It's one of the most recognizable trophies in the world, and yesterday, the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup was in Hancock.June 9, 2010 for most Red Wing fans was a nightmare...the hated Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup championship in 49 years. But for Hancock native and Chicago video coordinator Brad Aldrich, it was the first time he ever laid hands on the cup.
"I don't really remember the exact moment that well," says the Northern Michigan alum. "I remember who handed it to me, but I couldn't tell you who I gave it to. I was like....just a blur."
As is custom in the NHL, each member of the championship team gets to spend one day with the Stanley Cup trophy, and 98 days after Chicago won it, Aldrich brought hockey's holy grail to Copper Country.
"It's been great, we did a tour through town," Aldrich says. "We started at Hancock High School, talked to the kids. The rest of the day we've been on a bus tour with the family, so it's been a really good day through town."
Oddly enough, Brad's father Mike has been the equipment manager with the San Jose Sharks for ten years, a team Chicago knocked out of the playoffs a round before the cup finals last spring. The elder Aldrich was quick to point out his support was fully with his son and not the 'Hawks franchise.
"The moment I remember the most is actually getting to see Brad hold the cup over his head on the ice, and I was a father immediately," said the long-time Shark. "I can't say I was rooting for Chicago, but I was definitely rooting for Bradley to win the Stanley Cup."
With a new season set to begin in about a month and his time with Lord Stanley's Cup drawing to a close, Brad understandably, was not ready to let go of the moment.
"You don't think beyond this day is the weird thing. I'm one of the last to have it, so I've had a lot of time to think about it, but I've tried not to think past it. I really wanted today to be special for me and the family and the community."Aldrich took the cup to Houghton County Arena Tuesday night to help raise money for local hockey teams. A silent auction and concession were sold in an effort to benefit the local hockey community. Finlandia University's men's hockey team worked security and sold refreshments at the rink.The Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America and was donated in 1892 by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley. He purchased the trophy for about fifty dollars at that time. It was to be presented to the championship hockey club of the Dominion of Canada.
Since 1926, only National Hockey League franchises have competed for the trophy.