What if i told you that Sid the Kid has exceeded all hyped up expectations? That Evgeni Malkin isn’t a Top 100 player, but Top 50? That Phil Kessel is yet again a Stanley Cup champion?
What if I told you that a Flower will always bloom in Pittsburgh … and you can take that to Vegas?
What if I told you it’s possible to win the Cup back to back? That this summer, bloggers, like players are granted one day to celebrate with the Cup.
This is Pensblog 30 for 30… My Day with the Cup.
One of the benefits of being a Penguins blogger based outside Pittsburgh is the large amount of fans of other teams begging to be trolled. Living in Toronto these past two years has been paradise. There are limitless opportunities to laugh at the Maple Leafs and by extension, their fanbase. How great is it that a large majority of suck-up Leafs fans lapped up the acrid Kool-Aid Toronto hockey media fed them about Phil Kessel being a terrible, coach-killing, hot-dog munching floater? They swallowed it down in one gulp and were stunned when Kessel scored 18 goals in the last two playoffs combined – more than any other player on the planet and a huge reason why the Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups.
Last summer, Kessel brought the Stanley Cup to Toronto, continuing the charitable work he started when he was a Leaf with the Hospital for Sick Children. Not sure it’s humanly possible to be more reprehensible than Kessel. What kind of a monster commits an absolute outrage like bringing happiness to kids with cancer, by sharing the Stanley Cup with them? Just an awful awful person.
This summer, Kessel decided not to bring the Cup to Toronto, so yours truly is doing the deed and what better place to start our day than the historic Maple Leaf Gardens building, formerly one of hockey’s landmark arenas but desecrated decades ago; it is now a mega grocery store. One of the cool things about the retrofitted interior is the memorialized famous events that took place in the Gardens, imprinted on the concrete pillars holding up the ceiling.
Oh look! It’s the 50th anniversary of the Leafs’ last Stanley Cup win this year. What a coincidence. The Penguins are celebrating 50 years this season too! And we just won our fifth Cup! How awesomely appropriate.
Our next stop on My Day with the Cup will be outside Air Canada Centre, present-day home of the Maple Leafs. It wouldn’t make sense to bring the Cup inside since the team didn’t win it, but we can laugh at the “Legends Row” of statues honoring Toronto greats in front of the arena entrance. Sad that the level of greatness decreases from actual legends such as Syl Apps and Darryl Sittler to those only Toronto media insist are legends (Wendel Clark).
We brought along a Stanley Cup champion to show Toronto what a real legend looks like:
Now to the requisite sentimental hometown part of My Day with the Cup:
After a one hour drive west of smoggy Toronto, we arrive in Flamborough, a little town north-west of Hamilton, Ontario, home of various OHL and AHL teams over the years, Hall of Famers Pat Quinn and Dave Andreychuk, your writer PenguinsMarch, and Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis.
So how’s your summer been Ryan? Did you make it back to our old high school? Warriors hockey used to be a big thing back when we were students. Are you enjoying the sight of a Pens blogger having a day with the Cup but not you? That disallowed goal by Colton Sissons in Game 6 … you still mad bro?
We would let you touch the Cup, but we know the Predators aren’t into touching trophies … bad luck and all. How did that work out for you?
I’m taking the Cup to the Harry Howell Arena where I learned to skate as a child when it was simply named North Wentworth Arena. The city has renovated it immensely since then and honored Howell, another Hall of Famer from Hamilton, three years ago. Howell was a seven-time All-Star on defense and remains the all-time leader in games played for the New York Rangers. In the most stereotypical fashion, it’s a family-themed community party at the Howell. Open skating for everyone from the north-west Hamilton area and melted chocolate sundaes paid for by me, served straight out of the Cup.
Yes, even for you Ryan Ellis. Today, on My Day with the Cup, even you can eat a large, hot chocolatey mess out of the Cup to your heart’s content.