2020 Stanley Cup Winners – Traditions and Health Safety at War

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

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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

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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

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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.

What Awaits the Canadians to Qualify for the 2022 Soccer World Cup

Every soccer fan knows that the ultimate goal is always playing and winning the World Cup and 2022’s edition is going to be particularly interesting. Canada will not have it easy from the get-go, as just qualifying is setting up to be a demanding challenge for the country’s team. 

20 Games, One Goal

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Since the CONCACAF’s qualifying format has been revamped, the Canadian team is required to play a total of 20 matches, to earn their place in the World Cup. This is the result of having only the top 5 teams in the FIFA rankings going to the final round directly.

30 Countries Fighting for the Spots

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There is a total of 30 countries under the CONCACAF that will have to play their way into World Cup qualification. They will be divided into six groups, each one having five teams all seeded by the top 6 teams. October and November will see the teams facing every other member of the group they are in, throughout four matches.

The winners of these matches will be playing against the other groups’ members, with games alternating so that each team gets to play at home at least once. Finally, in March 2021, they play a final series resulting in three winners that will face the top 5 teams in June.

14 Matches to Qualification

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This final round will be played June, then September through November, January 2022, and the last one in March of that year. The top 3 teams in these games will be automatically qualified for the World Cup, with the 4th in ranking having to play the FIFA intercontinental playoff scheduled for June 2022.

Interesting Times Call for Interesting Measures

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These modifications have been made due to the different obstacles that the pandemic and the measures to control it have presented for the world of soccer. Many teams were unable to even complete the FIFA ranking cycle and thus it wasn’t a fair approach to keep the rankings as they were.

Soccer fans all over the world must be glad that this pandemic did not happen during the World Cup year, but here we can see that it has had its impact on it, nevertheless. All Canadian team supporters will have a thrilling time watching them play those 20 games to earn a place back into the World Cup.