The Stanley Cup itself, as a trophy, carries with itself such pride and interesting story, that being able to hold it and lift it is the ultimate dream for hockey players in the USA and Canada. As years have gone by and since its creation, many traditions have been followed that revolve around rituals done by the winners with the iconic trophy itself.
The Traditions and Celebrations
Winners of the Stanley Cup for nearly two decades have been able to even take the trophy home, with one day allowed per team member, including directives. Yet this is far from the only thing that is done with the Cup, as players are known to make the most of it, filling it with champagne and drinking it empty.
Another part of the tradition quite reflects the players’ love and passion for the sport, as each team member typically kisses the Stanley Cup. The winners have even taken the Cup for international trips to countries like Russia and Finland.
Even more extravagant was Maroon’s celebratory lunch last year that he had during his day with the trophy, where he even had it filled with ravioli. But that isn’t the most extreme of adventures for the beloved trophy, as it is on record that it has played its part in three actual baptisms.
Everybody Joining In
Although only the team members, coaches, and trainers get to spend a full day with the Cup to do what they please, there is yet another tradition. The winning team’s fans can enjoy parades that have happened to include over 30,000 people drinking from it to celebrate with their idols.
2020 Victory and Challenges
This has truly been a challenging year for every sport and the NHL was the first organization that was able to conclude a big event during this year. As an interesting side note, this isn’t the Stanley Cup’s first pandemic, since it was already around when the flu pandemic hit back in 1920.
Making it even more outstanding this year, the Tampa Bay Lightning team won the Cup for the first time in 16 years. If you have been reading all about the celebrations and every ritual that has become a tradition, you can probably see one or two issues with the current restrictions.
This year´s pandemic might not have stopped the Stanley Cup tournament from taking place, but it is affecting which traditions can be followed. As each player gets to take the trophy home, we have to remember that Lightning’s roster includes Czechs, Russians, a Slovak, and even a Swede.
With the travel restrictions globally in place, it is quite uncertain if these players will be able to take the iconic cup home as tradition demands. Although transatlantic journeys aren’t on the horizon, the city of Tampa managed to put together a socially distant parade by using the river to their advantage.
We’re at war against COVID-19 this year and the traditions that have surrounded the Stanley Cup for over a century might be affected just like the entire NHL season. But the authorities keep finding creative ways to adhere to health safety while celebrating.