Endless parties. Exotic food. Family celebrations. World traveling. It’s almost a given that the Stanley Cup is going to have a better summer vacation than the rest of us.
According to Phil Pritchard, a vice president and curator at the Hockey Hall of Fame, all that happens in about 100 days.
“We work with the team and the league on setting up the [travel] schedule,” Pritchard, who has traveled as a “keeper of the Cup” since 1988, told ESPN. “The two big factors are geography and time.”
The clock started on June 27, the day after the Colorado Avalanche clinched the Cup over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. Before the series, the NHL announced that, because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Stanley Cup would not be allowed to travel to Russia. The decision affected one member of the Avalanche: Valeri Nichushkin.
The Cup did make it to Ontario, Labrador, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Quebec and other spots in Canada. Besides Colorado, it made it to Michigan and California in the United States. Outside of North America, it hit multiple locations in Europe.
It also made history. In August, Nazem Kadri, who is Muslim, took the Cup to a mosque in London, Ontario. It is believed to be the first time the trophy has visited a mosque.
“[Islam is] part of my background, part of my roots and part of who I am,” Kadri, whose family moved to Canada from Lebanon in 1968, told NHL.com. “There’s a reason why I brought it out and showcased it because I think the community deserves it. They’ve been cheering me on from the start, so I wanted to share it with everybody.”
It was definitely shared. Here are some of the summer adventures of the Stanley Cup.
Avalanche defenseman Jack Johnson‘s family is loaded with championship athletes. He has two brothers-in-law who played college and NFL football. Brady Quinn, Johnson’s wife’s brother, was an All-American at Notre Dame and played for the Cleveland Browns. A.J. Hawk, who is married to another of the Quinn sisters, won a BCS title at Ohio State and a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers. Johnson’s sister-in-law, Alicia Sacramone Quinn, won a silver medal in gymnastics at the 2008 Olympics. In a perfect holiday card-level flex, the group showed off the various things they’ve won.
A winning family! Jack Johnson shows off the #stanleycup and @Olympics medal, while brothers-in-law AJ Hawk sports his @SuperBowl ring and Brady Quinn proudly displays his college Awards..Sister-in-law Alicia Quinn is wearing her Olympic medal. @Avalanche @nhl @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/5gDmnY3DSo
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) July 22, 2022
It wasn’t the only other hardware to meet the Cup this summer.
When Larry met Stanley. pic.twitter.com/VoAuA5ug53
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) September 4, 2022
When legends meet. 🏆@Avalanche @warriors @6ErikJohnson pic.twitter.com/laX3Dil7Yb
— Del Mar Racetrack (@DelMarRacing) September 4, 2022
#BroncosCountry 🤝 Lord Stanley pic.twitter.com/VPdjbieonv
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) September 15, 2022
Trips back home
The Stanley Cup’s stops over the summer are coordinated geographically. For example, all trips to Europe happen in one block of time. Each player gets one day with it. According to Pritchard, the person traveling with the trophy will work with players one to two weeks in advance of their day.
“Each player has the Stanley Cup for the better part of a day and usually has a lot of things planned (thank yous, town events, family events, open houses, etc.),” Pritchard said in an email to ESPN. “It is understood that there is more to it than those players on the ice — it is their first coaches, teachers, friends, family etc….everything has to be taken into consideration.”
The Cup went to Europe in late July, with stops in Czechia, Germany, Sweden and Finland.
Pavel Francouz brings the @StanleyCup to Pilsen, Czechia. #Avs pic.twitter.com/f34gXvDAs3
— Eurolanche 🇺🇦 (@Eurolanche) July 22, 2022
⚠️ Time to BeReal ⚠️#GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/0JANgaELsP
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) July 26, 2022
In Finland, the Cup went with forward Mikko Rantanen to a dog party and had a steam in a sauna.
For Mikko Rantanen, “Its all about dogs. His dogs, friends dogs…didnt matter they all wanted photos with the #StanleyCup and Mikko of course! @Avalanche @nhl@HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/YTufHsVj9g
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) August 3, 2022
It’s getting hot in here 🔥
…. Literally it’s a sauna.#GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/cMqNnSC5Gg
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) July 29, 2022
Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon visited his family’s home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. MacKinnon is Halifax’s fourth Stanley Cup champion.
Nate, his first-ever hockey net, and the Stanley Cup.
Not too bad 😎#GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/OUbk6Xryaa
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) August 20, 2022
Rantanen was not the only person to have dogs involved in his celebration. Many very good boys and girls were around the trophy. Dogs and babies were also part of a trend of sitting in the Cup.
Napping in the Stanley Cup?
