’t stopped fans from laying their greasy mitts all over the Stanley Cup, which maintains a pretty hectic schedule appearing at special events including this week’s Feb Fest.
Over the years, the cup has had it’s fair share of misadventures, while it has also been misused and down right abused. In 1905 a player from the Senator’s drop kicked it across the Rideau Canal, while Lord Stanley’s Cup was not retrieved until the next day. Many attributed the New York Rangers’ curse of 1940 to the team’s management who burned the mortgage papers for Madison Square Gardens in the Cup. In 1991, hockey’s holy grail ended up in Mario Lemieux’s swimming pool, and a few years later the winner of the Kentucky Derby ate oats out of the coveted trophy. Lord Stanley’s Cup has been drowned, burned, bent, filled with dog food, and even forgotten, yet it remains the most respected, and desired trophy in the entire world of hockey.
While I doubt that Feb Fest will yield any noteworthy tales of misadventure for the Cup, I have to admit that it would be cool for Kingston to be added to the long list of delinquents. This afternoon I visited Market Square to catch a glimpse of the Stanley Cup, which is on display in the courtyard behind City Hall until 8pm tonight. Tomorrow, the Cup will make an appearance from 9am to 11am, 12pm to 5pm, and from 6pm to 9pm. Considering the fact that the OHL Allstar Game, Limestone Classic, and Historic Hockey Series are all taking part over the next few days, it’s fitting that hockey’s greatest prize has come to the Limestone City.
While I’ve seen the Cup in Victoria, Toronto, Montreal and now Kingston, I am always amazed to see it up close and personal. There is truly something humbling about being in the presence of an object that has such a storied history. And as I witnessed today, it’s truly amazing to see how people react to the Stanley Cup. From silent admiration to uncontrollable grins, the Cup has a way of arousing a wide range of emotions. Be sure you take advantage of this great opportunity to see hockey’s ultimate prize, because you never know where it will end up tomorrow.