Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A look back at the captains who have raised the Cup

"What a wonderful moment," thought Bettman.
"I'd better schedule a lockout."
We still don't know which team will win the Stanley Cup this year. But we can be sure of one thing: for only the second time in history, an American will be the captain of the winning team. And that means that either Dustin Brown of the Kings or Zach Parise of the Devils will get to take part in one of the best moments in all of sports. (Spoiler alert: It's going to be Brown.)

Unlike other leagues, where the championship trophy is handed over team owners and various corporate sponsors, the Stanley Cup is handed directly to the winning team's captain. And whether that captain takes the Cup for a victory lap or immediately hands it off to a deserving teammate, the moment always seems to end up being a memorable one for hockey fans around the world.

While we wait to find out whether Brown or Parise will get to enjoy that moment this year, here's a look back at some of the other NHL captains who've had a chance to accept the Stanley Cup on behalf of their teammates over the years.

1999 - Dallas Stars captain Derian Hatcher accepts the Cup while standing in the wrong spot, but for some reason everyone involved just ignores that and pretends that everything is fine.

2010 - The moment that Gary Bettman hands him the Stanley Cup is the happiest one of Jonathan Toews' entire life, apparently, since his one eyebrow looks like it kind of twitched there for a second.

1992 - As Mario Lemieux triumphantly lifts the Cup, the various NHL defensemen who have been clinging desperately to each of his limbs since the season opener sheepishly begin to realize that they can probably just let go now.

2008 - The historic moment of the first European captain receiving the Cup is ruined when a confused Nicklas Lidstrom asks if the big silver thing is some sort of fancy ashtray for his unfiltered cigarettes, Don Cherry imagines.

2004 - The Tampa Bay Lightning win their first ever championship, causing every fan of the early 90's Maple Leaf teams to simultaneously wonder why the Cup is being presented to Dave Andreychuk's great-grandfather.

2000 - Devils' captain Scott Stevens watches on as his teammates take turns handing the Cup to each other, then spends the rest of the celebration concussing anyone who admires their pass.

1993 - Guy Carbonneau lifts what will turn out to be the last Stanley Cup ever won at the Montreal Forum in an emotional moment, although everyone will later agree that the way he immediately starts measuring the bowl's curve while laughing hysterically and pointing at Marty McSorley was probably unnecessary.

2009 - While he realizes that all Cup-winning captains are asked to pose for a photograph with Bettman before accepting the trophy, Sidney Crosby still finds it kind of weird that Bettman takes the photo of them himself using his mobile phone and then immediately uploads it to a Facebook album called "Super-BFFs 4ever".

1994 - Mark Messier famously breaks into a fit of giddy laughter as Bettman hands him the Cup, probably because he just realized how much the Canucks would now be willing to offer him in free agency in a few years.

2007 - Scott Niedermayer accepts the Cup from Bettman, raises it triumphantly into the air, and then skates around the rink while using it to calmly deflect the various slapshots Daniel Alfredsson is still "accidentally" firing at him from center ice.

2001 - Joe Sakic takes the Cup and hands it directly to Ray Bourque, after realizing that going door-to-door and kicking every Boston Bruins fan in the groin individually would take too long.

1997 - After the Red Wings win their first title in over 40 years, Steve Yzerman hands the Cup to owner Mike Illitch instead of to a fellow veteran player like Brendan Shanahan, according to the weird prologue in the video explaining why Steven Stamkos was just suspended for the entire 2012-13 season for a tripping minor.

2005 - Gary Bettman doesn't hand any cups to anyone, unless you want to count a steaming hot cup of "give us your money and shut up", in which case every hockey fan in North America personally receives one.

2011 - Zdeno Chara accepts the Stanley Cup from Bettman in yet another example of foreigners having things handed to them by hard-working Americans, Tim Thomas secretly thinks.




17 comments:

  1. Pure gold. Thanks for making my day.

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  2. The Bourque one had me laughing out loud

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  3. As a Bruins fan, I had to say that the Bourque cup win was still a moving moment. Sakic was a class act.

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    1. As a Wings fan I agree, as much as I hated Colorado back then I always respected Sakic.

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    2. As an Avs fan i feel the same about Lidstrom, it was sad to see him go.

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  4. I love (euphemism for hate) how Bettman still insists on posing for pictures with the Cup before letting the captain take it. It's the purest distillation of his cluelessness-or-is-it-egomania. Does he realize that not one publication ever prints a picture of him holding the Cup (other than the Messier picture, only because of Messier's laugh)? Has he bothered to check? Does he even care one way or the other?

    I don't even know if the photographers are actually taking pictures. Are they? I imagine they're just waiting for Bettman to let go of the Cup and walk away so they can start snapping pics.

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    1. and the best part about that is that Bettman looks like he is just hanging on for dear life. Maybe its not a laugh, maybe its a warcry of sorts as he rips the cup from bettmans hands

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  5. Mike Pelyk's HairdoJune 5, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Then there's the time Clarence Campbell handed the Cup to George Armstrong and .... sorry, i'm gonna weep now.

    And I think that photo was sepia ...

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    1. I thought it was actually a cave painting it was so long ago.

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  6. Tim Thomas comment was a great finish.

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  7. I was hoping you would have talked about carolina winning the cup. Best. Cup Handover. Ever.

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  8. I'm sorry, but no one who isn't related to Gary Bettman thinks he's hard-working.

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  9. Love the 2000 and 1993 lines.

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  10. Rod Stewart said it best: the last cut id the deepest. Maybe Tim will actually honor his signed contract or is it now un-American to live up to your word and name? Don't be hatin', TeaBaggers, I'm from south of Parallel 49

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    1. If you don't want the hate then then don't use disrespecting terms.

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  11. We still don't know which team will win the Stanley Cup this year.

    Surely the funniest thing that I've seen on this blog in months.

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  12. Thanks for sharing the information..I can wish Good luck!

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