10/10 Recommend. #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/LEd6OAaNoj
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) September 8, 2022
We are all fans of the #stanleycup..doesn’t matter shape or size. Just as Jackman! @NHL @Avalanche @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/eCJNlvu0HT
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) September 9, 2022
Polly wants a cracker! or maybe Polly just wants to have a sip from the #StanleyCup like the @Avalanche do! @nhl @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/V2A34oDewc
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) August 15, 2022
The most time-honored trend when it comes to the Stanley Cup is eating and drinking out of it.
Gibelotte is a traditional French rabbit stew. Just days after the Avalanche won the championship, the dish, made by winger Nicolas Aubé-Kubel, was one of the first things eaten out of the 130-year-old trophy. It wasn’t the last.
Nic prepared a traditional soup, Gibelotte, from his hometown of Sorel.
And now the boat takes the Cup down the river!#GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/8nJnC6R7QX
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) July 9, 2022
Then goalie Pavel Francouz drank peppermint rum in the Czech Republic.
The day started in the “City of Beer” Plzen, Czech with Pavel Francouz and ended with drinking pepermint rum with former teammates. #stanleycup @NHL @Avalanche@HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/gwU1fS00nj
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) July 24, 2022
Two defensemen — Bowen Byram, who ate French toast, and Cale Makar, who ate homemade pancakes — ate breakfast out of the Cup. A barefoot Alex Newhook, an Avs center, had fish and chips. There was a lot of ice cream and a delicious snack of popcorn and Teddy Grahams served out of the trophy.
“Cereals, pastas, fish, poutine, beverages, desserts,” said Pritchard, describing the usual fare eaten from the trophy.
“It is amazing what has been in the Stanley Cup.”
We all scream for ice cream with the fam #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/g86ug9B4Iv
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) August 19, 2022
I have never heard of popcorn and graham crackers as a mix! But hey, I imagine everything mixes well in the #StanleyCup @Avalanche @nhl@HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/Hh39Ter0om
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) September 13, 2022
Humans weren’t the only ones using the nearly 3-foot-tall trophy as a drinking glass.
Who knew that “Ralphie” the mascot was a hockey fan..she needed to check out the #stanleycup. @nhl @Avalanche @CUBoulder @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/9CBzsVEDSH
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) September 19, 2022
Bernie made some new friends today! #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/wUqeAyXysx
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) August 28, 2022
This is a good time to mention that the Stanley Cup is washed often during its travels. The trophy “is cleaned and ready to go each and every day, it also gets cleaned as needed during the day,” according to Pritchard. The officials that travel with the trophy for these events are also following local COVID guidelines.
During his day, besides eating pancakes, Makar went for a Slurpee with his brother.
The bowl at the top of the Cup can hold 168 ounces — more than a gallon. That’s a lot of Slurpees.
Cale Makar and his brother, Taylor, get their Slurpee! And it wasn’t an impulse buy. 🙂 #StanleyCup @Avalanche @NHL @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/M4PJahRyab
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) August 12, 2022
Fun in the sun
No summer vacation would be complete without some time outdoors. The Cup rode on a boat and a helicopter and did some water skiing. It also got time to chill and enjoy the summer weather.
How a-boat that?! Logan O’Connor & Cale Makar cruisin’ the Bow River with the #StanleyCup. Awesome! (Calgary, AB) #StanleyCup @Avalanche @NHL @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/1lehxggxJH
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) August 10, 2022
Josh Manson is not just a talented hockey player. Another calling? (Christopher Lake, SK) #StanleyCup @Avalanche @NHL @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/Df6uuA2g6w
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) August 5, 2022
A fitting way for Josh Manson to end his perfect Stanley Cup day (Christopher Lake, SK) #StanleyCup @Avalanche @NHL @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/sasGVceoem
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) August 5, 2022
But defenseman Erik Johnson might have the winning Cup moment of the summer. Besides taking the Cup to horse races in Del Mar, California, he rode a Slip ‘N Slide while holding it.
It’a Labour Day weekend, the unofficial end to summer….so you might as well have some fun and live it up @6ErikJohnson style with the #StanleyCup @Avalanche @nhl@HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/Loz0gKxjyS
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) September 5, 2022
Now, with the summer over, and the new NHL season about to begin, the Stanley Cup returns to work. It will be eight months before it’s again wandering the world. After the Cup’s wild 100 days with the Avalanche, Pritchard is quick to remind everyone that almost nothing is off limits when partying with the Cup as long as one consideration is met.
“The players and staff members have worked their lifetime for this moment to bring the Stanley Cup and say thanks,” Pritchard said. “They are representing hockey, their town, their team and the National Hockey League. When they describe their day to us, we listen, and if it is respectful, it’s all good.”