30th Anniversary of “The Game”
“The Stanley Cup is the most beautiful of sports trophies. It shimmers. It’s big. When ancient peoples returned from the hunt, they held their prize aloft. When players today win a championship, in a timeless gesture of triumph, they throw their hands above their heads. And in sports, nothing fits better between a player’s hands than the Stanley Cup. It is perfect.
It didn’t begin that way. It started as a silver bowl like many others. But then someone who had no faith in hockey’s future, or who just didn’t think, decided that every player whose team won the Cup would have his name engraved on it. The Cup soon needed a base; then a bigger base. New rings of names had to be added, then more. Decades later someone else decided that not every name needed to be displayed all the time. Rings could be rotated in and out. The Cup could grow to its perfect dimension, then stop. What might have become chicken feathers became chicken soup.
Then another decision was made many years later, and a tradition born. The NHL decided in 1995 that thereafter each player on a Stanley Cup-winning team, in the summer that followed its victory, would be able to spend a day with the Cup. The player could take the Cup, the symbol of his dreams as a kid, where he wanted and do what he wanted with it. In earlier years, a few superstar players had been given the privilege. Beginning with the New Jersey Devils, every player would get his chance.”
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