On his day with the cup, Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane took Lord Stanley’s mug to visit Niagara Falls, N.Y., a cancer hospital, and onto the stage at a Jimmy Buffett concert. But the lingering memory will surely be his holy crap moment with hockey’s Holy Grail. The 21-year-old winger—more than a little scared of heights—agreed to hop into a cherry picker belonging to his hometown Buffalo fire department. Up, up they went, three storeys above the street, so photographers could capture him hoisting the trophy against the scenic skyline. But when it came time to descend, the motor stopped working. It took 25 minutes for firefighters to manually lower the ladder. And all the while, Kane’s buddies stood below, heckling. Respect.
Other than that it’s been a pretty standard summer for the NHL’s ultimate prize. On their celebration days (a tradition since 1995), the players have lugged the unwieldy silver chalice to civic and family functions across North America and Europe. Goaltender Cristobal Huet, a Frenchman, posed in front of the Eiffel Tower. Captain Jonathan Toews took it to Earl’s in Winnipeg. Patrick Sharp spent a few minutes in quiet contemplation at Terry Fox’s statue on the Trans-Canada outside Thunder Bay.
Along the way, the bowl has been filled with Froot Loops (we’re looking at you, Troy Brouwer), champagne and plenty of beer. Dustin Byfuglien even let his pooch Walter have a sip. It’s up to the keepers of the cup, like the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Phil Pritchard, to keep it clean. “We scrub it every day, usually in the morning,” he says. Sometimes twice on summer’s dog days.