Parents know it’s tough to get children out the door during the final days of summer.
But when the Stanley Cup is in town, there is no extra motivation needed.
That was the case on Thursday when hundreds of people lined up in Kiwanis Park for a chance to catch a glimpse of the Stanley Cup.
— Keenan Sorokan (@KeenanSorokan) August 23, 2018
Chandler Stephenson was the man of the hour, showing off one of sports most prestigious trophies to the city that raised him.
Watching their youngest son hoist the cup over his head to loud cheers was one of the last things Bev and Curt Stephenson expected to see.
“Back when he was four-years-old — 20 years ago — he dreamed this, but for reality’s sake, you don’t think it’s going to happen,” Curt said as he turned to see the entire crowd standing in line to see his son.
“This is a little much for him because he just wants to kind of be low-key.”
“He wants to be golfing,” Bev quickly interjected.
“When you win the cup, you kind of have to step out of the boundaries a little bit, so that’s what he’s doing,” Curt finished.
For the hundreds of fans, basking in Lord Stanley’s glory was what the day was all about.
For Stephenson, a Washington Capital forward, it was sharing his success with everyone in a way that is unique to NHL players.
The NHL has a unique tradition among professional sports leagues which allows every player on the winning team to spend a day with the cup.
Stephenson gets two days with the cup
On Friday, he’ll take the cup to Humboldt along with 14 other current and former NHLers for a welcome party fit for a 125-year-old trophy.
His mom knew a trip to Humboldt was in the works the night he raised the cup over his head.
“He said all along that he was taking the cup to Humboldt, even before they won,” she said. “Just to bring some happiness. Just to bring a little bit of joy to the town, the people and the billets.”
The cup will be available for pictures at 11:45 a.m. at the Elgar Peterson arena, with games of street hockey featuring players like Brayden Schenn, Scott Hartnell and Josh Manson taking a turn to play with the youngsters in attendance.
Retired NHLers Curtis Joseph, Wade Redden and Adam Graves will also be in attendance.
Broncos training camp begins
After the community celebration with the cup, the Broncos begin the difficult task of rebuilding their hockey team with the opening of training camp Friday afternoon.
A few players are returning who were on the bus back in April, but the junior A team is starting mostly from scratch, including a new coach and general manager, trainer and team president.
Camp wraps up Sunday with the top 40 players squaring off in the Green and Gold game at 7 p.m.
As per previous years, training camp is open to the public.
-With files from Brent Bosker