Tag Archives: Stanley Cup

My Cup Runneth Over

It happened, then it took twelve years for it to happen again, and another seven for it to happen a third time.

Until recently, every year I would watch the captain of the winning team hoist the Stanley Cup above his head and plant a giant kiss on it. This memory is burned into my brain from at least 1980 onward. Certainly, for my entire adult life, I know I have not missed the raising of The Cup more than a couple of times.

I normally root for one particular team to win The Cup but this year I was rooting heavily for the Vegas Golden Nights to win. You see, last night this particular situation arose for only the third time since 2002. I like to think of it as my own version of Halley’s Comet.

Back in 2002, my wife was pregnant with our first child who was due on July 4. I was always a bit ticked off because of all the days for a True Canadian to have a baby, I got stuck with American Independence Day as a due date. Three days earlier would have been ideal.

At any rate, there we were living in Cambridge, Ontario and as always I was watching the Stanley Cup Finals. It was mid-June. In fact, to be completely precise it was June 13. Detroit was playing Carolina in game #5 and Detroit was up 3 games to 1 in the series.

As I mentioned, for as long as I can remember I have watched the Stanley Cup get hoisted by the captain of the winning team. I can go back to when I was a kid and my dad would let me stay up late to watch them hand out the cup. I’m not sure what it is about it, but growing up with a dad who played hockey at a very competitive level, playing it myself for 10 years, going down to the old CNE grounds to the Hockey Hall of Fame when I was a kid and seeing the Cup up close (and even touching it), well, it’s a feeling stronger than common nostalgia that’s hard to explain.

So, three weeks removed from our first child’s due date, my wife and I were lying in bed watching Detroit win The Cup. Lidstrom got the Conn Smythe trophy for playoff MVP and then Gary Bettman came out and presented the cup to Steve Yzerman. Stevie Y hoisted The Cup over his head and planted a big kiss on it. Right then, I turned to her (she was pretending not to watch the game), patted her on the stomach, and said, “OK, you can give birth now”.

At 05:00 the next morning she woke me up with, “Andrew, we’re going to have a baby”. More than half asleep, I replied, “I know,” and she said, “No. We’re going to have a baby TODAY. My water just broke”.

A little more than twelve hours later our daughter was born. That makes today her birthday (and aside from making me feel slightly old that means yesterday was June 13).

I waited twelve years for The Cup to be handed out on June 13 again but the Hockey Gods must be looking upon me favorably because I only needed to wait another seven for it to happen once more. Last night the Vegas Golden Nights won the Stanley Cup and today my daughter celebrates her twenty-first birthday. Congratulations to them and a most wonderful happy birthday to her.

Hockey may have the greatest trophy but I have the greatest daughter and to me, that’s worth more than any sterling silver cup, Stanley or otherwise.

Stanley Butters

I grew up playing hockey as the son of a man who grew up playing hockey. My dad has two signed letters from the then General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings, Jack Adams, inviting him to come to training camp. My young father declined both invitations and went on to have a 34-year career as a public educator in Toronto. The Maple Leafs are his team but he holds the Red Wings in high regard after the interest they showed in my father and his hockey abilities.

So, to me, it seemed entirely fitting in 2002 that the day after the Stanley Cup was awarded  to the Detroit Red Wings that my first child, my daughter Avery, was born. I’ve told this story before but I’ll sum it up for everyone again.

It was June 13, 2002, and my wife was 37-weeks pregnant. With it being her first child and everything progressing normally we weren’t planning on her giving birth quite yet. We were lying in bed watching the hockey game, well, I was watching and my wife was doing a good job of not being too annoyed with my talking to the television as I watched. Detroit won and Steve Yzerman skated over to The Cup with his daughter at his side. As soon as he lifted the cup and handed it to coach Scotty Bowman I leaned over and patted her belly and said, “Okay, you can give birth now.” Well, wouldn’t you know it? The next morning she woke me up at some ungodly hour and told me that her water broke. At 17:17 on June 14, 2002, our daughter came into the world. I finally had my very own little Stanley Cup.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOEV7bAQ_T4]

Last year was the first time since 2002 that the Stanley Cup was handed out on June 13. Tonight, the Pittsburgh Penguins could win it if they beat the San Jose Sharks on home ice. If not, game six will go on Sunday night. If San Jose wins that one then game seven will be on June 15. So, there’s no chance for a repeat of my special moment. In that case, I’d rather Pittsburgh end it quickly. That way I still stand a chance to win a hundred bucks in a hockey pool.

