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03/10/2005 11:30 AM - Griffins to Host Hockey’s Holy Grail March 20-21

– Local hockey fans will have the chance to get up close with the most famous trophy in sports next weekend, when the Grand Rapids Griffins host a visit by the Stanley Cup on March 20-21.

Fans will have three opportunities to see and take photos with the Cup during its two-day stop at Van Andel Arena, most notably during the Griffins’ game against the Edmonton Road Runners on Sunday, March 20 at 4 p.m.:

• Groups purchasing at least 50 tickets for the game will receive a private 10-minute session with the Cup between 1-3 p.m. on Sunday;
• All fans at that day’s game versus Edmonton will have a chance to view the Cup in the arena banquet room from 3 p.m. until the game’s conclusion (approximately 6:30 p.m.);
• On Monday, March 21, Griffins season ticket holders can visit with the Cup in the banquet room from 6:30-8:30 p.m. during the team’s annual season ticket holder party.

Among the more than 2,000 names adorning the Cup are those of six players who have worn the Griffins’ crest. Current forward Blake Sloan (1999 Dallas), Danton Cole (1995 New Jersey), Marty McSorley (1987-88 Edmonton), Pokey Reddick (1990 Edmonton) and Jason Williams (2002 Detroit) each had their name engraved before donning a Grand Rapids sweater, while Dmitry Afanasenkov became the first former Griffin to win the Cup last June as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Griffins have welcomed the Cup to West Michigan twice before. On June 4, 2002, just days before the Detroit Red Wings claimed their tenth Stanley Cup championship, more than 2,500 fans packed the Welsh Auditorium downtown for a viewing co-hosted by the City of Grand Rapids. Later that year on Nov. 16, the Cup made its first visit to Van Andel Arena for a game against the Milwaukee Admirals and witnessed a steady stream of admirers over a nine-hour period.

The 112-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.


• The most famous trophy in the sporting world, it 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
• Was crafted in Sheffield, England and 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:
• Being a guest of George Bush's and Bill Clinton's at the White House
• Appearing as guest on Late Show with David Letterman
• Being invited to opening day at Yankee Stadium
• Being a guest at the Kremlin in Moscow
• Being invited to opening ceremonies at Luzhniki Stadium in Russia
• Being used as a baptismal font
• 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 misspellings 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 misspellings
• Places that the 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
• As a player, Henri Richard has won the most Stanley Cups with 11
• Overall, no one's name appears on the Stanley Cup more than Jean Beliveau. He has 17: 10 as a player and seven 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.

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