GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – We watched with pride as the Detroit Red Wings hoisted it in June and traveled the world with it last summer. Now, it’s time for Grand Rapids’ day with the Stanley Cup.
Local fans will have the chance to get up close with the most famous trophy in sports on Friday, April 10, when the Grand Rapids Griffins host the Stanley Cup during their final home game of the 2008-09 regular season.
Fans will have several options to see and take photos with the Cup during its visit to Van Andel Arena’s banquet room:
• By purchasing a Stanley Cup 12 Pack, fans will receive 12 lower bowl flex tickets, a Stanley Cup poster featuring Griffins alumni on Detroit’s 2008 championship team, and the opportunity to have their photo taken with the Cup during a VIP session from 4-5:45 p.m., all for $132 (a $72 savings). A Stanley Cup Six Pack is also available, with six lower bowl flex tickets, the Stanley Cup poster and access to the general public viewing that begins at 6 p.m., all for $66 (a $36 savings). Call (616) 774-4585 ext. 2 for more information, or click here to order your pack Stanley Cup Pack;
• Season ticket holders will be granted early admission into the viewing from 5:45-6 p.m.;
• All other fans possessing a ticket to that night’s game versus Hamilton will have a chance to view the Cup from 6 p.m. until the end of the second intermission (approximately 8:50 p.m.), excluding a short window around 7 p.m. when the Cup will be taken to the ice surface for pre-game festivities.
Among the more than 2,000 names adorning the Cup are those of 10 current or former Griffins who were members of the 2007-08 Red Wings. Niklas Kronwall, Jiri Hudler, Valtteri Filppula, Brett Lebda, Darren Helm, Tomas Kopecky, Darren McCarty, Derek Meech and Chris Osgood all played for Grand Rapids before their names were engraved on the chalice, as did previous Cup champions Kevyn Adams (2006 Carolina) and Dmitry Afanasenkov and Darren Rumble (both 2004 Tampa Bay).
In addition, Griffins right wing Aaron Downey (2008 Detroit) and assistant coach Jim Paek (1991-92 Pittsburgh) are among several Grand Rapids players or coaches who won the Stanley Cup prior to joining the organization, a group that includes former Griffins Danton Cole (1995 New Jersey), Manny Legace (2002 Detroit), Marty McSorley (1987-88 Edmonton), Pokey Reddick (1990 Edmonton), Blake Sloan (1999 Dallas) and Jason Williams (2002 Detroit).
The Griffins have welcomed the Cup to West Michigan three times before, most recently on March 20-21, 2005 for a Sunday home game followed the next day by the team’s annual season ticket holder party. On June 4, 2002, just days before the Red Wings claimed their 10th Stanley Cup championship against Carolina, more than 2,500 fans packed the downtown Welsh Auditorium for a viewing co-hosted by the City of Grand Rapids. The Cup also returned later that year for a Nov. 16 game at Van Andel Arena.
The 116-year-old silver chalice is the oldest trophy still in competition at the professional level. Weighing in at 35 pounds and standing just under three feet tall, the Cup travels 250 days and logs more than 80,000 miles in travel each year.
STANLEY CUP FUN FACTS (from nhl.com)
The Stanley Cup...
• Is the most famous trophy in the sporting world
• Was first presented in 1893
• Is the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes
• Logged more than 400,000 miles in travel during the past five seasons
• Has raised more than $4 million for charity the past three seasons
• Each winning player and team management member gets to take the Cup home for a day to share with family and friends
• Was crafted in Sheffield, England
• Was purchased for 10 guineas ($48.67 at the time) in 1892
• Weighs 35 pounds and stands just under three feet in height
• Is the only trophy in all of sport that is passed along from player to player the summer their team wins it. Some of the situations that the Stanley Cup has experienced include:
o Being a guest of George Bush's and Bill Clinton's at the White House
o Appearing as guest on Late Show with David Letterman
o Being invited to opening day at Yankee Stadium
o Being a guest at the Kremlin in Moscow
o Being invited to opening ceremonies at Luzhniki Stadium in Russia
o Being used as a baptismal font
o Made an historic visit to an Aboriginal Metis Settlement
• Is the only trophy in professional sports that has the names of winning players, coaches, management and club staff engraved on the silver chalice
• Has been won a record 24 times by the Montreal Canadiens and a record 11 times by Henri Richard of Montreal
• In the summer of 1997, the Stanley Cup traveled to Russia for the first time in its history. It was accompanied by Russian members of the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings, including Slava Fetisov, Slava Kozlov and Igor Larionov
• In the spring of 1999, the Stanley Cup was among a list of Hollywood celebrities invited to take part in the 5K Celebrity Run Walk in Los Angeles for Women's Cancer Research
• Travels approximately 250 days per year
• Has appeared on talk shows, including Late Show with David Letterman, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Meet the Press with Tim Russert, Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, Late Night with Conan O'Brien
• It takes 13 years to fill the ring of the Stanley Cup with names of winners
• Once a bottom ring is full, another one of the same size is removed from the top of the base and retired at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto
• Names misspelled on the Stanley Cup -- Adam Deadmarsh was spelled Deadmarch -- but later was changed; the only misspelled name to be corrected
• Some other misspells on the Cup that never have been corrected: Jacques Plante's name has been misspelled five times, (incl. "Jocko," "Jack" and "Plant"); Bob Gainey was spelled "Gainy" when he was a player for Montreal in the 70s; Ted Kennedy was spelled "Kennedyy" in the 40s; New York Islanders was spelled "Ilanders" in 1980/81; the Toronto Maple Leafs was spelled "Leaes" in 1962/63; the Boston Bruins was spelled "Bqstqn" in 1972
• Name scratched out - "Basil Pocklington," father of former Edmonton Oilers owner, Peter, put his dad's name on the Stanley Cup in 1983/84; today, on the Cup, one can see a series of "Xs" over his name
• There is only one Stanley Cup -- authenticated by the seal of the Hockey Hall of Fame in the bottom of the Cup; this seal can be seen when winning players lift the Cup over their heads
• There is a second version of the Stanley Cup that remains in the Hall of Fame, which never travels, and is used for display purposes only at the Hall when the Stanley Cup is traveling; this Cup is perfect and has no misspells
• Places that the Stanley Cup has visited: Czech Republic, Sweden, Russia, Finland, Japan, Switzerland, the Bahamas
• Other interesting towns/cities that the Cup has visited: Fishing Lake, AB -- a Native reservation of the Metis Nation four hours from Edmonton; Anchorage, Alaska with Scott Gomez; Wawa, Ontario with Chris Simon
• The Stanley Cup has climbed Mt. Elbert in Colorado - 14,433 feet
• Overall, no one's name appears on the Stanley Cup more than Jean Beliveau. He has 17: 10 as a player and 7 as management
• In addition to the players' names and teams' names that have won the Stanley Cup, there are two other phrases on the upper bowl of the Stanley Cup. One side says: "Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup" and the other side says: "From Stanley Of Preston".
• To have one's name engraved on the Stanley Cup certain requirements must be met. A player must have at least 41 games played with the club or one game played in the Stanley Cup Finals. However, in 1994 a stipulation was added to allow a team to petition the Commissioner for permission to have players' names put on the Cup if extenuating circumstances prevented them from being available to play.