Still, I’ll be watching the Cup deciding games to the very end regardless of how late they run. It’s something I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember. There’s something about seeing that trophy get hoisted in the air that gives me chills. I got to touch it at the Hockey Hall of Fame once and I was in complete awe. It’s the greatest trophy in all of sport and I will forever associate it with one of the greatest moments in my life.

~ Andrew

My Daughter Stanley

If you’re thinking, “Hey, it seems like Andrew hasn’t posted in a while“, you wouldn’t be wrong. I haven’t. There are reasons for this (some of them good) and I’ll be addressing that in my regular post on Sunday (is it still a regular post if I haven’t done one in over a month?)

Tonight though, something special could happen. So, please allow me a few minutes of your time to get all nostalgic and sappy.

Since 2003 a day like today has only come around once. If you count 2002 this day has only happened three times in the last 12 years. That may seem common, a leap year happens that often after all, but in my world it’s actually quite special.

You see, on this day in 2002 my wife was 37 weeks pregnant and we were lying in bed watching the Stanley Cup finals. Well, I was watching. I’m pretty sure Jodi was reading a book. At any rate, I don’t have an adult memory of me missing the Stanley Cup presentation at the end of the final game. I watch the winning team’s captain accept The Cup from that weasel shit-for-brains Gary Bettman and then raise it over his head and then plant a big ole kiss on the greatest trophy in all of sports.

On this particular night the Detroit Red Wings won The Cup and captain Steve Yzerman got to drink from Lord Stanley’s mug once again. As soon as he lifted the silver chalice above his head I turned to my wife, patted her on the belly (pausing briefly to see if my soon-to-be daughter would finally give me a kick – she didn’t) and said, “Okay, you can give birth now.

It would have been funny had she just gone into labour right then, but alas she did not and we went to sleep. She did wake me up at 05:00 though with a gentle, “Andrew, we’re going to have a baby.” To which my reply was, “I know.” (Hey, it was 5am, cut me some slack). She clarified that her water just broke and, while she was not in labour,  that she would be giving birth today one way or another.

Later that day our first child was born. Happy and healthy, with only a couple bruises and a slightly cone shaped head and since June 14, 2002 I have had my very own Stanley Cup. Only once since then has there been a Cup deciding game on June 13th. Back in 2011 it could have happened but they polished it for nothing on that particular evening. Last year there was a game seven scheduled for June 13th – which would have guaranteed the celebrations on the right day but the darn thing was handed out after game six.

Tonight, however, the heavily favoured LA Kings face a disorganized New York Rangers and hold a three games to one lead in the series. The Stanley Cup will be in the building and even though I don’t have television I’ll be huddled around my wife’s cell phone watching on her TV app. If I feel up to it I’ll just pay the three bucks and Air Play it to my TV from my iPhone through the CBC Hockey app. Either way, I’ll be watching.

Regardless of the outcome, one thing is certain: I’ll be waking up tomorrow and giving my little Stanley Cup a great big birthday kiss.

The First Stanley Cup – 1893
My First Stanley Cup – 2002

It took until after midnight (which is way past my bedtime by the way) and one and a half overtimes but the Kings pulled it off and gave me a cool daddy memory in the process. I’m the only one in the world for which this odd little piece of trivia matters and I’m glad I got to relive experience. So thanks to all those players who were able to make that happen for me.

~ Andrew

I did not get up at 05:00 to commemorate the utterance “We’re going to have a baby.”

