“You don’t know how heavy it is,” Eric Fehr was saying, back in June. The Pittsburgh Penguins had just won the Stanley Cup and Fehr, a winger, was telling The Winnipeg Sun’s Paul Friesen about the joy of the triumph and the subsequent uplift, and how he’d wondered, briefly, whether his two surgically repaired shoulders would be able to handle the heft. “You don’t know how it’s going to feel,” Fehr was saying. “You’ve pictured it for so many years. When you finally get your hands on it, it’s a pretty unbelievable feeling.”
The shoulders were fine. “It felt a lot lighter than I thought it would.”
Later, after a parade in Pittsburgh (400,000 were said to have come out), the Cup went on its annual pilgrimage to visit the hometowns of the players and coaches who’d won it. With Phil Pritchard, its Hockey Hall of Fame guardian, Cup travelled to Landshut, in Germany, and to Moscow, Russia. It visited Helsinki, in Finland, and Jyväskylä, too, in the Finnish Lakeland. Swedish stops included Stockholm, Sollentuna, Sundsvi, Södertälje, Luleå, and Nykvarn.
Canadian stops included Fehr’s hometown, Winkler, Manitoba, where it visited the Southland Mall.
“It still hasn’t fully kicked in,” said Fehr, who got a key to the city from Mayor Martin Harder. “Still kind of a wow factor for me, especially a day like today when you get to walk around with the cup and especially when you see everybody’s faces when they get a look at that cup.”
“We all squeezed the stick,” Gord Downie sang this summer, crossing the land one more time with The Tragically Hip, “and we all pulled the trigger.”
In Denver, Colorado lost its coach when Patrick Roy resigned. It was a surprise, maybe even a shock. Roy said he didn’t feel he had enough say in shaping the roster he was expected to command on the ice. “I remain forever loyal to the Avalanche,” he said, “with which I played 478 games, coached another 253, and won two Stanley Cups.”
GM Joe Sakic was sorry to see him go, but he respected the decision. “We’re all good,” he told Nicholas Cotsonika of NHL.com. It took Sakic just over a week to find a replacement: Jared Bednar, who last season won the AHL’s Calder Cup championship at the helm of the Lake Erie Monsters.
Was it worrisome that by early August Shea Weber still hadn’t travelled to Montreal? People were wondering, this summer, including several writers on the Habs beat.
His agent said no, not a problem, because … summer. Weber was at home in Kelowna, that’s all. “His initial reaction was there was a pause and a little bit of shock,” explained Jarrett Bousquet, the agent. “And then when he realized it was true, he was pretty excited. Obviously, now he’s extremely excited being back in Canada and the pieces that they’ve put together. And he knows Carey Price from B.C. and the Olympics and whatnot, so I know he’s very excited now.”
Man disguised as hockey goalie robs beer store in Manitoba
was a headline running amok across social media last week. It’s true; it happened, in Russell, Manitoba, about four hours’ journey to the northwest from Winkler. While police continue to search for the culprit, a consensus has solidified online that this was
the most Canadian crime story ever, Non-Moose Division (CBS Sports)
Most Canadian heist ever (Huffington Post)
The Most Canadian Thing Ever (@Breaking911)
a scene from a clichéd Canadian movie — if it wasn’t so bizarrely real. (CBC.ca)
Defenceman Justin Schultz welcomed the Stanley Cup to West Kelowna, B.C. His parents were there, at Royal LePage Place, beaming their pride.
“This is huge,” his mother Kim Schultz, told Carmen Weld of Castanet:
Kim said she tries to keep it all in perspective and keep Justin and the family grounded.
“It is a game, after all, and he just has a different job,” she said. “That is how I look at it, as his mom.”
Artist and writer Doug Coupland had a Stanley Cup question for his Twitter followers in August:
Answer: while interested parties suggested up Bell Centennial Bold Listing, Times New Ransom, and DIN Mittelscrift, the likeliest one seems to be … no font at all. As detailed here, at the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Stanley Cup Journal, the cup’s engraver, Louise St. Jacques of Montreal, uses a collection of small hammers and custom-made letter stamps to knock each letter into the silverware.