I did spring the $3 so I could stream the game from my phone to my Apple TV. The picture was HD quality but the connection was a bit flaky. Also, my phone kept putting itself to sleep every five minutes and the app wouldn’t play when it did that so I had to tap my screen every couple minutes to keep things going.

Hockey’s Back. Who Cares?

After the last NHL season lost due to a lockout of the players by the league, I, like just about every other crazy hockey fan, was so happy just to have it back that I scooped up tickets like nobody’s business. Hell, all of the fans rewarded the league and its players with record crowds (and revenues) for the next several years. This past June, when hockey ended and the Stanley Cup was hoisted, and everyone in the world knew the collective bargaining agreement was coming to an end, what do you think the NHL and NHLPA did about it?


Both the league and its players just sat on their butts like a 4th line goon benched for picking one too many fights. In fact, it was well into the fall before any negotiations worth mentioning took place. Hell, half the season, the All Star Game, and the Winter Classic had to be cancelled before any real talking happened at all – and even then only the threat of billions of dollars in anti-trust lawsuits and the cancellation of an entire season got a deal done. In January. Almost 7 months AFTER both sides should have done something about it.

I know that hockey is big business and there are several hundred elite athletes and 30 ownership groups that invest a lot of time, energy, and money into the fastest team sport on ice. I get it. It’s not simple, and when that many people are involved and that much is at stake, you can’t just snap your fingers and make something happen. I don’t expect that and neither did any other hockey fan. What we did expect is that both sides would to SOMETHING. Instead, both sides did nothing for a painstaking long time, and after that all we got was posturing and mud slinging.

So how will we the fans reward the NHL and NHLPA for their antics? Probably with sellout crowds for the shortened season and record sales in merchandise. That seems to be how these things go. Now the “experts” are saying that this time around things will be different but I’m not so sure. I for one don’t plan on giving the NHL or NHLPA a dime for many years if I can help it and I have a few friends who are of the same opinion. But the problem is that for every one of us there is another ten people with more money than brains and another hundred corporations with deep pockets scooping up the tickets and filling the rinks simply because they can. So, the corporate machine that is professional hockey in North America will continue to spin, albeit with a little less enthusiasm than a year ago. All it will take is an exciting Cup Final and an active off season with respect to trades and momentum will build back up – you just watch.

Mark my words. Bookmark this post and revisit it 18 months from now.

I predict that the NHL will be back into record revenues and crowds before the end of the 2013-2014 season. A few of us will have no part of it, but it’s of little consolation. At least I’ll have a few more dollars in my pocket at the end of the year.

A wise person once said, “As soon as money leaves your hand it stops being yours” and that’s a great quote. The best thing I can think of to do is find a few more ways to ensure that it stays in my hand a bit longer.


After the last lockout I was so frustrated with the Toronto Maple Leafs that I declared myself a “free agent fan” and the Ottawa Senators won that free agent battle and along with it my fan support for as long as I gave it to the Leafs – 31 years. Well, unfortunately once the CBA expired and we lost games in the season that “contract” is now null and void. I’m a “free agent fan” once again, only this time I’m not looking for a team… I’m looking for an entire league.

The early leader is the Ontario Hockey League. There are several teams within an hour’s drive of my house and you can get two tickets for $35 plus free parking. It’s great to take the kids, and we get to see some pretty damn good hockey (the Kitchener Rangers goalie just won a gold medal for the USA in the most recent World Junior Championships).

If you want to see the original “free agent fan” story and letter I wrote to all 30 NHL teams you can click the links below to expand the sections (please ignore the fact that my writing back then was terrible).

Original Free Agent Fan Story

The Original Letter

The Stanley Cup is in the Building

So last year I had the first chance to have a repeat of the night before one of the greatest moments of my life – and it didn’t happen. You see, on June 13, 2002 with my wife three weeks away from her due date, Detroit won the Stanley Cup. 

I was watching Steve Yzerman kiss The Cup and I turn to my wife (she was pretending not to watch the game) and pat her on the tummy and say, “OK, you can give birth now”. Well, at 05:00 the next morning she wakes me up with, “Andrew, we’re going to have a baby”. More than half asleep I reply, “I know” and roll over to go back to sleep. She replies with, “No. We’re going to have a baby TODAY. My water just broke” and at 17:17 on June 14, 2002, weighing in at 7lbs 7oz, our daughter Avery was born.

Fast forward 9 years ago from then, and go back almost one year from now, and on June 13, 2011 a team had a chance to win the cup (Vancouver). It would have been a great moment for me. Not that I’m a fan of the Canucks, but since that night back in 2002 I haven’t seen The Cup handed out the night before my daughter’s birthday. 

For almost a decade I’ve been referring to Avery as “My Stanley Cup”, and the presentation of The Cup the night before her birthday as “My Halley’s Comet”. This year it looked promising with Game 7 happening on June 13 and what promised to be a gritty low scoring duel. Alas, with LA up 3 games to none on New Jersey it’s not looking good for an Avery’s Birthday Eve Cup presentation. 

It’s OK though, as just watching the Stanley Cup get lifted into the air is one of my favourite moments of the year, and it will hereinafter happen within a handful of days of my little girl’s birthday. So this year, like every year since 2003, I’ll record the last few moments of the game and The Cup presentation – whether that happens tonight or not – and I’ll watch them in the morning with my own little Stanley Cup and her little Drive Through Baby brother (which is a story for another day). 

Wednesday, June 6:

  • Update 1: At the time of posting there is no score in Game 4 with 14:04 left in the 3rd period.
  • Update 2: Jersey scored with 12 minutes left and LA just tied it up a minute later.
  • Update 3: Jersey goes up 2-1 with 4:29 to go. 
  • Update 4: Game over.  No Cup tonight. LA up 3-1 in the series. Game 5 goes Saturday night.

Saturday, June 9:

  • Update 1: Jersey up 1-0 15 minutes into the first. LA better start looking better soon. I really don’t want to have to watch past my bedtime during the week.
  • Update 2: Three minutes into the second period and LA ties it up. Excellent, my sleep regiment may not be thrown out of whack after all.
  • Update 3: Dang. Jersey goes up 2-1 halfway through the second. Looks like that goal went in of someone’s butt too.
  • Update 4: LA has a goal waved off as it went in off a high stick. Sure, it doesn’t count but it was impressive nonetheless.
  • Update 5: End of two and Jersey is up by a goal. It’s far from over, but I’d really like this thing to wrap up tonight. Going 7 games would bring my Halley’s Comet around again though, so I’m a bit torn.
  • Update 6: Six minutes to go in the third. Still 2-1 Jersey and Glen Healey on Hockey Night in Canada just used a rodeo reference when talking about Martin Brodeur for the 973rd time.
  • Update 7: Well, it looks like New Jersey is hanging in there. Since I’m watching this thing wrap during the week anyway, might as well be a game 7 on Wednesday. Could this sequence of events have a 10 year cycle?

Monday, June 11:

  • Update 1: Jersey just gets nailed for a 5 minute penalty. Let’s see if LA can capitalize. As much as it would be cool to repeat the sequence of events of 10 years ago (minus Detroit winning the cup, and a baby) I kind of want LA to win this thing.
  • Update 2: No sooner did I post Update 1 and we have Update 2. LA scores and are still on the PP for another 3 and a half minutes. Could this be the night La La Land gets a Cup?
  • Update 3: Wow, another goal for LA. Up 2-0 with still 2 minutes to go in the PP.
  • Update 4: Holy crap. A third power play goal by LA – on the same power play! LA is on a roll!
  • Update 5: Well Jersey has their work cut out for them. 4-0 for the Kings of Los Angeles just two minutes into the 2nd period. 
  • Update 6: Jersey shows signs of live. One minute left in the 2nd period. Is it too little too late?
  • Update 7: Looks like LA is going to pull off the win on home ice. Going to watch The Cup get lifted tonight, and then I’ll watch it again with my kids in the morning.